A CHARITY cyclist preparing for an epic voyage is breathing a sigh of relief after his stolen bike was recovered by police.

Jim Bowerman, from Crossways, will cycle over 1,000 miles in 12 days next month as he joins five other riders on the Tour de Prem, a trip round all 20 Premier League football grounds.

Jim – whose fellow riders include brother Andy, brother-in-law Seamus Bowerman-Ellis and Andy’s son Josh – will be raising funds for a football facility in a deprived area of Brazil as part of the Lionsraw movement.

But his plans almost suffered a major setback earlier this week when his bike went missing from outside his home as he was in the process of preparing it for an early morning ride the following day.

Fortunately police were alerted and a man was arrested within hours of the offence and Jim has now had his bike returned to him, although it is slightly damaged. The 41-year-old said: “It was all pretty stressful for a little while.

“I was just preparing it for the next morning and I was just in and out of the kitchen getting it ready when it went missing.”

He added: “I immediately called the police and they had arrested somebody within two to three hours.”

Jim said police had to keet the bike for a while for fingerprint testing but it was soon returned to him and he only missed out on a couple of days’ training.

He said: “It’s slightly damaged but I’m just pleased to have it back.”

Acting inspector Steve Foot, of Dorchester Police, confirmed that the bike had been reported as stolen on the evening of Sunday, March 16 and that shortly afterwards a member of the public alerted officers to a man acting suspiciously.

The male, who is from Bournemouth, was arrested and is currently in custody assisting police with their enquiries.

Father-of-four Jim is back in the saddle and says training is going well having recently completed a 100-mile cycle.

For more details on the Tour de Prem challenge and to sponsor Jim visit tourdeprem.com You can also sponsor the team by texting BRAS14 £10 to 70070.