Robbery leaves charity cyclist without a ride
A 4000-kilometre charity ride across Japan is at risk after a late night robbery in Hamilton left a Dunedin man bikeless.
Just 12 weeks out from his departure to Japan, Paul Gourlie, 60, had his $2000 bike stolen.
It was locked in a Hamilton East garage on Friday night but by morning, when Gourlie went to check on it, it was gone.
"Somebody took it from the garage, which is devastating because we had it locked and secured."
Gourlie planned to ride from Hokkaido to Kyushu to raise awareness of a United Nations peace symbol, the World Peace Bell and was in Waikato to build towards the tour.
"I'm just trashed at the moment. It would be really, really cool to get that bike back."
It took time to get the bike personalised and fitted for touring and it would take a mammoth effort to get another one up and running in time.
"It's taken the best part of 18 months to get that bike ready," he said. "Now I'm just frustrated . . . with a pannier bag and a helmet and a map and that's not a great way to ride."