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Bike stolen in Portland after 3,000 mile charity ride

Posted by on September 7th, 2010 at 10:41 am

Paul and “Buttercup”.
(Photo: BikeFree.org)

[via KOIN-TV]

Paul Lebelle and Adam Burkowske arrived in Portland on Saturday afternoon after biking over 3,000 miles on their “Bike Free” charity ride. The duo are on a mission to provide bicycles to children of people in the military. Unfortunately their plans are on hold because Paul’s Cannondale touring bike was stolen last night.

Here’s what Lebelle told KOIN:

“We were going to head out to one of the arts festivals here on Labor day, then decided we wanted to eat a bagel first so we made the bagel, popped back outside and the bike was gone.”

Lebelle has filed a police report and has created a Stolen Bike Listing, but so far they’ve had no luck getting it back.

Lebelle has posted more about the theft on BikeFree.org:

“My trusty Cannondale bike – she took me over 3500 miles from Maryland to Oregon – and she was a beauty.

I’m not sure what we’re going to do, but I know that Adam and I must complete our journey and carry out the Bike Free mission.

Some way, with God’s help, we’ll overcome this selfish deed, get bikes to the kids, and continue spreading the word about the goodness of bikes.”

Paul emailed this morning and said all their plans are on hold right now. “We can’t make our journey without the bike. Can’t even get around town… Not sure where we’ll be staying – everything is up in the air.”

Keep your eyes peeled for a 2010 green Cannondale T2 with Specialized Avatar saddle, Top Contact Continental tires, blue handlebar grip tape, silver Shimano clipless pedals (half platform/half clip), 3 black water bottle cages, rear rack, cycle computer, large rectangle “Never Stop Riding” sticker on top tube, Yellowstone National Park sticker on downtube.

The bike was stolen between 1:00 and 3:00 pm near the 4600 block of NE Grand Ave. If you see the bike call the police and then call Paul at (443) 310-9096.

Here’s a video that ran on KGW TV:

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  • Allan September 7, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I feel really bad for these folks. I think that a lackadaisical attitude towards locking bikes is built up on riding across the country, and then entering civilization again, you are especially susceptible to getting your bike stolen.

    Good luck.

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  • John Lascurettes September 7, 2010 at 11:25 am

    15-20 minutes?? You expect an unwatched bike to still be there in a city after that much time? And these guys are from Baltimore. They should have known better.

    It’s just around the corner from me, so I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

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  • Spiffy September 7, 2010 at 11:29 am

    no mention of a lock so we’re left to assume that there isn’t one…

    at least I don’t have to be on the lookout since they’ve got god’s help…

    but yeah, should be easy to spot a bike with that many bottle cages… and a fresh coat of spray paint…

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  • wsbob September 7, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Slow download makes it difficult for me to watch the video. No lock?

    “…since they’ve got god’s help… …” spiffy

    uh-oh. that figures. Leave it all up to god. To some extent, it was a miracle that the guy who had his prototype folding bike stolen out of his back yard, eventually was able to get it back. Another one will probably be required to get this guy’s bike back.

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  • Jim F September 7, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I wouldn’t leave my bike unlocked INSIDE my house, never mind in front. Not for a second. Expensive lesson learned here.

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  • K'Tesh September 7, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Death to bike thieves!

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  • peter September 7, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    These guys biked all across the country and never had a problem until they reached portland. Whoever stole their bike should be ashamed of themselves. These guys are out there trying to make a difference. **insult to another commenter deleted**

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  • Caitlin September 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Got a lot of self-righteous people here.
    You’re right Peter – these guys are from Baltimore, gave up their cars years ago, biked across the country, hung out with bikers at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, met good people all across the country … staying at a house with steeo stairs up to the front porch ……. and they’re in Portland – supposedly a bike-friendly town.

    The thief is to blame and it must have been one person or the other guy’s bike would have been stolen too. It was a heartless and evil act. And you guys are blaming the victim?

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  • Justin September 7, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Ran in to get lunch yesterday with a friend (who drove). Had my carbon Giant TCR locked to her roof rack, came back out a few minutes later and it was gone.

    Then after getting home I turned on the tv and literally the first thing I saw was this story on the commercial for the upcoming news…

    Sad day. Hope he finds his bike (hope I find mine too).

