Canadian Cyclist


June 20/02 8:47 am - Kona Bikes and Equipment Stolen

Posted by Editoress on 06/20/02

Kona Bikes and Equipment Stolen

While on enroute from NORBA 2 to NORBA 3, the Kona van and trailer were stolen (later recovered) and all of the contents removed. Mike Geraci, Base Camp Communications, sent this description of the experience and asks for assistance in finding the items and the culprits. You can contact Michael at 307-734-7575

Faith in Humanity (and most of my worldly possessions)

There weren't Little Pink Houses everywhere, but the hamlet of Plymouth, Indiana seemed like a nice enough place to get some horizontal time. We had been driving late, to make up some time between the Alpine Valley, Wisconsin NORBA event and the next event in Snowshoe, West Virginia. I was driving the big truck for SRAM and Steve Ziegler, who helps me at these events, was driving my van and trailer. Tracy Moseley, a swell gal from Great Britain and also a recent World Cup downhill winner for Kona, was riding shotgun in the SRAM vehicle with me. As we approached Plymouth through an open stretch of cornfields (yawn), a Super 8 Motel billboard effectively did it's job, and Steve came on the radio " . . . how 'bout stoppin here". I retorted with a big "ten-four good buddy" and Tracy concurred in her usual polite English manner.

We pulled into the parking just before midnight, made sure everything was secure and then checked into the hotel. Early the next morning, I awoke hastily from a haze of dreams, that I think involved Marla Streb and a trapeze, to the annoying tones of my wireless phone ring. It was 5 a.m., and the caller ID indicated that it was my mother.

I knew that my mom usually woke up early, and I thought that maybe she didn't realize how everybody else didn't. I neglected to answer that call, but another call came just a few minutes later, before I could get back to Marla. I didn't recognize the phone number, but tried to answer anyway. Unfortunately, my phone has been accidentally dropped in the toilet too many times, and I couldn't get it to answer.

I decided to retrieve my voice messages using the hotel phone and heard my mother's nervous voice telling me that my van had been found abandoned in a cornfield somewhere in Indiana. The police had run my tag, and tracked that to my parent's phone number. Consequently, another message on my voice mail was the police, whom I phoned shortly after making a call to mom telling her that I was o.k. The police asked where I was staying, and they would send officers over.

I announced to the dark hotel room "uh guys . . . my van and trailer have been stolen". Steve and Tracy awoke with disbelief, and we gathered and waited in the lobby for the police. They didn't come for several hours, because they were looking at a Super 8 Motel in the next county, where my van had been abandoned. In the meantime, I looked around in the parking lot where my van used to be. I found a fresh pile of cat crap in the parking lot near where the van was. Usually, finding cat crap is not a noteworthy experience, but since my cat Jack was sleeping in his bed in the van the last time I saw him, I was overjoyed. We combed the parking lot and adjacent businesses, and sure enough, Steve found him comfortably sleeping in a broken piece of furniture by the hotel's dumpster. Whew!

Because the police couldn't find us for those few hours, they impounded the vehicle to the Hee-Haw-esque establishment of Bud's Towing and Wrecker. After the police finally figured out where we were staying, I talked to two uniformed officers that were about seemed as intelligent as a bag of hammers. We hadn't seen the vehicle yet, so we couldn't tell them what was missing or what damage had been done, etc. Eventually we got directions to Bud's and loaded up in the SRAM vehicle.

Ron, the owner of Bud's Towing and Wrecker, opened the gates and pointed to our vehicle, while remorsefully shaking his head. The driver's door lock had been punched through, and the steering column was torn to pieces. The interior of the van, which had a couch that converted to a bed, was completely trashed and all of the contents removed. The dash was torn apart and the passenger airbag was missing. Pancake mix, which was one of the food items that I had in the van, was strewn about the interior. All of Steve and Tracy's personal items, save for the clothes they were wearing, and a couple of items that they brought in the hotel, were now gone. Tracy's passport and cash prize money from the weekend . . . gone. Of course, the five bikes we were carrying in the van, gone. All of my tools, spare parts, work stands and supplies, gone. The entire contents of the trailer, which was mostly items that I help Michelin transport from event to event, gone. Essentially, most everything that I need to have my business function, gone. Police detective showed up at the impound, once I sternly informed them of the magnitude of the theft. They were nice enough fellas that asked a lot of questions, took pictures, prints and notes. They also took a dry erase board that was mounted on the trailer door back to the "lab" for analysis. The previously blank board now read "Thanks!" with a smiley face drawn below. Once the detectives had left, we cleaned up the van somewhat and I paid the $125 impound fee. Ron was nice enough to throw a screwdriver in the deal that jammed nicely into the ignition, so we could drive away. So, if you see any of the unique items listed below at a flea market or anywhere else, give me a ring:

Team Kona Mt. Bikes (2)
- full suspension, w/ the King Kikapu design
- team colors, navy blue and red w/ "Kabush" and "Wedge" respectively on
the top tubes
- custom (these bikes only) cable stops on down tube for Fox lock out
- custom (these bikes only) gusset between the non-drive side seat and
chain stays
- full Shimano XTR group w/ Race Face seat post, stem, bars and headset
- shiny red & silver Tioga saddle

Schwinn Madison Track Bike
- custom red & black paint with "Conundrum Cycling" on the downtube and
"Robin" on the top tube
- Campy Record track cranks
- custom Vicious Cycles fork
- rare steel Kiron bars
- red Chris King headset

Kona Kapu Scandium Road Bike
- custom red & black paint with "Conundrum Cycling" on the downtube and
"Robin" on the top tube
- full Shimano Durace group w/ downtube, Lance style, shifter for front
- Reynolds carbon fork, Easton carbon bars, custom titanium seatpost

Cannondale Cad3 Mt. Bike
- black w/ red & yellow decals
- Marzocchi suspension
- Sun Ringle S.U.V. wheelset

Tools & Equipment
- custom bicycle repair stands with Park Tools clamp and Ultimate
Support folding base (x5)
- Snap-On yellow, plastic, 5 drawer tool case choked w/ specialty
bicycle tools custom fit to foam cut outs
- Howe professional tool case, yellow, w/ DeWalt cordless drill &
specialty tools
- Park Tools TS-2 wheel truing stands (x2)
- dozens of Plano boxes with small parts
- dozens of red bins with bicycle parts, cleaning and shop supplies,

Michelin Products and Equipment
- an arse load of downhill, mt. bike & road tires and tubes
- colorful Bib jerseys, t-shirts, caps, socks, buttons, stickers,
banners and other soft goods
- 10x20 blue & yellow tent and frame
- unique blue table covers
- small compressor

Kona Equipment
- brand spankin' new 10x20 black & blue tent and frame w/ sidewalls
- loads of stickers and banners
- tiki lights

Sun Ringle Equipment
- 10x10 tent tops (x2), black, red & silver
- several wheelsets, pedals, skewers and a small parts kit
- banners


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