JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – British bike makers Brompton is seeking help from Indonesian Brompton communities in recovering a limited-edition bike stolen from a health worker in the UK and was advertised for sale in Indonesia.
The unit is among a thousand manufactured by Brompton for its Wheels For Heroes program.
Brompton sent the request in a letter to the founder of Brompton Owner Group of Indonesia (BOGI), Baron Martanegara. Upon receiving the letter from James Ku, Senior Asia Marketing Executive at Brompton, Baron then posted it on BOGI Facebook account on July 15.
For Brompton, the Wheels For Heroes (WFH) bikes are important because they are meant for health workers who are on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19, and they are not for sale. The production of these particular bikes used crowdfunding raised by the company and the people in the UK.
“We want to inform you that the bike advertised for sale in Indonesia is a stolen bike from a health worker in the UK,” said James in the letter.
The bike has a crime number report and is listed on the stolen bike register in the UK.
"We ask the Brompton communities, including in Indonesia, to provide further information about this incident."
"Brompton hopes the bike can be recovered and to be used again by the health workers in the UK," he said. “We sent this letter to get support from the Brompton communities in Indonesia in identifying and securing the bicycle."
"We hope this message can be disseminated through social media networks such as the BOGI Community and Brompton Explore."
The screenshot of the letter immediately went viral and drew attention from BOGI members. Many responded to the Facebook post, asking who and which advertisement Brompton was referring to. One comment inquired how the bicycle entered Indonesia.
At the time of publication, Kompas.com has not located the online advertisement. There was one WFH bike that was advertised for sale on the Internet but it was not the stolen bike because it advertised an old 2010’s edition similar to the wheel-for-heroes bike.
Many commenters said the online advertisement had already been removed.
Wheels For Heroes
The Wheel For Heroes Program started on March 16, 2020, when the Brompton Bike Hire, a cycle hire scheme for both short and long-term, explored collaboration with St Barts Hospital and NHS in London. The initiative was aiming at providing bicycles for the Covid-19 frontline health workers so that they could get to work without taking public transportation.
The free bike hire was well-received by the medical workers. At the beginning of the program, 500 bikes were quickly found takers. The turnout was unexpected until Brompton had no more bikes for the rental services.
Based on this, the company took the initiative to carry out the Wheels For Heroes campaign by raising 318,000 pounds ($400,000) from 1,815 donors, both individuals and companies.
Brompton CEO Will Butler-Adams then offered the privilege of naming a bicycle to anyone who would more than 250 pounds.
Some donors chose their names while others put the names of special people in their lives. Some names were taken after the doctors and nurses working at the NHS.
A song title by an American singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie “Your Smile Cured Me” was also engraved on the mainframe of the Wheels For Heroes series bike.
The names of these donors were also written on the wall of honor at the Brompton factory in Greenford, London.
The Wheels For Heroes series also gets a unique touch on its design. The bikes are painted in white and light blue and have Wheels For Heroes sticker on the mainframes. These bikes should not be trade and will be entirely dedicated to humanitarian workers.
Its official website stated that the Wheels For Heroes initiative will continue to support health workers practicing a healthy lifestyle by cycling.
"We are working with the NHS Trusts to ensure these bikes have a legacy after the pandemic and will continue to be used by the NHS staff and take the benefits of long-term cycling,” it Brompton said on its website.
(Editor: Glori K. Wadrianto)
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