Archive for August, 2008

One Outrageous Bike Thief

From The New York Times:

Published: August 21, 2008

TORONTO — What exactly was he planning to do with 2,865 bicycles?

Toronto Police, via National Post

The police are baffled by what Igor Kenk planned to do with such a surplus of bikes.

That is just one of many questions the police and others have been puzzling over since the arrest last month of Igor Kenk, the owner of a used-bike shop here.

Mr. Kenk’s legacy now fills a former police garage with a leaky roof. Organized by brand name and mostly resting on their handlebars, wheels pointed upward, are 2,396 of the bicycles that police say Mr. Kenk either stole or arranged to have stolen.

The jumbled collection of bicycles suggests that Mr. Kenk is the unofficial world champion of bicycle thieves. But as he awaits trial next month on 58 charges related to theft and drug possession, the biggest mysteries of all are Mr. Kenk’s motives and his ultimate plan for the armada of steel, rubber and aluminum he amassed.

“He’s easily the most hated man in Toronto,” said Alex Jansen, a filmmaker who has been working on a documentary about Mr. Kenk for more than a year as part of a study of his rundown neighborhood’s transition to hipsterdom. “But I just found that it’s not as black and white as I originally thought.”

Mr. Kenk was something of an informal social worker, Mr. Jansen explained, giving work to street people and outpatients from a nearby mental health institution. Of course, the police say some of that work involved stealing bicycles.

The arrest has provoked an outpouring of anger and publicity in a city renowned as one of the most bicycle-friendly places in the world. About 15,000 hopeful cyclists, some teary-eyed, have scoured the Kenk collection in search of their missing bicycles. But only 469 bicycles had been returned as of Thursday morning, when 17 more days of public viewings began.

Crazy.

Just to offer a little peice of mind, any used bike that is sold at a reputable bike shop here in the Twin Cities, including The Hub Bike Co-Op, has cleared a check with the local police authority. So if your bike is stolen, make certain to file a police report.

Of course, that won’t protect you from this kind of calculated theft.

Lock it up!

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Dig This

Check The Website

A woman rolled into The Hub this weekend on one of these.

From a distance it looked like a monstrosity, some kind of “automatic shift” bike you might buy from an info-merecial.

But upon close inspection I saw that it was actually a well made “pedal-assist” bike made here in Minneapolis.

I’ve seen a couple production models from some of the established bike manufacturers. Their owners always rave about them, but they have been on the spendy side.

The price on these seems very reasonable for the way they are spec’d out.

I ran some numbers on the battery life and if you ran it five days a week you’d probably get two to three years out of the unit, so the cost of the replacement batteries needs to be considered. I put in a call to the manufacturer, and replacement batteries will cost $375.

For some people, who may not be able to handle long distances, or strenuous hills and such, this could be just the ticket to help them dump their car and start “zoomin'”.

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Help Save Cyclo-Cross in Minneapolis

From Joel Cahalan at The Hub Bike Co-Op:

Help save cyclocross in Minneapolis Parks!
For the past three years The Hub Bike Co-op has sponsered a highly attended cyclocross race at Powderhorn Park in south Minneapolis. This year we are having trouble securing a permit for the race due claimed damage to the park. We need folks to attend this Wednesday’s Park Board meeting to show support for keeping cyclocross racing in Minneapolis parks and specifically at Powderhorn Park. Besides having some supports at the meeting we need a people who are willing to stand up and speak for 2-3 minutes about why it is important to keep the cyclocross race at Powderhorn. If you live in the park vicinity and or feel strongly about this please contact me about signing up to speak(Joel Cahalan 612-203-5280(cell), 612-729-0437(shop)). I will have some talking points put together and emailed out before the meeting. To speak you must be signed up by 3pm the day of the meeting. The meeting starts at 5pm with time for us to speak at 5:30. It is located at:

MPRB Administrative Offices, Board Room Suite 255
Address: 2117 West River Road
Minneapolis
Map and Directions
Do It!

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SOLD!

5548 Colfax Ave. S.

This one was a pleasure.

It sold in three days while I was on vacation in the BWCA.

If only it were always this easy.

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