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Cycling UK chief executive reunited with stolen Brompton

Bike spotted near railway station after being stolen from train

Cycling UK’s chief executive has had his stolen Brompton returned to him after an office worker spotted it abandoned near Dartford railway station.

On Thursday’s live blog, we reported how Paul Tuohy’s Brompton was stolen from a train between London and Dartford on Wednesday night.

“I was travelling back from a meeting in Soho, and as always I put my bike folded up behind my seat. I sat down with my phone and started to do some work when a man struck up a conversation with me after noticing the Cycling UK logo on my jacket.

“We had a nice chat for about twenty minutes, but he got off the train a few stops before Dartford. When I checked behind my seat, my bike was gone. So at some point during that twenty minute conversation, someone lifted it and walked off.

“It left me with a really empty feeling. I’ve had that Brompton since I started with the charity in 2014. It’s a brilliant bike. That bike and me have done a lot of work together for Cycling UK.”

And now they’ve been reunited.

Jason, who lives in Dartford, but who didn’t want his full name revealed, said: “I came back late from London Bridge and saw the bike near an underpass. Nine times out of ten I would have left it, but I thought it was a bit odd so I picked it up and carried it home.

“I left it outside the flat and when my girlfriend got up, she wondered what the bike was doing there.”

Jason spotted a story about Tuohy’s stolen bike on Twitter on his way to work the next day and realised that he knew its whereabouts. “I tweeted Paul, and then I phoned the office,” he said.

Tuohy, who has been chief executive at Cycling UK since 2014, was delighted to have the bike returned.

“I was absolutely stunned,” he said. “It’s amazing in this day and age that someone would find a Brompton bike and make the effort to return it to its owner.

“For Jason to take the time and trouble to find me, and bring it back is incredible. It shows some real Christmas spirit at this time of year.”

Cycling UK is using the opportunity to warn others about taking care with the security of their bikes. More than 327,000 are stolen every year in England and Wales, with around 26 out of every thousand bike-owning households affected.

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BikeJon | 6 years ago
1 like

I use Hiplok Z-Lok ties for my Brompton if I take a seat on trains (else I just stand over it). They are a great product for preventing these opportunist thefts as you would need to be carry a tool and be hunched over the bike to take off with it.
But glad he got his bike back. Well done to Jason.

congokid replied to BikeJon | 6 years ago
BikeJon wrote:

I use Hiplok Z-Lok ties for my Brompton

Thanks - that's a useful tip. I suppose I could stand, but it's a 1h 20 min journey, seats are in high demand and I don't fancy trying to manage the bike and the rest of my luggage while other passengers squeeze past to get on or off.

congokid | 6 years ago

I occasionally commute with my Brompton and am paranoid about someone walking off with it at stops along the route. None of the trains on the service I take have proper luggage space, just a gap halfway down each carriage where the doors are and where passengers without seats have to stand. It isn't always possible to get a seat with an uninterrupted view of it, and at some stations the doors I've left it beside are the ones that open, leaving it horribly exposed to a passing light-fingered opportunist. So far I've been lucky, but even if I saw someone take it, I don't know how I'd stop them and get back on the train again.

OldRidgeback | 6 years ago

Yeah, nicked on the Dartford train, sounds about right.

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