“I was totally shocked and amazed that they were willing to do this, and had the heart to help a complete stranger out.”
— Camille Hook
When 30 year old Concordia neighborhood resident Camille Hook got her high-end, custom wheels stolen off her bike earlier this month, she didn’t think she’d ever get them back. She didn’t. What she got was something much better.
Camille loves riding her bike. She tells us she’s raced and ridden it all over Portland for years and that it has led her to good friends and amazing experiences, so you can imagine how she felt when she came out of work and both her wheels had been taken.
“Everyone has had something taken from them at some point,” she wrote via email, “and it really, really sucks.”
(Photo: Jude Kirstein)
Even though she’s well aware of all the bike theft in town, it was much different when it happened to her. “You never feel prepared for that moment of a very naked and sad looking bike frame that had your favorite wheelset on it.”
Fortunately, Hook quickly reported it to the police, to the OBRA email list, and posted them on our Stolen Bike Listings. While she got a lot of supportive words from friends, she recalled that, “I did not expect to see them again… I figured it was my time as I hadn’t ever had any of my bike equipment stolen.”
But then the power of what Hook calls “the extended family in the cycling community” kicked in.
Paul Guebara, marketing director of rim maker DT Swiss read Camille’s listing and he wanted to help. He contacted friends at Continental Tires (who’s tech rep Matt Slaven lives in North Portland) and local wheel maker Sugar Wheel Works. They’d hatched a plan to get Camille rolling again with a new set of wheels.
Camille couldn’t believe it:
“I was totally shocked and amazed that they were willing to do this, and had the heart to help a complete stranger out. It reiterated to me that there really was an extended family in the cycling community. It was very heart warming and awesome. I feel very lucky, and thank them for reaching out.”
This is what I love about the bike world; it’s absolutely brimming with many, many really good people.
Camille is back on her bike and says she’s now a lifelong customer of the companies that helped her out.
Way to go team!