Friend noticed stolen road bike in Knaphill
After hearing of Lauren’s plight, driving instructor Phil Gunney amazingly spotted what he believed to be her stolen racer just a day later, at around 3.30pm on Monday last week, while he was out taking a lesson in Blackhorse Road, Knaphill.
“We were just coming to the end of the lesson when I spotted a tall lad pushing a bike along the pavement when I thought, ‘hang on, that’s Lauren’s bike’,” Mr Gunney said.
“I shouted ‘Stop, Stop, Stop’ [to his pupil] and the poor girl must have thought she had done something terribly wrong when I got out of the car and ran off up the road.”
Mr Gunney, 46, who is good friends with Lauren after teaching her to drive while also belonging, handily, to the same cycling club, confronted the youth with the bike and told him he knew it had been stolen and knew of its rightful owner, only to be told the bike had been ‘bought for £50 yesterday’.
After threatening to call the police the youth fled, said Phil, leaving him to place the bike in the car, inform Lauren of its safe retrieval and continue with the lesson. All in a day’s work.
“It’s the kind of thing you look back on and think, ‘I could’ve ended up in the canal there’.
“Thank goodness for my shaved head,” he said.
Ms Godsave added: “I’m so glad it was Phil that found it. If I had seen him [the youth] with my bike, I probably would have just stood there and cried at him.”
She has owned the bike for five years and uses it part-time for Deliveroo, while also taking it on adventures around Europe to Spain and the French Alps and, more recently, Wales.
“When you have something like that taken from you it instantly becomes more sentimental,” she said.