A PENZANCE schoolboy whose new bike was destroyed when he was knocked over on his first ride to school is back in the saddle – thanks to a group of kind-hearted Cornishman readers.
Felix Bellamy, from Albert Terrace, had saved up his pocket money and birthday money to buy the £129 mountain bike.
He was making his first solo foray across the prom towards Newlyn School in July when a car parked by the basketball courts at Wherrytown reversed into him.
Eleven-year-old Felix escaped with cuts and bruises, but the bike was damaged beyond repair.
Felix and his family appealed through the pages of The Cornishman for the woman driver involved in the collision to come forward and help pay for a new bike.
She failed to do the decent thing – but a number of good-hearted readers who were touched by the story did.
Talking about it over a pint, locals at the Logan Rock Inn at Treen decided they wanted to do something about it.
They promptly clubbed together and bought Felix a replacement bike.
Another reader, who insisted on remaining anonymous, sent the family a cheque for £100 which they then decided to put to good use – by investing in cycling proficiency lessons.
Now a fully equipped and fully trained Felix has started riding to his new school, Mounts Bay Academy.
Grateful dad Paul Bellamy said the donations had been a big shock.
"It was a real surprise – completely unexpected: just a lovely gesture," he said.
"It was never the intention of the original article. It was just trying to see if the lady involved wanted to come in with us on replacing his bike. It was completely unexpected that other people who read the story would do this.
"I'd really like to thank the lady who sent in her own donation to The Cornishman and refused to be named, too," said Mr Bellamy.
"It was such an incredibly kind thing to do, and we've used her money to pay for Felix's Bikeability lessons, which replaced the Cycling Proficiency Test.
"He's just started at Mounts Bay School and that's a totally different bike ride to the one along the front to Newlyn from Penzance.
"Those lessons will make sure he is prepared for that journey, and his Bikeability instructor actually took him on a dry run last week before he started school so he would be familiar with the journey," he said.
"It's absolutely lovely how everyone has responded to this."
Anita George, landlady at the Logan Rock Inn, said: "We read about what had happened and when the person who knocked Felix over didn't come forward we wanted him to know that there are good people in the world who do do the right thing.
"We talked about it in the bar and decided to do something, so we had a whip-round and one of my regulars, Pete Gibbs, made up the difference so that we could buy Felix a new bike.
"It was a really touching story and we wanted him to know that there are good people out there."