Winnipeg cyclist René Bohémier had his purple and pink Fiori bicycle stolen out of his garage two weeks ago and never thought he'd see it again.
Thanks to its serendipitous discovery by the son of Olympia Cycle and Ski owner Brian Burke, Bohémier’s suspicions were happily proven wrong.
U-lock up tight
- 3,000 bike thefts per year
- Only 10 per cent returned to owners
- Use a U-lock
- Register bike with city for $6
"It's like an old friend coming back, you know,” said Bohémier.
He has had the Fiori for 20 years and recently brought it in for a tune up at Burke's shop at 326 St. Mary’s Rd.
Burke’s 26-year-old son Ivan found the bike in a dumpster in St. Boniface. His twin brother owned the same one, and he knew it was a good bike, so Ivan took it home.
Ivan looked online to see if he could find someone had posted it was missing, but to no avail.
On Father’s Day, Ivan showed it to his father. Brian recognized the make and model immediately.
“I said, ‘you know I know this bike, we just serviced this a couple of weeks ago in the store,’” said Burke.
He went back and found Bohémier’s name in his records, contacted him and returned the Fiori to its rightful owner.
"So many things had to align,” said Bohémier. “It was almost like fate to get my bike back, and now I'm going to have it for a number of years. I bought a new lock!""
Every year in Winnipeg 3,000 bikes are stolen, and only one in 10 people get their bike back — making Bohémier one of the lucky 10 per cent.
"It's just one of those serendipitous things: it's a funny coloured bike — it's pink and purple — very distinctive," said Burke. "You know I remember the bikes in the store and it caught my eye one day, and [Ivan's brother] has the same bike."
Brian Burke said he gets about eight to 10 calls a week over stolen bikes — some even end up in his shop for servicing.
"We have this system where we offer them $20 to just leave us the bike, walk away and then [we] phone the police."
Burke said the best way to protect yourself is with a U-lock and by registering your bike with the city at a cost of only $6.
Bohémier bought Burke's son a case of beer as a gesture of gratitude.
"There's lots of good people in [Winnipeg] and it's time everybody knows that," said Bohémier.