After strolling around Reno, Nevada to do what we’re here for and appreciate the World’s Biggest Little City at the same time, we are finally ready to move on.
But what are we supposed to do now that we’re two bicycles short?
“Bike-less” in Reno
Although it is very easy to get around Reno because of its wide roads, a smaller number of private vehicles[G1] and average travel time of 20 minutes tops, travelling, in general, can be a hassle if you’re used to having bicycles.
Considering that we are a group of five cyclists with only three bikes, there is indeed a problem, mathematically speaking.
If you can recall, I wrote about how Ryan and I lost our bikes while we were out for a refreshing drink at a convenience store in Portland. At the time, we were only cycling for leisure while we await our departure from the biggest city in Oregon and head to Reno.
Although we were able to arrive at the Nevada township and go about without much hassle along the way, it still pains me to think that my bike is being handled by a crook out there, probably being disassembled and sold for scraps.
While it may just be a minor thing for most people, there are certain people, like me, who cherish their bicycles very much.
What Happened After the Bike Theft
To bring you up to speed about what happened, we basically just moved on. Sad as it may be, we never found our precious bikes and were prepared to make do with what we have left.
Upon our arrival in Reno via our service trailer, we decided to visit some of the local bike shops in town. Although this isn’t part of the plan, being “bikeless” while pursuing the Long Road Home Project is unacceptable so I’ve decided to see if I can purchase a new one.
We visited a neighborhood bike shop across Virginia Street from the University of Nevada-Reno. The shop is practically a haven for bike lovers such as myself, so upon entering, I was immediately sucked into shopping for bikes and accessories.
After a while, I didn’t realize that Glenn had been looking for me. Assisted by his wheelchair, he approached me and brought me back to Earth—which, in this case, is the Long Road Home.
It was during this time that the kind lady who seems to be the one in charge of the cash register took notice of us. Asking what kind of bike I’m looking for, she suddenly stopped mid-sentence and inquired about our identities.
After confirming that we are part of the Long Road Home Project, she did something unexpected: she gave me two bicycles from their shop, free of charge.
When I asked if she forgot that she was supposed to payment, she shook her head and explained that it is how she wanted to help with our cause. I was very grateful for this lady and her crew who pumped up our new rides and helped us prepare for the continuation of our 4,200-mile-long journey.
What To Do After A Bike Theft
Bike theft is definitely an event that can bring a cyclist’s spirit down. We at the Long Road Home Project were devastated that such an instance would happen during our quest to deliver awareness and raise funds for our war heroes.
Even so, it is important to know that it isn’t the end of the world. What you need to do, instead, is to pull yourself together and follow these steps for a chance to get your bike back:
Step #1: Report to the Police
Although bike theft isn’t the top of most local enforcement’s priority list, you should still let them know about what transpired to ensure that if they find the bike, it can be returned to you. Be as detailed as you can when reporting the bike theft and include its serial number and description. A photo of the stolen item would help, too.
Step #2: Register Your Stolen Bike to Bike Index
The Bike Index is a non-profit online registry that is very helpful when finding stolen bicycles around the U.S. They are based in Chicago, Illinois, but they have a fully-accessible API that can be used securely.
The best part is, it’s free. So far, the Bike Index has recorded over 60,000 bicycles and aided in the return of almost 3,000 with the help of their partners, including bike shops, bike advocacy groups, and the police.
Step #3: Alert People Through Social Media and Google
After doing the first two steps, it is time to take matters into your own hands by putting up an alert about your stolen bike on social media. This will hinder the thief from selling it nearby or within your online friendship circles.
Also, putting up Google alerts can help in case the crook decides to put it up for sale online. All you need to do is indicate all pertinent information about your bike and switch on several alerts. The search engine will notify you should anything come up.
Safety is the top priority in the Long Road Home Project. Although there are unavoidable instances like this, we are lucky to have a caring and highly-dedicated crew with us on the road. What we can do during such situations is look for the silver lining which, in this case, is the emergence of good Samaritans who support our cause. But before you start to take rides on your bike read this heart disease essay so you’ll make sure that it’s not only fun activity but really healthy.