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  1. #1
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Mountain Bikers ARE good people!

    I saw this article in Dirt Rag and knew I had to share it:
    How Far Would You Go?
    By: Ralph Hollingsworth

    Last fall, Mark Roberg of Southfield, Michigan bought a used Schwinn Moab on e-Bay. The seller represented himself as a college student at Montana State University. College students are notorious for selling things such as bikes, their roommate's CD collections or even their own plasma to raise funds for essentials like rent and beer, so Roberg simply thought the price was a steal. His intuition turned out to be correct. "I'm a bit of a fanatic when it comes to bikes," said Roberg. "So when I got the bike, I put it on the stand and started cleaning it. I was using mineral spirits to get some markings off the bottom bracket shell." That's when Roberg noticed that the bottom bracket shell had been painted over. "Whoever painted it did a pretty good job matching the color, but it makes you wonder." That's when he discovered that the serial numbers had been etched off with a grinder.

    To Roberg it seemed clear that he had a stolen bike on his hands. But what to do about it wasn't so clear. "You can't sell it," said the thirty-year old Roberg. "That's bad karma. So you're kind of stuck. If this was a local thing," he said, "maybe I could have dropped it off at the police, but they'd just sell it at their spring auction." Mark wanted to see if he could find the original owner, which wasn't so easy considering he's in Michigan and the bike was shipped from Montana. So Roberg, a.k.a. "TrailBurner," posted for advice on mtbreview's "Passion," along with the message board for the Michigan Mountain Bike Association (MMBA). He wanted to know if there was anything he could do to get the bike back to the original owner. While many respondents were sympathetic, most thought that there was not much he could do. One person, however, suggested that Mark try contacting the police from where the bike was shipped.

    So Roberg contacted the campus police department at Montana State University and asked them to look into their records to see if anyone had reported a stolen Schwinn Moab like the one he had just purchased. The officer at the other end of the line seemed a little skeptical, but two hours later, he called back. Sure enough, a Montana State University student, Alex Estes, had reported that her bike was stolen in August of 2002. The description of the bike, right down to scratches and "even the type of bar ends" matched the one that Roberg had, so he sent pictures and details to the University police. They showed the pictures to Estes, who identified the bike as hers. "There was a ninety-nine percent chance that this was her bike," said Roberg. "At that point, I had to ask myself: would I return the bike and lose the money?" He didn't even pause. "Yes."

    So Roberg boxed up the bike and sent it back.

    "She wanted to give me a reward," said Mark." But she's just a poor college kid. She paid for the shipping."

    When asked how she felt when she learned that her stolen bike had been found and would soon be on its way back, Estes responded, "I didn't believe it. I think it's amazing that there really are people that would do something like that out there, and I'm grateful that I got to encounter one."

    Roberg, who works at an architectural design firm by day and is a student at a rabbinical school at night, sounds a little humbled by Estes' remark. "I just wanted to do the right thing," he said. "There's a verse in Ecclesiastes that says, 'Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days,' and I really believe that; that if you do something good, you will find good in return."

    As it turns out, Roberg's bread did indeed come floating back after many days. When he posted a follow-up message on returning the stolen bike, his friends on the MMBA message board started a parts collection and built up a replacement bike, which they presented to him in a ceremony during their annual meeting. "A Michigan guy named Mike Moss really took over on this, coordinating, getting everything together and building up the bike, and I was just blown away by people's reaction," said Roberg.

    "At first, we wanted to take up a collection," said Moss. "But Mark didn't want money. So I figured, everybody's got extra parts lying around, and we started collecting those. He actually ended up with a pretty good ride, a Schwinn Homegrown with a decent mix of XT and LX." It was Moss who built up the bike with the help of some loaner tools from KLM Bike and Fitness in Rochester, Michigan.

    "I think we all felt grateful to Mark for giving us the opportunity to be part of something bigger than our daily life," said MMBA President Dan Harrison. "The reason they built a bike for Mark was because it was the right thing to do. Mark set it all in motion by doing the right thing himself. What impressed me was the speed and spontaneity of the process. Everybody has extra bike parts lying around. All it took was the Internet to catalyze the reaction. And the image of getting a shiny new bike is an old, old icon in our society, so it triggered a lot of emotions."

    "By the way," adds Harrison, "the leftover parts will go to a project called Backstreet Bikes, where volunteers build bikes for needy kids from donated parts. That's the nature of karma—it never really goes away, it just moves on and touches other lives, like ripples in a pond."

    Now is that cool or what?

  2. #2
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    What a great story, that's really made my day.

    Cheers, Portent

  3. #3
    bac
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    Yup - read that puppy a few days ago. My faith in humanity is somewhat restored! Good stuff, and a great guy.

  4. #4
    Hucker Extraordinare BigHit-Maniac's Avatar
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    Now that is awesome.

    People like that are the ones that make me happy.


    There's so much crap in the news.. and to hear something nice like that is really cool.


    Cheers to the man who returned the stolen bike!


