THE work of a community cyclist has been brought to a halt by the theft of his bike.
Sunderland’s Dave Willcock has been left without wheels after raiders forced open his garage and stole his bike.
Dave works as a volunteer ranger for Sustrans, looking after the cycle networks in and around Sunderland and Durham.
He, is also the founder and leader of the Wearside Family Cycle Group, which helps get people of all ages fit and active by cycling on weekends.
Dave, 61, said the blue Gary Fisher Marlin bike, which he has added lots of features and updates to, was stolen during the early hours of Thursday morning from the garage at his home in Silksworth Lane.
Also stolen in the raid was his 23-year-old son David’s white Trek 4500 bike and his wife Kathryn’s white Saracen bike. The total cost of the three cycles is around £2,500.
Dave said: “The bikes were all locked up in the garage, but they jemmied open the door and took the three bikes, along with a few other things.
“I was supposed to be leading a ride on Sunday, but I won’t be able to do that now. This has created a big problem for me.
“All I want is the bikes back.”
Dave, who works as an engineer, also uses his 10-year-old bike to take part in numerous charity fund-raising rides, including one recently in aid of North East Children’s Cancer Research.
He said: “While I have a lack of transport, it will be impossible to lead the Wearside Family Cycle Group organised rides or do my work as a Sustrans Ranger.”
Dave said he set up the family cycle group in 2007 and it has proved successful with members aged between seven to 77. Most weeks, about 42 people take part in the rides.
Northumbria Police is investigating the theft and anyone who has information is asked to ring ring them or contact Dave on 07946803629.