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Colchester soldier who lost both legs in Afghanistan bomb blast has custom bikes stolen from his home

PUBLISHED: 12:19 17 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:19 17 April 2018

Army veteran Ash Hall, 27, has had two custom built bicycles stolen from his home in Colchester . Picture: DAVID ARCHER/KINGSIZE PHOTOGRAPHY

Army veteran Ash Hall, 27, has had two custom built bicycles stolen from his home in Colchester . Picture: DAVID ARCHER/KINGSIZE PHOTOGRAPHY

Archant

A war veteran from Colchester who lost both his legs in a bomb blast says he has been ‘robbed of the chance to do something I love with my mates’ after two specially adapted bicycles were stolen from his home.

This Commencal Meta V3 was one of two specially adapted bicycles stolen from Mr Hall's home. Picture: ASH HALL This Commencal Meta V3 was one of two specially adapted bicycles stolen from Mr Hall's home. Picture: ASH HALL

Ash Hall, 27, has spent 18 months creating the bikes, which would allow him to ride upright with his friends.

Mr Hall was serving in the Royal Engineers in Afghanistan in 2010 when he was struck by the blast of an improvised explosive Device (IED).

The explosion left him with a shattered pelvis and needing both legs amputated above the knee.

As part of his rehabilitation, Mr Hall has thrown himself into sports, winning a silver medal at the Toronto Invictus games as part of a wheelchair rugby team and joining the Team BRIT motorsport squad.

Mr Hall's stolen Ridley Dean bicycle. Picture: PROVIDED BY ESSEX POLICE Mr Hall's stolen Ridley Dean bicycle. Picture: PROVIDED BY ESSEX POLICE

In October last year he set a new Guinness world record for the longest distance travelled in 24 hours using a go-kart with hand controls.

He was off racing at the Oulton Park race circuit on Thursday, April 5, when his home in Henry Everette Grove was targeted by thieves.

His brother had popped over to house sit on the morning of Friday, April 6, to find Mr Hall’s Commencal Meta V3 and Ridley Dean full-carbon time trial bicycles had been stolen.

Mr Hall said: “The bikes were in the garage and they broke in through the garage door.

Ash Hall joined the Team BRIT Fun Cup motor racing squad. Picture: DAVID ARCHER/KINGSIZE PHOTOGRAPHY Ash Hall joined the Team BRIT Fun Cup motor racing squad. Picture: DAVID ARCHER/KINGSIZE PHOTOGRAPHY

“The bikes themselves are custom built and adapted so I can go out riding with my friends in an upright position rather than lying down.

“A group of friends and I are all into our mountain biking.

“The Commencal is completely custom built - you can’t go into a shop and buy one.
“I would hazard a guess that I have spent about £3,000 on it.

“I have built it up over about a year and a half.

Veteran Ash Hall, 27, with one of his recumbent, hand powered bicycles. The bikes that were stolen would have allowed him to sit upright. Picture: DAVE ARCHER/KINGSIZE Veteran Ash Hall, 27, with one of his recumbent, hand powered bicycles. The bikes that were stolen would have allowed him to sit upright. Picture: DAVE ARCHER/KINGSIZE

“It’s not only the fact that its been stolen, it’s also robbed me of the chance of doing something I love with my mates.

“It was something on the horizon I was really looking forward to.”

Essex Police has provided a full description of the stolen bicycles:

• One bike has a Commencal Meta v3 frame with Marzocchi Bomber 888 forks, Hope Tech e4 brakes, Santa Cruz handlebars, oven baked carbon rims with Hope Pro 4 hubs, and Fox 180mm dropper posts. Other parts include a Shamino Saint Drive set, Crankbrothers Mallet DH pedals, and a purple Hope headset.

• The second bike is a silver Ridley Dean 20 TT tri bike with a full carbon fibre frame and forks. It has Planet X pro carbon wheels, a Vision Carbon crank set, and Cane Creek carbon brake levers. It also has Look Keo clipless pedals.

If you have any information that could assist officers with their investigation call Essex police on 101.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 111555 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org and fill in its online crime reporting form.

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