The Esquimalt resident figured he’d never see his 10-speed Norco bicycle again after it was stolen in broad daylight outside a Victoria pub 28 years ago.
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Roche, now 49, was 21 years old when he and a friend rode their bikes to a Douglas Street pub. When they came out to ride home, Roche’s bike, a gift from his older brother, was gone.
“Mine was locked and my buddy’s, which was a way better bike, wasn’t,” said Roche. “We were killing ourselves (laughing). Why would they take the locked one? That’s the irony of it.”
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Where the 10-speed has been all these years is a mystery to police, who traced a nine-digit number stamped on the bike’s frame back to Roche.
The bike’s chain is rusty and the tires are flat and bald, reason why Roche is wary of taking it for a spin. But the bike may still have some years left in it.
“I’m going to throw some money at it if it’s worth fixing and then donate it,” said Roche. “I’m sure some kid will say, ‘Wow, this is cool.’
“Maybe all his friends will have brand new BMXs and his will be an original.”