A CHARITY cyclist has made an emotional appeal for the return of his beloved bikes – stolen from outside his home as he ate dinner inside.
Callum Mill, 28, left the distinctive bikes – worth a total of £1,300 – securely padlocked to a railing in his communal tenement stairwell.
But as he spent time with friends in his Dalry flat, brazen thieves were cutting through the lock to steal his pride and joy.
He said: “I was at home, literally feet away, sitting down eating with friends.
“I have been cycling sportives this year to raise money for Gorgie City Farm, where I work, and next year I was planning on cycling sportives to raise money for the Blurt Foundation, another people’s charity.”
Mr Mill only realised the bikes had been taken when he went into the stairwell at around 9pm on his way out to the pub.
He said that neither he nor his friends heard anything suspicious at the time, just the sort of comings and goings typical for a Friday night. He believes bolt-cutters may have been used on the lock and that thieves may have got into the building after the door to the stairwell was left ajar.
One of the bikes is a white Trek 7900 with straight handlebars with silver bar-ends and shotgun cartridges as bar plugs.
This bike, worth around £1000, is particularly important to Mr Mill because it was a gift from his father and helped get him interested in cycling.
The second is a Saracen Urban X3, custom-built with drop handlebars with black bar tape, and a bright yellow bottle cage.
Mr Mill said: “To my knowledge, this is the only bike like this in the world.
“I built it for myself and loved every minute of it, learning how bikes work and inspiring me to learn more about bike mechanics.”
Following the theft, he spoke to a neighbour who claimed to have seen three people, two of whom were on bikes, going along Dalry Road towards Haymarket.
Mr Mill believes they were stolen by people who know little about bikes because they are so unique there is a high chance of the thieves getting caught.
Police Scotland confirmed that officers are investigating the theft and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
Mr Mill, who works as a gardener, is cycling five sportives this year to raise money for Gorgie City Farm.