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Stolen ghost bike in Northern Ireland found after family’s Facebook appeal

Memorial to North Down Cycling Club member Gavin Moore had been installed following his death in July

A ghost bike installed on a road in Northern Ireland where a cyclist was killed earlier this year which was stolen at the weekend has been found after an appeal on Facebook.

Gavin Moore, aged 40 and a father of two, lost his life in July when a driver crashed into members of the North Down Cycling Club with whom he was riding on a road between Newtownards and Bangor.

His family and friends placed the ghost bike, painted in the club’s pink and black colours, at the location of the fatal crash, securing it to a fence with cable ties.

The bike disappeared over the weekend leading Mr Moore’s brother Neale to appeal for its return on Facebook, where his post was shared by more than 4,000 people.

He wrote: “I need everyone's help that knows me and my family. My family put a bike on the Newtownards to Bangor carriageway where my Brother was tragically killed in July when hit by a car.

“The bike was put there in Gavin’s memory as he loved cycling so much.

“I have learnt today that some low life has stolen it. A real classy person to have done this. I would strongly suggest that whoever took it puts it back ASAP.

“Please all share and let’s catch this scumbag.”

One Facebook user reported having seen it in Newtownards as she headed towards the town’s hospital and that she had reported its sighting to the police.

She gave a description of the two youths who had the bike as follows: “Young guy. Navy hooded anorak, grey jogging bottoms, black trainers. Brown wavy hair. Teenager. Another guy possibly running with him.,

Subsequently, Mr Moore shared the news that it appeared the bike had been located.

“Looks like bike has been found,” he wrote. “Can I say a massive thank you to everyone that shared and commented on the posts.

“Your help made this possible and to get the bike back to where it was.”

Prior to the bike being located, Mr Moore had told the Belfast Telegraph: "It is obvious that this bike was a memorial to someone who lost their life and was not a bike that had been abandoned, so whoever stole it knew rightly what they were doing.

"I had secured it well to the fence, but it was ripped away with considerable force.

"We know the bicycle was taken some time on Sunday, because I live just five minutes away and I saw it there on Saturday.

"My wife noticed it missing and came home in tears.

"It was my dad who painted the bike in the first place, he poured his heart and soul into it.

"It helped him cope with Gavin's death and to see the hurt and pain on his face when I told him it had been stolen was so hard.

"The reaction from the public has been so good and people have come back to say they saw the bike and reported it to the police so they could look out for it,” Mr Moore added.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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