Nearly two years after her prized triathlon bike was stolen, South Surrey’s Jackie Davidson is reacquainting herself with the customized cycle – and she has the gut instincts and determination of a complete stranger to thank.
“He knew that she was something sweet and there was a story behind (her),” Davidson said this week of the Maple Ridge man who recently found “Tiffany” in Cloverdale.
“It’s just the best news.”
The blue-and-white Trek Speed Concept 9.8 – a gift from Davidson’s husband for her 50th birthday in 2012 – was stolen from the couple’s Ocean Park garage during an early-morning break-in in April 2015.
Fitted specifically to the petite Davidson – who said she is “five-foot-two, on a good day” – it had been in the back of her Mercedes at the time, and disappeared along with the car and “thousands of dollars in consumer electronics.”
Davidson said she spent more than a year searching for the bike, which is worth about $12,000; visiting pawn shops and the like in the hopes it would turn up, to no avail.
“Basically, about eight months ago, I knew that it was time to move on… just was resigned that I was never going to see the bike again.”
And then on Valentine’s Day, she received a Facebook message.
“He said, ‘I think I might have some good news for you’,” Davidson said of the note from Steven James.
Davidson was doubtful until she saw a photo of the bike James had bought from a man he came across on a Cloverdale street.
“The next day, I went to get the bike,” Davidson said. “I couldn’t stop hugging him and I told him he restored my faith in humanity.”
James, 34, told Peace Arch News he knew when he saw the bike that mid-December day that it wasn’t where it belonged.
“I just knew it wasn’t supposed to be in this guy’s hands,” he said, describing the man who had it as taller than six feet and carrying a backpack.
The man was asking $500 for the bike, but settled for $200.
After weeks of unsuccessfully searching stolen-bike registries online, James came across a 2015 PAN article that detailed the theft. Further searching on Facebook eventually led him to Davidson.
James said it never occurred to him to keep the bike for himself.
“Things like that, you try to get right back for them,” the young father said. “It just felt like the right thing to do.”
Davidson, who rides for San Diego-based Team Soas Racing, has numerous Ironman races under her belt, not to mention a strong finish in the 2010 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. She rode Tiffany in Kona in 2013.
While Tiffany’s theft took some of the shine out of her enthusiasm to race – “I had the worst year,” Davidson said – now that the bike is back, she said she feels renewed.
“The dream is that she’ll come to the Big Island with me again,” Davidson said.
“Bring on 2017. I’m ready.”