NDP candidate has stolen bike returned after much social media support

Kerri Claire Neil, the NDP candidate in the Windsor Lake byelection, says her bike is a key part of her campaign.

Bike was key part of campaign, says Kerri Claire Neil

Kerri Claire Neil was surprised to find her stolen bike returned to campaign headquarters after Friday's byelection debate. (Gary Locke/CBC)

When Kerri Claire Neil woke up on Friday morning, a key part of her campaign was missing.

She had her helmet on, ready to go to Memorial University to get some work done, when she realized her treasured bicycle had been stolen from outside her home.

Devastated, she posted a picture of the bike on Twitter with several cry-faced emojis and a call for retweets.

Hours later — and moments after she got off the stage from perhaps the most intense of three campaign debates to date — she returned to campaign headquarters to find a happy surprise.

"Somebody found it just behind the old grocery store in Churchill Square and was kind enough to bring it up to headquarters."

The bike has a damaged tire, but should be back on the road without a need for major fixes.

When she first decided to jump into provincial politics and run in the upcoming byelection, Neil rode her bike from her home on Elizabeth Avenue to the Windsor Lake district.

Uphill every day, she rode there to knock on doors and gather signatures for her nomination papers.

These days, she is hitching rides with campaign volunteers for district door-knocking, but the bike is still her go-to for everything else.

"My bicycle is my main form of transportation. I'm a low income earner, so I can't really afford a car with the price of gas and insurance these days, so I get around on my bicycle."

Neil said this isn't the first bike she's had stolen but it is the first one she's had returned, and she was shocked to get it back so quickly.

"It really means a lot to have it back. It's incredible," she said.

"I definitely think the campaign helped the social media attention."

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