- BC Games
The two cyclists from Chicago who were stranded in Terrace early last week after one of them had their custom-outfitted bike stolen are back on the road.
McBike bike shop mechanic Paul Bertrand worked after hours with the pair at the Skeena Bicycle Service in the basement of George Little House constructing a new bike “from the ground up” out of spare parts, calling it “frankenbike.”
Mark Jirik and cycling partner Nate Prescott are on their way from Alaska to Argentina to raise money for a neighbourhood house in Chicago which provides assistance to low income immigrant families.
They were stranded in Terrace because Jirik had his bike stolen from a rest stop east of here Aug. 25.
“This bike is the single most important possession in my life,” said Jirik in an email soon after the incident. “In this moment I feel absolutely broken.” With support from McBike, they were back on the road three days later and had made it 200 km to Smithers by Aug. 29.
The pair, both in their 20s and of modest means, have been on the road for a month and were camped at the Sanderson rest area east of here on Hwy16 when the theft occurred.
When he exited his tent the morning of Aug. 25, Jirik found that his bike was missing from where he left it a mere five feet from his tent, out of sight of Hwy16.
The bike make is a Surly Long Haul Trucker with 62 cm frame in matte grey colour. It has racks on both back and front, wheels that appear smaller than a standard road bike, and has custom-built 48 spoke White Industries hubs. The handle bars are curved.
“You expect your bike to be stolen in the city, not camping,” said Jirik, adding it is an expensive lesson.