An adventurer who cycled across three continents was the victim of bike theft the first time he rode through Reading.

A £1,000 bike and £250 of camping gear was stolen from outside the Hope Tap in Friar Street on Tuesday, five metres from where Josiah Skeats was sitting.

The 29-year-old expedition leader, who spent three years cycling from England to Australia, chased the thief for half a mile before giving up.

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“I was absolutely devastated,” said Mr Skeats, who was introducing his girlfriend, Lorna Eaton-Brown, to multi-day cycling via the King Alfred’s Way route, which passes through Reading.

“It was doubly painful because of all the countries that I’ve cycled through – particularly places where people had warned me that they had a bad reputation, that I was going to be a victim of theft or crime there – and you just don’t really expect it in Reading.

“Unfortunately that was the end of the tour.”

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Mr Skeats and Ms Eaton-Brown were sitting inside the Weatherspoon’s pub drinking coffee and watching their bikes which were propped against the outside of the window.

Reading Chronicle: Lorna Eaton-Brown hours before the theftLorna Eaton-Brown hours before the theft

Suddenly a man ran up and jumped on one of them at around 1.30pm. Police are investigating the incident.

“We’ve lost the gear investment but it has also rocked our confidence a little bit.”

He said he was suddenly doubting whether he was able to cycle safely, including on his next tour of South America this winter.

The adventurer has previously ridden from England to Australia between 2015-2018 and sailed both the Atlantic and Indian oceans.

Thames Valley Police asked anyone with information to call 101 or make a report online quoting reference number 43220213517.