Stolen Raleigh Bike Recovered!

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A little worse for the wear, it’s still good to have “Ole’ Blue” back!

This is an unusual story – I had to pass it along.  A couple of months ago, someone came on to Dad’s property, cut a heavy bike cable, and stole the beloved bike, “Ole Blue”.  The mid-1990s Raleigh had been kept in mint condition for  years.  I was sad to see it go and vowed to try and get it back.

This morning I had to run an errand with Dad’s car.  Two friends had advised me that the bike had been spotted numerous times at the Mission of Hope – a place offering free meals to those less fortunate.  Sadly, it is also a hubC200 pic for people with “problems” and is frequently a hot spot for the Cedar Rapids police.

Because of the recent sightings, I started keeping a U shaped lock in the car, figuring it would immobilize the bike if I found it.  That plan succeeded!

As I drove down the street at around 10:30, imagine my surprise when a 30 something guy was riding my Ole Blue right next to me!  The rider went to a convenience store and leaned the Raleigh bike against the wall while he was inside.  I nonchalantly parked the car nearby.  While he was in the gas station, I snapped the Kryptonite type lock in place.  It wasn’t going any where!

When the man came out, I was nice to him but advised he was riding a stolen bicycle.  He said he bought it from a man just ten minutes ago.  (Yeah, right?)  At that point I mentioned he’s been riding it to the mission from time to time and I’ve had friends watching him.   Adding that the police were on their way and that I planned to press theft charges, the individual quickly walked away.

RaleighThe police arrived five minutes later, spoke with me, and got a description of the person.  There were eight ways I could identify the bike as mine.  The cops decided that I was the rightful owner and advised me to take the bike home.

Once in mint condition, this bike has seen a lot of abuse in a couple of months.  Someone put outside hand grips on the handle bars.  The worn seat was taped.  The rear wheel was bent and I had to have it straightened at the bike shop this afternoon.  The right brake lever is damaged – likely from a crash which also marred some of the paint.  Someone even strapped a flashlight to the old headlight bracket.  The cell phone holder was gone.  The luggage rack was removed, too.  It looks like a much different bike now.

Despite the “urban customizations”, it is still the same old Raleigh I’ve ridden for twenty years.  Perhaps during the winter I can restore my faithful two wheeled friend to a little better condition.  But in the meantime, it’s almost a certainty that “Ole Blue” will go to Decorah and will traverse the Trout Run trail.

It’s always fun to hear stories of the good guys winning.  I vowed that I’ll never leave Ole Blue chained up outside again.  It’s good to have her back!  She was missed!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful weekend.

Bradford, the Van Trekker

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