Rostrevor mountain bike centre has been hit by bike thieves for the second time in a month, leaving the business at risk of closure.
Thieves targeted the bike hire shop on Friday night and stole 13 bikes that were designed to replace the 20 stolen at the end of June. The original bikes had been replaced with a fleet of Nukeproof Scout and Vitus Sentier hardtails and Vitus Escarpe/ Dominer full susses, which had been supplied with help from Chain Reaction Cycles, but the bike shed’s shutters were forced open and these too are now missing.
Ian Cumming, 34, who runs the centre with his brother and sister-in-law, estimates the company has lost £40,000 from the two break ins. He told the Belfast Telegraph: “It’s just coming into peak mountain biking season, so it’s the worst possible timing. It’s hay season and we’re not making hay, so it’s worrying.
“At the end of the day no one was hurt and it’s just bits of metal, but those bits of metal are my business.
“We’ll have to sit down and think about what the centre’s future will be, but mountain biking is in our family and we would be devastated if we had to stop what we are doing.”
Ian is also worried that tourists will seek trails elsewhere while no bike hire is available and that the thefts will put locals off from using the trails for fear of having their own bikes stolen.
The PSNI appealed to witnesses or anyone who has any information or is offered a mountain bike for sale in suspicious circumstances to contact to contact Police at Ardmore on the non-emergency number 101.
Alternatively, information can be passed on anonymously through independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Rostrevor was also targeted by trail saboteurs this month who laid traps on stage one of the Vitus First Tracks Enduro.