A Peterborough cycling club has been left heartbroken after thieves stole thousands of pounds worth of equipment and bikes.
The Peterborough BMX Club, which has dozens of members, aged from four to riders in their 50s, had their container unit in Orton Malborne broken into earlier this week, with thieves getting away with bikes, helmets and other safety gear.
Club chairman Ashley Goulding said everyone involved in the club was gutted.
He said: “We have had a shipping container to store our kit for 15 years, with multiple padlocks on.
“We have never had any problems before. I left the container locked at 8pm on Monday. At 9am the next day, I got a call to say teh doors were wide open.
“I went down, and saw they had cut all the padlocks off.
“They had taken seven bikes and a number of helmets.”
Riders at the club cannot ride unless they are wearing a full face helmet and safety gloves.
Six of the bikes taken were children’s BMXs.
Ashley said: “We just had that sinking feeling.
“The club is run by volunteers.
“The track is used on Wednesdays and weekends, and we need the bikes for people who are coming to try the sport, or people who cannot afford a new bike. “We can’t offer the coaching we want to without the bikes.
“People at the club are offering their kit while they are not using it, but we can’t offer what we normally do.”
The club’s riders cover a range of abilities, from complete novices to international riders who have competed at the World Championships.
The six children’s bikes are worth nearly £300 each, with the adult bike worth £450. The eight helmets arw worth about £110 each.
Ashley said: “All of our members are gobsmacked at what happened.
“We are looking to see if we can make some bikes from spare parts - everyone is trying to help.
“If anyone can help, with a donation for us to buy more kit - anything would help us.
“The bikes and helmets are very distinctive, and we have been looking at all the online sale websites to see if we can spot them, but we have had no luck yet.
“If anyone knows who has done this, we would urge them to contact police, or to bring the bikes and kit back to the club.”
Anyone who wishes to help the club should visit www.peterboroughbmxclub.co.uk
Anyone with information about the theft should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.