"Will the owner of a black crewcab Ford pickup, Missouri license number XXX-XXX, please report to the customer service desk" the REI Denver public address speaker repeated, for a second or third time. After finding a few discount rack bargains, and proceeding to the checkout line, John and I noticed Dathan had disappeared. We assumed he'd went to customer service to see what the page was all about.
John and I lingered in the main foyer for a few minutes, then made our way outside and awaited Dathan's return. John's phone rang, it was Dathan, and I watched and listened as his facial expression and tone of voice made the spiral from lighthearted jest to disbelief to anger.
"Somebody stole my bike!" John exclaimed.
Our mountain bike tour of the west was off to a rough start.
John and I made haste to the parking lot where we found Dathan talking with a REI representative. Both of them staring at the cut cable and empty slot on the 4-bike Kuat rack.
|The Grisly Scene|
It's 11:30am, all bright and sunshiny, in the MIDDLE OF DENVER! We paid to park in the semi-secure lot adjacent to the store! Thievery is supposed to happen under the cover of darkness, in seedy out-of-the-way places.
John's Salsa Spearfish had been plucked from rack. The perp cut the cable, and likely pushed the bike over to the nearby rec. trail and rode away.
|The Thief Thought We Might Not Notice|
I hope the thief has flats and saddle sores on every ride from now on!
After several phone calls (police, wife, insurance) the realization settled in. John needed to find another bike. The show must go on. REI offered him a reasonable discount, but didn't have the bike John wanted. We headed over to Wheat Ridge Cyclery and John wasted little time picking out his new ride. While the bike shop prepped the bike we made a trip to the local police station where John filled out the stolen bike paperwork. We did find this helpful flyer in the station waiting area.
With the stolen bike properly reported, we drive back to Wheat Ridge Cyclery and pick up John's new whip. Time was of the essence as we'd planned to do a Leadville ride en route to Grand Junction.
|John's New Ride|
The rack is full again.
We make the beautiful drive down to Leadville, arriving way too late in the day to carry out the pre-ride as planned. We have a couple of hours of daylight and use it to grind our way up St. Kevin. That first climb at +10,000ft. always makes you feel like a diet is in order.
|St. Kevin Scenic Overlook|
|Turquoise Lake Dam|
The mountain air, the beautiful scenery, and bike riding were good for the soul after the day we'd experienced. We made it back to Leadville at dusk, loaded up the bikes and headed toward I-70 by way of Minturn.
It's at this point we're attacked by a psychotic driver........