Bike stolen days before 300-mile ride two years after death of young farmer

Beth Maskell on her new bike before her 300-mile cycle ride in aid of her friend Josh Gilbert, who d

Beth Maskell on her new bike before her 300-mile cycle ride in aid of her friend Josh Gilbert, who died suddenly two years ago. Picture: SUFFOLK YOUNG FARMERS - Credit: Archant

A young cyclist has been left devastated after her £1,500 bike was stolen just days before she was due to ride 300 miles in three days in memory of her friend who died suddenly two years ago.

The £1,500 bike which was stolen from Beth Maskel's house days before the challenge. Picture: JENNY

The £1,500 bike which was stolen from Beth Maskel's house days before the challenge. Picture: JENNY MASKELL - Credit: Archant

A young cyclist has been left devastated after her £1,500 bike was stolen just days before she was due to take a massive challenge, riding 300-mile in three days in aid of her friend who died suddenly two years ago.

Beth Maskell, 17, was at work when her mum rang to tell her that her bike along with two others had been stolen from their home, after a burglar forced the hinges off a shed door.

The theft of the specialised bike, with a seat which had been moulded especially for the teenager stopped Beth from training for the challenge, which will see six Suffolk Young Farmers ride from Blackpool to Portman Road this weekend.

Ms Maskell said: "I was really upset when I heard about my bike. I was shocked and confused.

Josh at the Bury St Edmunds Young Farmers Club's 50th Anniversary Ball at Thurston RUFC in 2016. Pic

Josh at the Bury St Edmunds Young Farmers Club's 50th Anniversary Ball at Thurston RUFC in 2016. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY - Credit: Archant


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"I have spent a lot of time training on it so was quite personal to me. Sadly the police haven't found it yet."

Fortunately, it appears that the family's insurance company will pay for a new bike, which Ms Maskall has already bought in preparation for the challenge.

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The group will start their journey on Friday September 27 and finish outside Ipswich Town's stadium three days later.

The choice of finishing line is in memory of Josh Gilbert a life long Ipswich Town fan and young farmer, who collapsed and died at the age of 25, while playing for Thurston Rugby Club in September 2017.

Beth Maskell is training for 300-mile cycle ride in aid of her friend Josh Gilbert, who died suddenl

Beth Maskell is training for 300-mile cycle ride in aid of her friend Josh Gilbert, who died suddenly two years ago. Picture: SUFFOLK YOUNG FARMERS - Credit: Archant

The marathon journey is in aid of Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), a charity which helped investigate the cause of his death

The six riders will leave from Blackpool and ride for 115 miles to Worksop, before leaving the following day to tackle the longest leg of their journey, 116 miles to West Rudham.

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The group, Lee Thompson, 25, Cameron Thompson, 23, Beth Duchesne, 25, Richard Branch, 24, Charlotte Marie, 22 and Beth will then complete the final 69 miles to Ipswich.

Mr Thompson, Chairman of Suffolk Young Farmers, said: "It's sadly been two year since Josh left us and he hasn't left our minds since.

"If he knew what we were doing he would think we are absolutely bonkers considering we are a bunch of Suffolk Young Farmers who aren't quite athletes yet, but never the less we will complete this for him and the great charity CRY."

The group have currently raised £2,500 of their £5,000 target.

A spokesperson for Suffolk Constabulary said: "We can confirm we were called about a burglary that took place overnight at some point between September 13 at 4pm and September 14 at 11.15am at Lindsey.

"A burglar had entered a garden shed where three high value bikes were removed."

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