'Cycle rides were like our holiday', mother's heartbreak after son's disability bike is stolen (From St Albans & Harpenden Review)
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'Cycle rides were like our holiday', mother's heartbreak after son's disability bike is stolen in Harpenden
Severely autistic teenager Daniel Grundy-Evans used to enjoy the freedom of cycle rides in Harpenden with his mother, until thieves stole the specially adapted bike which became part of his daily routine.
Now the 15-year-old's mother, Miriam Grundy-Evans’, is appealing to members of the public for information to help trace the Piggyback Mark 2 disability bike.
Ms Grundy-Evans saved £1,000 to buy her son, who has severe autism, epilepsy and Tourette syndrome, the bike which is attached to two other bikes, offering him a back seat, arm rest and strap to make it more accessible.
The bike along with gloves, helmets, a drink container and lights were stolen during 4pm on September 15 and 3pm on September 22 from the council-owned garage in Southdown Road.
The single mother said: "I am very cut up and extremely upset.
"Daniel doesn’t really understand. I think he just thinks someone borrowed it and it will be back soon.
"We haven't been on holiday since he was born. Cycle rides are like our holiday."
Because of his love for train spotting, the pair often enjoyed cycle rides through East Common, the Nickey Line and near Harpenden railway station.
"It was also somewhere local and if Daniel was having a bad day, we always pushed him up the hill if he didn’t feel like pedalling. "The bike ensured he was able to hold on to the handle bars and was always strapped in properly.
"Annoyingly it wasn’t insured, so now I am thinking of ways to get him another one." Ms Grundy-Evans added.
This is not the first time the garage has been broken in to. Two years ago, thieves stole her partner Ian’s motorbike, as well as breaking the specially adapted bicycle apart and throwing it around.
This time the thieves cut the locks to gain entry and Ms Grundy-Evans said she has now made the decision to give the garage away because she deems it to be unsafe.
The pair have now resorted to going on long walks. However this is proving difficult for Ms Grundy-Evans who developed Hip Bursitis, a hip inflammation, when Daniel was younger.
She said: "Daniel likes to out in the fresh air, so now we are back to walking.
"It is more difficult because if he misbehaves it is noticed more while walking and people have time to stare whereas on the bike we are gone before they can."
Anyone who saw the incident, has been offered the bike for sale or knows who may be responsible, is asked to contact PCSO Fletcher by calling 101 and quoting F2/13/1262.
Ms Grundy-Evans, who is her son's full time carer and works as a part time nurse, added: "Daniel likes his routine and the bike was part of his routine and he knew it very well - down to every scratch and bend of the chair.
"Every boxing day we go out on a bike ride rain or shine. My rule is if it isn’t under seven degrees, we’ll go out on the bike.
"Now I am left wondering what we are going to do this year.
"If we can get it back it in the same condition that would be great for us."
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