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Cyclist's heartache following theft of bike she used to regain confidence after horrific accident

PUBLISHED: 12:35 07 June 2019

Mary Sparrow's vintage Dutch bike was stolen from Hippersons Boatyard near Beccles. It was being used to promote the OVO Energy Women�s Tour. Picture: Hippersons Boatyard

Mary Sparrow's vintage Dutch bike was stolen from Hippersons Boatyard near Beccles. It was being used to promote the OVO Energy Women�s Tour. Picture: Hippersons Boatyard

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A cyclist who took years to regain her confidence following a horrendous accident has hit out at thieves after her bike with "much sentimental value" was stolen.

Mary Sparrow's vintage Dutch bike was stolen from Hippersons Boatyard near Beccles. It was being used to promote the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. Picture: Hippersons BoatyardMary Sparrow's vintage Dutch bike was stolen from Hippersons Boatyard near Beccles. It was being used to promote the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. Picture: Hippersons Boatyard

Mary Sparrow, who co-owns Hippersons near Beccles, discovered earlier this week that her vintage Dutch bicycle had gone missing from a display just outside the boatyard.

The bike had been installed to show support for the OVO Energy Women's Tour, which is expected to attract thousand of visitors when it starts from New Market in the town on Monday (June 10).

As well as promoting cycling among women, the two-wheeler allowed Mrs Sparrow to literally get back on her bike following an accident that scarred her both physically and mentally.

"About 13 years ago I was doing the London to Brighton Bike Ride and got knocked off by another cyclist which flipped me up into the air," she said. "I ended up with a severe shoulder injury and needed to have half of my face rebuilt, so it rather put me off cycling for a while.

"A couple of years later I met my husband, Simon, and later down the line he bought this vintage bike for me so I could try riding again - and I decided to give it a go."

Fortunately Mrs Sparrow's love for cycling made a welcome return and soon enough she was back pedalling again.

She even used her new pride and joy to start training for the London to Paris Bike Ride in aid of the Stroke Association, although quickly realised the 1950s model might not withstand the trip.

With the bike having been stolen overnight from June 2 into June 3, Mrs Sparrow says she has lost a memento with huge personal significance.

"I was always going to keep that bike because it was what got me back into cycling," she added. "I'm very upset and angry about the whole thing and still can't quite believe someone would take it.

"It's not really that valuable at all and might have been tossed in a ditch, so I would be grateful if people could keep an eye out."

Anyone who has relevant information or knows of the bike's whereabouts is asked to call Norfolk police on 101, quoting reference number 36/37315/19.

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