Northern Ireland

The Moped Diaries: charity trip duo appeal for help

Luigi Ferrario waiting for train
Image caption Luigi waits for the train after his bike was destroyed

A father and daughter raising money for charity by riding 2,600km on mopeds are appealing for help after thieves wrecked their bikes.

Dr Maria Angela Ferrario and her father, Luigi, were travelling from Italy to Londonderry when their bikes were stolen from the private car park of a hotel in Strasbourg on Saturday night.

French police spotted the thieves and chased them down.

While the bikes were recovered, they had been vandalised and were no longer road-worthy.

The pair also lost most of their spare clothing when the bikes were taken.

Last resort

Maria and her father are planning to carry on with their trip by train, bus or whatever means possible.

After journeying by train from Strasbourg to Luxembourg on Sunday, they are currently en route to Bruges in Belgium.

Although they would prefer to borrow two bikes from a kind-hearted philanthropist, they are prepared to share one bike or even moped-hop using different bikes each day.

"A friend on Facebook offered to ask a moped club in Derry for two bikes for the Northern Ireland leg. Moped-hopping is our last resort," Maria said.

"However, we are hoping to get a lend of another scooter of whatever make, shape or year. Any help at all is welcome."

On Wednesday 4 August, Dr Ferrario, who moved from Italy to Ireland 15 years ago, embarked on the trip with her 73-year-old father.

The 2,600km journey takes in five walled cities, a mountain pass 2km above sea level and the Isle of Man TT track.

Dr Ferrario is using the journey to raise money for Parkinson's UK in memory of her mother Rosetta who fought the disease for 30 years.

Image caption Luigi waits for the train after his bike was destroyed

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