    Thanks for posting that for us to read man!

    Got Nine Inches ? Cuz I do. http://67.19.50.55/forums/images/smilies/eviltongue.gif

    AIM: MtnBikeHucker

  5. #5
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    Wow! That almost brought a tear to my eye. It feels good to know there are people like this... now we just need more of them.

    More people on bikes = more great people!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    Too bad there aren't more people like that! It seems like everybody in society is out to screw everyone else over. Alot of bikers are really nice and genuine people.. I've only met a few who were *******s. We tend to help each other out. For instance.. when I sold my frame I threw in all the extra parts I had sitting around for free to help the guy out... including deraillers, shifters, seatpost.. all sorts of stuff I wasn't gonna use anyway. I figured I might as well help somebody out
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  7. #7
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Awesome...good to see good people getting everything they deserve. This is one of the best stories I have read in a long time

  8. #8
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I read that the other day, and actually thought about posting it here! Thanks for the effort Raiyn.

    This kinda renews my faith in society!

    Stuff like this is what I want to read about, not so much of the "Your Mag Sucks" or the "Your article is way off base" that seems to get more and more print space in other magazines. I guess that's why Dirt Rag keeps getting more and more popular and "THICK", while Bike, MBA keep getting thinner and thinner every issue. Did I forget Mountain Bike? Oh yeah, they're GONE! Now Bicycling! WHICH SUCKS!!!!!!

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  9. #9
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Wow, I just reread that! Seems I'm filled with Venom today! I'm going to go have some caffine!!!! Maybe I'll settle down!

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  10. #10
    Senior Member slcpunk21's Avatar
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    Not much else to say...eveyone already said it. But I figured I'd put in my 2 cents and say that yah it is awsome that there are still people like that left in the world! I just wish some of them lived here in Chicago! They're all evil here driving their suv's..hahaha, little joke there. No, that is amazing that what you say about karma never going away, it's a never ending circle! Makes me all teary eyed...lol.

    Last edited by slcpunk21; 04-04-03 at 10:20 AM.
    if you aren't having fun, then you get rigid, stiff, crash, cry and then you make your new friend run away..... (there don't you feel less nervous now?)

    when it's snowin check this place out http://www.treelinemedia.ca/phpBB2/index.php

  11. #11
    Senior Member slcpunk21's Avatar
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    Just had a thought. Email DIRTRAG about this article...give them some props for writting about such a good story!!

    Gotta keep that good karma going!
    if you aren't having fun, then you get rigid, stiff, crash, cry and then you make your new friend run away..... (there don't you feel less nervous now?)

    when it's snowin check this place out http://www.treelinemedia.ca/phpBB2/index.php

  12. #12
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by a2psyklnut
    Wow, I just reread that! Seems I'm filled with Venom today! I'm going to go have some caffine!!!! Maybe I'll settle down!

    L8R
    You do seem kind of bitter about the whole mag issue. You should try to pick up a copy of Flow, great mag good pics and good articles...

  13. #13
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Doh, I was supposed to send you a m.o. wasn't I!!!!

    Dern, I keep forgettin, you still have it?? If so, I'll run out at lunch and pick up a M.O. !!!!
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  14. #14
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by a2psyklnut
    Doh, I was supposed to send you a m.o. wasn't I!!!!

    Dern, I keep forgettin, you still have it?? If so, I'll run out at lunch and pick up a M.O. !!!!
    Yep still got it.....no worries its only like 7 cdn or something...

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    Man, I used to buy mountain bike too. Now all I get is some 10 page leaflet with some cheesy pictures of mountain bike and "Bicycling" which I never cared for in the first place. I don't give a damn about road biking.. otherwise I would have bout BICYCLING!!! Cheesy way to sell your magazine if you ask me. I won't be renewing my subscription, that's for sure.
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  16. #16
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I didn't renew mine when Zap was more concerned about political issues, motorcycles and anything other than mountain bikes. I occasionally had to flip to the cover and make sure I was reading a magazine about mountain bikes. No wonder they merged and are now one!

    L8r
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  17. #17
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Many have come and gone but Dirt Rag remains true

  18. #18
    Scooby Snax
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    Must be nice... I havent even received my last bloody issue...

    Mael, does whats the flow subscription desks' phone number?
    (edit, uh I just find info about growing dope, I understand that that is big in BC too, but not conducive to safe operation of a Bistycle!!)

  19. #19
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Raiyn
    Many have come and gone but Dirt Rag remains true
    I won't go there but simply say I don't like dirt rag... I really wish the states or canada would create something of equal quality to mbuk...AWESOME mag.

  20. #20
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Scooby Snax
    Must be nice... I havent even received my last bloody issue...

    Mael, does whats the flow subscription desks' phone number?
    (edit, uh I just find info about growing dope, I understand that that is big in BC too, but not conducive to safe operation of a Bistycle!!)
    Its not safe but more fun

    I won't know till this upcoming issue. As of yet there is no way to subscribe

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