The first thing I usually do after arriving at HQ in the mornings is to check the Google Media report for any mentions that Trek may have received in the worldwide news. It's typically a ritual of sifting through various police reports bearing mentions of somebody's Trek was stolen somewhere and that local authorities appreciate any information leading to its safe return knowing full well that maybe 1% of all stolen bikes are returned to their original owner. It's not that Trek doesn't care about its products being stolen, there's just not much we can do about it besides make a decent lock and encourage people to use it. That, coupled with the fact that stolen bikes are close to number 9,000 on a police department's already crowded priority list, it's no wonder that thousands of bikes year-round just evaporate into the ether.
Today was different though. I turned on "the Google" and began to scroll through various articles regarding people's Treks as verbs instead of nouns and came across another sentence that read "...stolen his Trek bicycle..." and was just about to dismiss it as another of man's continuous wrongs against fellow being and then stopped. The sentences following featured words like "community", "outcry", and "banded together". Well, that kind of lead would at least warrant a few minutes of investigation so for the first time in a year or so, I clicked on a story about a stolen Trek.
Apparently, a boy from Salem, OR had his Trek 820 stolen from his family's garage. A tragedy as the young man had earned his bike through his school's reading program. After the story was reported there was an uproar among Salemites and donations from across the town poured into the boy's school and our local dealer, Scott's Cycle and Fitness. In fact, the town not only raised enough money to replace the bicycle but a fund has now been started to ensure that other children will be able to receive bikes as a reward for their reading.
At this time of year, stories of charitable pursuit are not uncommon. There's something about the season that begs our attention to those who are in need. While I'm sure my next post will question why this is the only time of year that the music from the Peanuts cartoons sounds appropriate, I wanted to take the time to recognize the efforts of the people of Salem and say how deeply touching it is that they would take the time to recognize the importance of replacing something that might seem as trivial as a stolen bicycle.