Wednesday 23 May 2012

Vandals Attack Ghost Bike, Bournemouth Daily Echo

The ghost bike and flowers left as a memorial on the Wareham by-pass where Rob Jefferies was struck
THE memorial ‘ghost bike’ tribute to Poole Wheelers cycling legend Rob Jefferies has been attacked by vandals, it has emerged.

Friends of the popular married dad-of-one contacted the Daily Echo after the white-painted cycle, chained to a road sign near the spot of Rob’s fatal accident, was targeted.

According to witnesses, who passed the memorial, the handlebars were wrenched to one side and the saddle stolen.

Mr Jefferies’ friend Charles Hobbs, the man who provided the bicycle for the roadside memorial, said: “What I find hard to understand is that whoever did this actually went out of their way and crossed the road. The bike had certainly taken a kicking.”

The cycle tribute is chained to a road sign on a grass verge alongside the A351, close to scene of Mr Jefferies’ fatal accident last May.

Mr Jefferies, who was well known in the UK cycling world, suffered fatal injuries after being struck by a car driven by a teenage college student.

This 18-year-old Wareham man later admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to a community order.

Mr Hobbs, who runs a cycle shop in Swanage, said: “Rob was a friend of mine and used to help out in the shop. My first reaction to news that the ghost bike had been vandalised was one of anger.

“Having said that, it has been there a year and I don’t know of any other bikes that have been chained up that amount of time and been left alone.”

The damage to the memorial has since been repaired.

During the court proceeding following her husband’s death his widow paid tribute to ‘a lovely dad and fabulous step-dad’.

She added: “I cannot make up for their loss. We were looking forward to a change in our life together.”

Mr Jefferies, who was in his 40s, helped found the Wareham Forest Race. He was also a member of Poole Wheelers cycling club.

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