This stolen bike recovery story comes from our friend and supporter Kevin Schmidt - MSPT, CMP, Cert. BikePT / Physical Therapist, Bike Fitting Specialist at pedalpt.com - and all around awesome guy and a huge supporter of our work here at Bike Index.
Some of you may recognize Kevin from his free-coffee-on-Clinton events, which he invited us to many, many times to help us spread the word. I had a blast hanging out with the @pedalpt folks at these events all summer, so, needless to say we're super excited we helped Kevin get his stolen bike back! Here's the whole story:
On Wednesday, 11/10 at noon, I got a phone call I never thought I’d be receiving. My precious Viva Kilo - which was stolen in July of 2014 - had been found, and the very bike that started everything over here at Pedal PT was finally coming home. Elated, I retuned the gentleman’s call, and spoke to ‘Wes’ about the circumstances and how he came to acquire the bike. From our conversation, it sounds like he had purchased my bike from a neighborhood riffraff kid named “June-Bug” for $80 over a year ago, acknowledging that he new the bike was likely stolen. My bike then assumedly sat idle for a year at his place off of 82nd Ave and Clatsop.
Never thought I'd see this old Viva ever again since stolen on 7/3/14..NOW RETURNED thanks to Bike Index! - @pedalpt
Wes said he recently had some work done on another bike over at BackPedal CycleWorks on SE 72nd and Harold, and spoke to Dave about the Viva, and it’s likelihood of being stolen. Dave looked for it on Bike Index.com, found my post from July 2014, and got Wes my phone number to call me with the great news. I called Dave, just to be sure, who confirmed Wes' story. Later that evening, I drove to meet Wes at his place, the adrenaline pumping in anticipation.
When I arrived, there was no mistaking that this was indeed my bike. The Viva Kilo had been stripped of saddle (Brooks B67s) and seat post, and the headlight/rear reflector had also been removed. Some mild rust spots on wheels/spokes. A random old saddle, and a jerry-rigged seat clamp had been installed (see pic). However, to my surprise, the roller brakes and NEXUS internal geared hub all were in absolutely perfect working order, and the custom fenders and front/back racks, brass bell, and leather handgrips were also left unaltered. No (new) dents, dings or scratches. Wow. I lovingly brought the bike home in my car, and unfortunately had to immediately get to PDX to catch a plane to Orlando for a conference. Yesterday, I finally got a chance to take it all in, clean and polish her up, tighten bolts, and get her closer to getting back to it’s 'pre-stolen' status. I seriously can’t believe my Viva is back home!
With that said, I am SO eternally grateful and thankful to everyone who made this recovery possible. My situation is likely not too extreme, but it took some very heads-up thinking from Dave, and of course without Bryan and the Bike Index.org site, my bike would have likely never been returned. So, my advice: To ANYONE who values their bike, no matter if it’s worth $50 or $5K, take the time now to register your bike on Bike Index.org. It’s 100% free, it takes less than 5minutes, and IT WORKS! Take it from me, getting your stolen bike back is possible, and I’m living proof that the Bike Index system works!"
Just another awesome bike recovery I wanted to share. I'm due to take a victory lap with Kevin sometime soon, so perhaps I'll add some more victory photos later.