Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lance Is Lucky

Admit it: A stolen bike or bike parts has happened to you or someone you know at least once. But more often than not, you can file all the missing bike reports in the world and never see your bike again. Especially if it's one with a hefty price tag (I've always wondered who'd really want my beat-up, run-down Costco special anyway). Unless of course you're Lance Armstrong.

I read the news about his time-trial bike being stolen earlier in the week as part of the Tour de California newsreels. "That's a shame," was all I could lament, half thinking that as a sponsored athlete, Armstrong could just as easily get another bike. Granted it might not hold the same personal attachment as the missing Trek Livestrong 1274, but it'd be pretty similar to the original after a few tweaks and adjustments.

The good news is that Armstrong's bike was found and recovered intact on Wednesday. Talk about lucky. I've had a seat and a wheel stolen, only to be replaced by a seat and post that didn't fit and a wheel with a flat tire; someone unbolted my husband's seat and ran off with that, and a friend lost his bike when someone cut the U-lock outside the gym. But as for any of those items turning up, not a thing.

Armstrong also had a pretty good search army looking for his bike. Sure, Cycling News called it the biggest bike theft in history (his bike is valued at $10,000), but the recovery got the general public involved too. According to Fox Sports, a Facebook group "1 Million Citizens Looking for Lance Armstrong's Stolen Bike" has more than 900 members enlisted. Locals were on the prowl too, as the bike was turned into police by a local resident. In Chicago, you can fill out a report with the Chicago Stolen Bike Registry in hopes that your bike is spotted and then returned. As for the parts? Those are almost always gone for good. But at least there's the thought of good faith that something will turn up. And sometimes it does. Photo grabbed from jonlesser at flickr. Posted by Kate

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