The bike of a disabled rider who helped develop adapted saddles for other paralyzed bikers, has had his custom cycle stolen during a ride in Canada.
The adapted Santa Cruz V10 belonged to Ryan St Lawrence, from New Hampshire USA.
A blue, full suspension mountain bike, it featured a bucket seat and an electric motor and was stolen during a solo quest from New England in northeastern USA to Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
Ryan suffered a spinal cord injury during a mountain biking accident three years ago and built the bike in 2018 to continue riding.
The 32-year-old was hailed as “USA’s first bucket biker” by PinkBike after revealing his extraordinary custom ride on the trails of Utah.
The thieves took his and his riding partner’s bike from outside the Hilton Garden Inn at the Calgary Airport on Monday.
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“Mountain biking is what keeps me active, it’s what keeps me going, it’s what drives me in life, but for some loser to come by and swipe my bike just like that really doesn’t sit well with me,” Ryan told CBC news in Canada.
“I was the first adaptive athlete to make it down these tracks [in British Columbia], so that goes to show it’s not exactly easily readily accessible for people. So super proud of my accomplishments, and this is just kind of a bummer as I’m getting ready to leave Canada here.”
The New Hampshire man had been instrumental in the seat bracket design of bikes for other paralyzed riders, including Liam Keenan, whose modified bike was featured on The Hub earlier this year.
Meanwhile, writing on Facebook, Ryan’s wife Kim described the theft as “crushing”.
“This is so much more than a bike to him, so much more than a replaceable piece of equipment,” she said. “This is freedom, redemption, recovery therapy. This is the thing that has brought him happiness again. Ryan has had so much taken from him already, so if humanity could conspire to get these bikes back to him, we would be so grateful.”
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact their local police.