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  • Bjorn September 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I havn’t heard of a bike stolen that was locked with a decent u-lock in quite some time. I get made fun of sometimes by people for being so uptight about locking my bike but I still haven’t lost one. Not that I don’t think the cops should be doing more bike thief stings and such but if you leave your bike out in front of your house unlocked for the better part of a half hour sympathy may be hard to find.

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  • Caitlin September 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    These guys had a bike stolen fo god’s sake. What is wrong with some of you?
    Sympathy is hard to find? Maybe some of you have never trusted others – yes, it’s sure to be a disappointment – but the onus is on the one who does harm not on the one who trusts. Maybe some of you don’t realize that lack of compassion, empathy, and sympathy are traits of sociopaths and narcissists?

    These are guys who are spreading the goodness of bicycling to others. So what’s the problem? They believe in God? WHAT??????!!!!!

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  • Jerry_W September 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Sad to hear this, Oregon is thick with bike thieves. Sorry this had to happen here, I’m ashamed.
    Hope they can get a replacement soon and carry on the project.

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  • wsbob September 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Believing in god can be a fine thing. If these guys do, and are allowing that belief to direct them towards doing something good for other than themselves…great!

    Even so, people need to use the common sense god gives them to take simple precautionary security measures, such as slapping a u-lock on their bike if it has to be left unattended in places where thieves may be at work. It’s not as if the big person is able to be wandering around with a bag full of u-locks, and the time to stop to secure the bikes of people that don’t.

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  • kiki September 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    my bike was stolen a few years ago, and i thought filling out a stolen bike report (including serial #) with the police would be enough to get it back… no.

    do the legwork yourself and call all the pawn shops in town. i bet the bike thief took it to the first pawn shop he came across. that’s what happened in my case.

    good luck.

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  • CaptainKarma September 8, 2010 at 1:19 am

    My mama always told me, “god helps those who help themselves”.

    ‘course, in this case someone helped themselves, allright. So I’m confused.

    “What if God was one of us
    Just a slob like one of us
    Just a stranger on the bus…”
    (lyrics by Joan Osbourne)

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  • Spiffy September 8, 2010 at 6:49 am

    we’re not blaming him for being a victim, we’re blaming him for leaving an expensive item outside and not being more cautious and protective of it…

    many of us would love to have that bike and we’re taken aback that somebody might be so careless with it as to possibly having left it unlocked in the front of a house…

    we’re all hoping they get their bike back and continue on their mission…

    we all like to put our trust in people, but I’m not trusting a stranger with $1600 that I need… that’s just foolish…

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  • Amos September 8, 2010 at 7:20 am

    KGW is reporting that a kind Portland citizen stepped up and donated hers to replace it. Way to be, Portland.

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  • John Wayne September 8, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I wonder why the police don’t just stick a transmitter on a bike and lock it up with a u-lock downtown. The only kind of person that would be able to bust this like would most likely be a professional bike thief. They couldn’t bust the thief for that particular infraction, but at least they would know who the perps are, and, in best case scenario, be lead to a chop shop.

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  • wsbob September 8, 2010 at 9:45 am

    “…many of us would love to have that bike…” spiffy #16

    Most of the Cannondale’s I’ve seen have beautifully contoured joints (I forget the exact phrase to describe that part of a bikes’ construction). They’re beautiful bikes.

    Amos, thanks for the notice about the person donating her bike so these guys can get on down the road.

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  • Spiffy September 8, 2010 at 10:41 am

    another article I read said that Cannondale was shipping a new bike to them…

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  • Duncan September 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    It isnt that I dont feel bad- but
    They left their bikes unlocked
    In a city… and they are surprised? Really?

    My friends in NYC dont leave their bikes locked outside with Ulocks lest they come back to find it gone, in SF a friend of mine locked her bike up by the front wheel and fork long enough to get some water from a corner store, and came back to find her rear wheel gone. Portland does have bike thieves certainly, but it could be worse.

    Actually I am reminded what a friend of mine from Baltimore said “in [Baltimore] we wouldnt take our trash out the night before because someone would steal the garbage can. and leave the garbage” it could be a lot worse frankly.

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  • are September 8, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    joan osborne had the hit single, but the song was written by eric bazilian

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  • DDeeebo September 9, 2010 at 7:13 am

    How much do you think he made off of royalties? I bet it was like, a bazilian dollars.

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  • carlos September 9, 2010 at 10:03 am

    How dare they come to portland and believe in a higher power! You people are as bad as the nuts on oregonlive.

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