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Cyclists left “shocked, saddened, and angry” after £26,000 worth of bikes stolen from cycling festival

Eight bikes, which were locked to racks in a campsite, have been reported stolen from the Enve Stone Circle gravel sportive at the end of June

A cyclist has hit out at the “disgusting” bike thieves who targeted the recent Enve Stone Circle gravel cycling event in Salisbury, stealing at least eight bikes worth a combined value of £26,000.

The bikes, which were locked to racks located in the event village in the English Heritage site of Old Sarum, were taken between the finish of the popular gravel-focused sportive on the evening of Saturday 29 June and the following morning, when the event’s participants left the campsite.

The Enve Stone Circle, first held in 2023, is a weekend festival of gravel cycling, featuring a hill climb event, a ‘Festival Fort’ event village at Old Sarum which included camping on site, a DJ, and food and drink, and three route options ranging from 55km to 220km and taking in Wiltshire’s best gravel roads and off-road tracks.

> British squad hit by bike theft at Tour of Britain as all 14 bikes stolen from mechanic’s van – just days after team’s rider was hit and “threatened” by 4x4 driver

However, eight unfortunate participants left the event on the worst possible note, after thieves cut through the locks of their bikes, which were all parked in the same area of the campsite.

The bikes stolen included two Giant Revolt Advanced 1 gravel bikes, two Basso Paltas (one red and one yellow/green), an orange Forme trail bike, a grey Cannondale Topstone 2 Lefty, a Canyon Grizl CF SL, and a Nukeproof Digger. The combined value of the stolen bikes is estimated to be around £26,000.

Speaking to the Salisbury Journal, one of the cyclists affected by the targeted and shocking theft, Dean White, said: “I was shocked, saddened, and angry all within a short space to experience something like that and how people can be so disgusting taking away people’s pride and joy.

“I feel lost without the bike, as it becomes part of yourself. It’s quite alarming how common it’s becoming across the country and it’s something that isn’t spoken about enough.”

> "Even the police were shocked": Bike thieves screw family's front door shut before smashing into van to steal bicycle

He continued: “I’d like to encourage all cyclists to be extra vigilant in looking after and keeping their bikes secure, no matter how secure you think it is.

“When something like this happens it’s organised, and they’re prepared to grab what they can at all costs and sometimes with any means necessary.”

In an appeal for information concerning the thefts, a spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said: “If you witnessed anything suspicious or have any information then please contact us on 101 quoting reference 54240076610.

“If you also had your bike stolen then please report it via 101 or on our website.”

> Bike shop owner slams police’s “abject apathy” after three shops and private residence broken into in one night during bike theft spree

As noted by Dean, the number of bike thefts across the UK has grown at an alarming rate in recent years, and while bikes locked to racks in public remain one of the most common targets, we have also seen an increasing number of instances of thieves operating in increasingly targeted and pre-prepared ways to secure high-value bikes from shops or cycling events and races.

Last month, a bike shop owner in Sussex slammed what he called the police’s “abject apathy” after three shops and a house were broken into in one night during a bike theft spree.

Thief attempts to break into South Downs Bikes shop (South Downs Bikes)

At least 17 bikes and other items were stolen during the series of raids, six men in balaclavas spotted breaking into the Giant store in Shoreham, stealing 14 high-end e-mountain bikes.

And earlier in June, ahead of the second stage of the revamped Tour of Britain Women in Wrexham, British squad Lifeplus Wahoo announced on social media that thieves had targeted their base at a hotel in Shropshire, raiding their mechanic’s van and stealing the entirety of the squad’s range of Ribble bikes.

In response to the team’s shocking misfortune, several teams taking part in the race acted quickly and loaned the Lifeplus Wahoo riders their spare bikes and equipment, meaning the squad could continue taking part in the race.

According to Home Office figures, more than 365,000 reported bike thefts have gone unsolved since 2019, with the Liberal Democrats in January warning that the crime has effectively been “decriminalised”.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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23 comments

Avatar
oldandonagoslo | 1 week ago
0 likes

I hope this isn't the missing Cannondale leftie
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1082283163263978/

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Rendel Harris replied to oldandonagoslo | 1 week ago
0 likes

oldandonagoslo wrote:

I hope this isn't the missing Cannondale leftie https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1082283163263978/

Careful, don't want to go accusing innocent sellers! Anyway no, the fullness of the description and the fact that the seller is supplying the original stem as well as the one they have fitted (thieves rarely have spares, "Laptop no charger" etc) and that their profile is that of someone who does cycle seem to indicate a genuine seller, plus the Lefty that was stolen is decribed in the linked article as grey whereas unless my eyes/screen deceive me this one is green.

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Grumpy17 | 1 week ago
1 like

Naivety on the part of owners is a large cause of bike theft.

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chrisonabike replied to Grumpy17 | 1 week ago
6 likes

I think "cycle theft being very easy and having almost zero consequence" is the largest part.

However Yes!  I foolishly believed that distressing / disguising my bike a bit (around a grand new), then locking it with a couple of locks (worth a bit more than 10% of its value) in a "secure bike storage" provided with the building (which was locked) was a way to keep it safe.  Nope.

I think the understanding is that locks and security are merely there to deter extremely casual thieves or delay others a little to allow time for someone to intervene.  So unless it's in your house, by your desk or somewhere someone will notice angle-ginding AND be prepared to intervene think "if it's not locked, expect it stolen.  If it's worth locking, expect it targetted and stolen."

