Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

19 January 2018

Reunited, Two Years Later

In some earlier posts, I bemoaned the fact that stolen bicycles are almost never returned to their rightful owners.  In most cities, if someone takes your bike, you have less than a two percent chance of ever seeing it again.

Since I don't want this blog to turn into a repository of lamentable statistics and depressing stories, I try to draw attention to the outliers and happy endings, whenever I hear about them.

Trevor Pryor

Two years ago, Trevor Pryor was working for Arizona State University in Tempe.  He propped his machine in a hallway for "only a few seconds" while he said good-bye to some co-workers.

Well, "a few seconds" is all a thief needs.  "I turned around and the bike is gone," Pryor recalls.  He checked online marketplaces like Offerup.com and Letgo.com, but found "no real leads."  

His bike

He despaired of ever seeing his bike--"my first  bike I bought with my own money", he explained--again.  That is, until last week, when a friend noticed the bike on the Facebook page of the Bicycle Recovery Action Team (BRAT:  what an acronym!), a group of vigilantes that keeps an eye out for stolen bikes.  

The friend set up a meeting to look at it .  Pryor, accompanied by an ASU police officer, went to a warehouse full of bikes in Tempe.  There, a man wheeled the bike out and the officer intervened.  "Did you know that bike is stolen?," he asked.

The man's boss claimed he bought the bike at a pawnshop and offered to sell it to Pryor for $100 because he "didn't want to take a loss."


Reporters who followed this story went back to that warehouse the other day.  It was full of bikes, but there were no people there.

At least Pryor has his bike back.  Hopefully, other bikes in that warehouse will end up with their rightful owners.

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