EUGENE, Ore. -- Thanks to the help of a local biking club, an expensive racing bike that was stolen earlier this week during a cross-country trek has been returned to its rightful owner.
KEZI 9 News was at the Chevron station, 4820 Goodpasture Loop, on Tuesday night when Ben Madden was reunited with his Kestrel 4000 Pro SL. The bike had been recovered by a member of the Eugene Velo Bicycle Club from a homeless man near the Willamette River.
Madden gave all the credit to local biking enthusiasts who fanned out across the city to help him find the bike.
"They networked with people and got them to trust them," Madden said. "And sooner or later somebody came out of the bushes with the bike and said, 'Okay, you can have it.'"
Jeff Green, who tracked down the bike, is a member of Velo. He said he spent Tuesday night riding along the bike path near the river, talking to members of the homeless community. He said he eventually located some individuals who, although they hadn't stolen the bike, knew where it was.
Those individuals were able to get the bike to Green.
Greee said he was "overjoyed" by the outcome.
"(Biking) is a tight-knit community," Green said. "We care about each other and it really tarnishes our reputation to have someone come through our community and lose their bike when they're on such an epic journey."
Madden's bike was stolen on Monday from outside the Safeway grocery store on Coburg Road. At the time, he was about 250 miles into the 4,300-mile Trans Am Bike Race, which started in Astoria and ends in Yorktown, Va.
Madden said he expects to be on the road early Wednesday morning, though he wasn't sure if he'd be riding the Kestrel or a different bike. He said he would have to carefully examine the bike and check its condition before deciding.