Man, 83, 'absolutely gutted' after thieves pinch his £2,500 e-bike
- Credit: Cathy Middleton
An 83-year-old man has warned thieves they wont crush his passion for cycling after his £2,500 e-bike was callously nicked in broad daylight.
Brian Middleton, who lives in Taverham, used his electric bike everyday - so much so he said it actually "felt part of him".
Suffering from lung disease, the e-bike helped him tackle hills and travel long distances.
He said: "I'd only had it 12 months, but the customisations were a labour of love. I'd finally got it exactly how I wanted it.
"It's like that bike was part of me."
Mr Middleton said the bike was stolen on Tuesday, October 12 between midday and 2pm.
He explained: "I'd locked it up with two steel cables to the bike rack in a prominent position outside Castle Quarter.
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"It was stolen right in the middle of the day.
"When I reported it to the police they said this thing was happening all the time now.
"It's sad, because we're being told to cycle more to save the environment, but then it's becoming riskier and riskier to leave it alone."
The 83-year-old confessed he felt he'd become "complacent" in his 70 years of cycling — and that while he knew D-locks were the most secure option, they were "heavy and cumbersome" to carry around.
"The thing is," he added, "I've been all over the country cycling and touring. I've left my bike in hundreds of cities and it's never been stolen before.
"You just kind of get in to the mindset of 'this won't happen to me'.
"When I came back on Tuesday and saw it gone, my heart sank. I was absolutely gutted.
"It was clearly an organised crime, because whatever the thieves used sliced straight through my steel cables."
But Mr Middleton said he would remain unfazed.
"They won't stop me cycling," he stressed. "Only yesterday, I cycled to the NCFC game at Carrow Road on my push bike. It took me ages, but cycling is just what I do."
Mr Middleton's daughter, Cathy, said she was furious someone had taken away her dad's freedom and independence.
Sending a message to the people of Norwich, she said: "Please keep your eyes and ears open for my dad's bike."