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wycombewheeler replied to Grumpy17 | 1 week ago
2 likes

Grumpy17 wrote:

Naivety on the part of owners is a large cause of bike theft.

by naivety, do you mean expecting to be able to use a bike as a mode of transport and lock it up at your destination, just as we do with cars?

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john_smith replied to wycombewheeler | 1 week ago
1 like

I think he means assuming it will still be there when you go to retrieve it later.

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Grumpy17 replied to wycombewheeler | 1 week ago
0 likes

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do that without any fear of the possibility of some sub-human stealing your pride and joy? Sadly,the prospect of that very thing happening is actually only too real and far more likely to happen to a bike owner than a car owner. Of course, you and everyone else are at liberty to disregard this hard truth and leave your expensive bike unattended for long periods in public places at all times of day and night if that tickles your fancy.Good luck!

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EraserBike | 1 week ago
1 like

It's a bit of victim blaming but why the hell are people leaving £3k+ bikes in a communal bike rack overnight? My bike isn't even worth that much and I don't even like to leave it locked outside a cafe for more than a few minutes.

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quiff | 1 week ago
1 like

Was there event security? The last time I did a bike and camp (Ride Across Britain) the bike park was continuously monitored and to get in you needed your rider number, which they would then check against the number on any bike you retrieved. 

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Miller | 1 week ago
1 like

What a downer to lose bikes from that lovely place, that is painful.

On another note, that event has gone up a level in sponsor, it was the Ekoi stone circle last year. The full distance is a very tough event, I was wrecked.

https://youtu.be/Q5AMgUzGsIw

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polainm | 1 week ago
6 likes

About 80,000 bicycles are reported stolen in the UK each year, but many analysts following this (like me) estimate that only 1 in 5 thefts are reported to the police now, as it's common knowledge the police do almost nothing. Those that are reported are higher value and a CRN is needed for insurance claims. So on average, the value of theft is about £400.  This has been dragged up in recent years due to the higher value thefts and eBikes, with at least 5% of thefts being bikes over £3,000.

80,000 x 5 x £400 = £160 million. Even if these bikes were fenced for a third of their new value, that's nearly £54 million. 

So the UK police are effectly 'aiding' organised crime to supplement criminal income by over £50 million a year, and 'this is a low priority'.

This attitude is par for the UK's anti-cycling rhetoric, and won't change unless there is a widespread social campaign like clunk-click for every trip, to change this deep-rooted toxicity towards those who are trying to cycle and improve fitness, rather than drive and be an obesogenic NHS burden. 

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alexuk | 1 week ago
1 like

Please tell me they didn't leave their expensive gravel bikes on the public car park rack there at Old Sarum, while they camped in the neigbouring field!?  Given they said the bikes were a part of themselves, why leave it in the car park rack for everyone to see and steal with inpunity? talk about "make-it-easy" Nothing is safe in this country anymore, theives are everywhere and their numbers increase every day. You can't live in ignorance any longer, secure your bike like it was in Gaza!

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brooksby replied to alexuk | 1 week ago
3 likes

alexuk wrote:

secure your bike like it was in Gaza!

I didn't realise that the IDF were stealing Palestinian bikes as well as dropping fragmentation bombs on them.

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john_smith replied to brooksby | 1 week ago
0 likes

They aren't, but Hamas are.

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chrisonabike replied to john_smith | 1 week ago
0 likes

What's the division of labour there?

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cqexbesd replied to alexuk | 1 week ago
2 likes

I know nothing about these specific circumstances but it can be quite hard when camping with a bike. You can't bring it inside with you. If you are lucky you can lock it up near your tent so you might hear thieves but places you can put a tent up and places where you can lock a bike aren't always that close to each other.

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Rendel Harris replied to alexuk | 1 week ago
1 like

alexuk wrote:

Please tell me they didn't leave their expensive gravel bikes on the public car park rack there at Old Sarum, while they camped in the neigbouring field!

According to the linked report the bikes were locked to bike racks on their cars which weren't in a public car park but in the car park of Old Sarum Farm which was the base for the event. Still taking quite the chance though, when I've had to leave a bike with a car overnight the wheels have come off and it's been locked in the boot or if not enough room put on the back seat with bags or a sheet over it to hide it fom prying eyes.

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Mr Anderson | 1 week ago
4 likes

Bike theft is no longer the preserve of the petty criminal, the opportunist thief, this is now organized (often violent) crime.  The National Crime Agency should now wake up to this!

The attitude of the Police, "Here is your CRIS number, now give that to your Insurance company!" needs to be stamped out.

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Rome73 | 1 week ago
4 likes

Bike theft is decriminalised. There is no doubt about it. A few years ago our small business had 25k worth of cargo bikes stolen. The Police made very little effort. And I honestly don't blame them - it is a matter for insurance as far as they are concerned. Unfortunately we have to mitigate against theft with added security and vigilance. 

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ktache replied to Rome73 | 1 week ago
2 likes

My Hiplock DX1000 should show up today.

No CyclingUK members discount either.

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chrisonabike replied to ktache | 1 week ago
1 like

I'm hoping we don't get any "usage reports" apart from "Been a year now and I still have it"!

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mdavidford replied to chrisonabike | 1 week ago
2 likes

"Bike still safe, but lock stolen a week after it arrived."

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chrisonabike replied to mdavidford | 1 week ago
2 likes

"But I had the last laugh, having popped off my spokey-dokeys on parking and slipped them into a pocket."

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