Cross-country traveller's expensive bike stolen in Winnipeg

Kelowna resident Trevor Hodgson's bike trip across Canada has been halted thanks to a thief in Winnipeg who stole his high-end mountain bike. But sympathetic Winnipeggers are making donations to get him back on the road.

But sympathetic Winnipeggers are donating money to get him back on the road

Trevor Hodgson's bike was stolen in Winnipeg. (Trevor Hodgson/Facebook)

A Kelowna, B.C., man's cross-Canada ride on the Trans Canada Trail has been halted after his high-end mountain bike was stolen, despite being locked up in front of a Walmart in Winnipeg.

But while Trevor Hodgson's faith in humanity was temporarily damaged by the theft on Wednesday, the response of sympathetic people in Winnipeg has helped restore it.

Hodgson said he was devastated after his Enduro M8 and attached trailer were taken by a thief who cut his cable lock  at the Unicity store. 

"I was on my way out of Winnipeg and I had my bike all packed up with everything, and I stopped to get a couple last minute things from Walmart and Canadian Tire," Hodgson said.

"And I locked my bike up at the bike rack in front of Walmart and spent about an hour shopping, and when I came back, my bicycle and all my gear was gone. My cooler full of food was dropped, and my bike and everything was gone."

First reaction was anger

Hodgson said his first reaction was anger, not only at the thief but at himself.

"Complete shock and emotional overload and anger and frustration and disappointment," he said. "Disappointment in myself for not locking my bike better, and disappointment in losing my stuff and disappointment that people would do that."

Trevor Hodgson's stolen bike is a high-end mountain bike that allows him to handle the rough parts of the Trans Canada Trail. (Trevor Hodgson/Facebook)

Hodgson, an avid rider who had been planning the cross-Canada trip for three years, as made several trips through B.C. and up to Whitehorse, Yukon.

Earlier this year, he flew to St. John's, N.L., the start of the Trans Canada Trail, from Kelowna. 

"I have bipolar disorder and this is my therapy," Hodgson said. "Riding on the trail gives me good mental health and is helping me to get myself back together."

Social media to the rescue

Hodgson said he called police and made a report, but  social media has helped the most. 

"When I posted on Facebook [Wednesday] about my bike theft, the support was overwhelming," he said. "The thief dropped my trailer and stuff in an alley. Thanks to social media I managed to recover all of my stuff except my GPS and portable speaker connected to the bike and the bike itself.

"When it happened, my faith in humanity was gone. Then, right away, people started helping me, from the guy in the parking lot who came over who consoled me to the guy in Walmart who let me use the phone to call the police."

Trevor Hodgson's bike has a series of provincial flag stickers on the side. (Trevor Hodgson/Facebook)

A GoFundMe campaign of $2,200 to replace the bike has already reached the halfway mark, he added. 

"I set my goal at $2,200 because that's what I paid for the bike that I lost. What I lost, which was a really high-end, top-end mountain bike that allows me to ride the Trans Canada trail … I need a bike that can do that.

"I've had this bike since 2012 and I bought it after my mother passed with the inheritance that I got. Since then I've put nearly 30,000 kilometres on it."

While he's thrilled with the help he is getting, Hodgson says he will worry in the future about his bike being stolen as he continues his journey. 

"I will get a heavier lock, but the truth is no lock is impregnable," he said.