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Man in Canada reunited with bicycle - 28 years after it was stolen outside pub

Owner hopes to get bicycle back in working order then give it away

A cyclist from British Columbia, Canada, has been reunited with his stolen bike 28 years after it was taken from outside a pub in the province’s capital, Victoria.

The 10-speed Norco bicycle was handed into police in November, and owner Tony Roche, aged 49 who lives in nearby Esquimalt, picked it up last month, reports the Goldstream Gazette.

Describing the moment he saw his bike again, he reflected: “It all came back. Man, that was a long time ago. He joked that being reunited with his bike was “Kind of exciting, not Lotto exciting,” adding that the story had “a twist to it for sure.”

The bike, which had been a present from his older brother, disappeared after Roche, then aged 21, had ridden with a friend to a pub in Douglas Street.

He admitted that the pair were mystified when they emerged to find that one of the bikes was gone.

“Mine was locked and my buddy’s, which was a way better bike, wasn’t,” he explained Roche. “We were killing ourselves [laughing]. Why would they take the locked one? That’s the irony of it.”

Police have no idea where the bicycle has been for the best part of the last three decades, and traced Mr Roche through the serial number on the frame.

However, when his wife told him his bike had been found, his first thought was for his electric bike, which had fallen prey to thieves recently.

Whoever has had custody of the bike since it was stolen 28 years ago hasn’t lavished much attention on it, although Mr Roche is hoping to get it back on the road and find a new – legitimate – owner for it.

“I’m going to throw some money at it if it’s worth fixing and then donate it,” he said. “I’m sure some kid will say, ‘Wow, this is cool.’

“Maybe all his friends will have brand new BMXs and his will be an original.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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