A RECOVERING heart attack patient’s charity bike ride preparation has received a blow after her bike was stolen from her home in Nether Poppleton.

Anne Dixon survived a heart attack in 2011 and was left with heart failure, and has spent the last three years recovering and building her fitness back up.

She planned to celebrate her recovery by taking part in the Heart of York 22-mile charity bike ride in September for the British Heart Foundation, but her training has been thwarted because thieves took her bike.

Her heart condition means that Anne, 60, cannot risk exercising in cold weather, so the warmer spring air meant she would have been able to start cycling again for the first time in the coming weeks, had her bike not been stolen.

She said: “At the moment, the most I can manage is around the village. My aim had been to be able to ride into town for my hospital appointments, so the 20-mile ride in September would have been a huge challenge for me.”

She is also part of a research project at York St John University, monitoring heart failure patients training for the bike rides.

Anne has already raised more than £700 for the British Heart Foundation this year by asking for donations in lieu of presents for her 60th birthday, holding coffee mornings, and knitting for friends in return for donations.

She had hoped the sponsored bike ride would push her fundraising total over £1,000.

All the cash raised by the bike ride goes towards the Mending Broken Hearts appeal, which funds research into regenerating heart tissue which dies after a heart attack and leaves patients like Anne with permanent impaired heart function and difficulty breathing.

The two stolen bikes, helmets and kit - which belonged to Anne and her husband - were worth more than £1,000. Although insurance will cover the loss, Anne will have to wait weeks before a cycle shop can get hold of a bike small enough for her – meaning her training will be set back by several weeks.

She said: “I was just beginning to build back up to the levels of fitness I had before my heart attack. I have done a lot of work, and was about to be able to get back on the bike for the first time.”