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Ghost bike returned, thief ‘truly sorry’

Brett's ghost bike is back-3.jpg
The bike is back, with a letter from the thief.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Yesterday’s case of the mysterious disappearance of Brett Jarolimek’s ghost bike at N. Interstate and Greeley has come to an unexpected close.
Just a few hours after my story, I got an email and a phone call from local TV news crews who had sent reporters out to investigate. They were surprised to find the ghost bike back in its place. But the interesting thing is that, wedged into the rear wheel of the bike is a note from the thief that reads:

“I sincerely apologize for what I have done- I did not realize what it was until after the fact. I know that there is a war between pedestrians/ bicyclists and automobiles, and what I did constitutes high [t]reason, and for this I am truly sorry. I return this bike, along with one of my most cherished possessions [which I think is a blue bandanna visible in the photo below] in respect to your memorial, and as a guarantee that your efforts have impacted at least one life; mine – Bradford (The one who stole this bike)”

I have no idea who Bradford is, but this is one of the strangest things I’ve ever covered. Here are a few more photos I took this morning.

In a message posted to the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) email list, Rick Johnson says if Bradford needs a bike so badly, perhaps the community should help him get one. He writes,

“I suggest we consider helping get him a bike of his own. Oftentimes when people are at a tipping point in their lives all it takes is the smallest action to change their course for the better. Perhaps this is one such case.

I feel I should also point out that as a group we, the cycling community, are quick to rise up in anger and indignation when one of our own is wronged. It might be good to display selflessness, charity and forgiveness sometimes as well.”

Others on the list are chiming in with support and donations for the idea. I’ll keep you posted…

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