A former Army captain recovering from a broken back has been left devastated after his hand-made bike was stolen.
Colin Johnson, 48, broke his lower spine in a parachuting accident in the army last year, and had just been the go-ahead to get back on the bike after spinal surgery.
He was keen to get in shape for a mini triathlon taking place in Blackpool on June 26.
But last Wednesday morning- the first day of team training - he went to get the Moda Intro road racing bike from his garage in Cypress Grove, Lostock Hall, only to find the building had been broken into and the bike stolen.
He said: “I was devastated. I’m 48 and I stood in the garage and was close to tears.
“I’d washed it and polished it - I was like a kid at Christmas.
“I went from really excited to distraught that it had gone.
“You go from thinking everything’s getting better and then suddenly it’s not.”
He added: “I guessing someone has seen me bring the bike home in the car and loading it in the garage.
“The bike would be very desirable to thieves and probably worth a couple of thousand.
“It was a personally-built bike. I bought the frame and then got the best wheels, the best gears and so on. I imagine it will have been sold on very quickly.
“The sad thing is I got that bike four years ago after another was stolen in Lower Penwortham. I think there’s a warning to be made for people with nice bikes in the area.”
Mr Johnson, who works for the Local Heroes Foundation, said he has reported the theft to the police but nobody has been caught and the bike is still missing.
He is now scouring online auction sites looking for a replacement bike ahead of the mini-triathlon.