March 26, 2014

It Takes a Village to Retrieve a Stolen Bike.


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On February fourth, 2014 my beloved Duzer Cruzer was stolen, I wrote (cried) about it here that same day.

This was the bike that took me across the country at the blazing speed of 15mph during the summer of 2009 and helped me raise thousands of dollars for Community Cycles. This simple New Belgium cruiser wasn’t anything fancy, and that’s why I loved it. It was just a plain old brown bicycle, but it meant a lot to me.

I never thought I’d see my bike again. I’ve had a few stolen in my life and they never came back, gone forever to the land of darkness.

Well my luck all changed last week. I got a call from an unknown number and let it go to voicemail. A few minutes later I listened to the message. “Hey Duzer, this is Jonathan Harp, we’ve met a few times, anyway, I think I’m looking at your bike, gimme a call.”

Like an over-excited orangutan I immediately called back. Jonathan ‘hero-boy’ found the bike leaning against a wall at an apartment complex. He began describing it to me to make sure it was mine.

“It’s a brown New Belgium, black handlebars, beat up fenders, oh and it has an orange Elephant Journal sticker on it.” Ding ding ding! There aren’t many of these limited edition bikes in existence and certainly none of them are decorated with an eye-catching Elephant Journal sticker.

*Side note: Waylon Lewis sneakily put that sticker on my bike at a welcome home party when I returned from my cross country journey. At the time I didn’t want any stickers on my bike, I wanted to keep it clean and classic. Little did I know that five years later the little orange sticker would become the deciding factor of identifying my bike—thanks Waylon!


I took Jonathan ‘hero-boy’ out for beers this past Saturday where he reunited me with my bike. Truth is, I don’t know Jonathan very well at all, we’d met a few times at cruiser rides but that’s it. He’s just a normal dude who happened to see on Facebook that my bike had been stolen and kept an eye out for it.

The post he saw had 441 likes and 97 comments, by far the most traffic I’ve ever gotten on FB. It seemed like all of Boulder was looking for my bike, Pee Wee Herman style. Jonathan, you win free beers for life buddy!

Here’s the best comment I received after getting my bike back. ‘Moral of the story: don’t steal a bike from a guy with 5,000 friends.’

It certainly takes a village, and I’m forever thankful for all the support from everyone in Boulder for finding my bike.

See you later, I’m off to cruise!

Ryan Van Duzer

Bonus video of my ride across the country.


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Editor: Renée Picard

Photos: courtesy Ryan Van Duzer

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