Bike back in nick of time
Kim Hurst is thanking her lucky stars for social media and the good sorts in the Upper Hutt community.
The national cyclocross champion’s racing bike was stolen off her car on August 30, just over a week before she was due to fly to the United States for a series of races, including two world cup events.
Thanks to the power of social media site, Neighbourly, and some detective work by her local community, Hurst’s bike is back with its rightful owner.
When she discovered her bike had been stolen from the locked roofrack on her car outside her work in Silverstream, panic began to set in at the thought of not having it back in time to race.
‘‘It was just bad timing. It’s the only bike of its kind in New Zealand. It was going to be impossible to replace 11 days before the race.’’
After reporting the theft to the police and a frantic search through nearby streets, Hurst took to social media to appeal for information.
The breakthrough came after one of her posts was shared on Neighbourly by another cyclist, John Keene.
‘‘[The posts] were all over Facebook and I thought we needed something more targeted, more local, so I thought of Neighbourly,’’ he said.
The post was seen by many Upper Hutt residents, one of whom spotted a person riding the bike through Silverstream and quickly posted a picture of it on Neighbourly.
‘‘As soon as I saw the photo on Neighbourly, I thought we had a chance at getting [the bike] back,’’ said Hurst.
Jen Mahoney saw the distinc- tive green bike being ridden in Trentham and confronted the young rider.
After contacting the police, Mahoney tailed the rider in her car with her son in the back, but lost them. The bike was recovered by the police that afternoon.
‘‘I’d hope anyone would have done the same,’’ said Mahoney.
Hurst was ‘‘over the moon’’ with the return of her bike.
‘‘It’s fantastic, we couldn’t have done it without the community. It took social media, the police and some people in the right place at the right time to get it back.
‘‘I’m really grateful for the good deeds of others.’’
Unfortunately the bike did not make it through the ordeal unscathed, with the thief putting a crack in the carbon-fibre frame while wrenching the bike out of the locked rack.
Hurst’s sponsor, Niner, will replace the frame once she gets to the United States.
Hurst will be competing at the Rochester Cyclocross Festival, Jingle Cross and Waterloo races in the US. She is hoping for a top 30 in either of the last two races, which would give her entry into the World Championships in the Netherlands next year.