Our bikes got stolen at Haute Route–update

This morning I got up in good spirits, feeling strong and ready for stage 3. So it was quite a shock to hear from the police at 5:45am, when going to breakfast, that 11 of the 15 bikes were stolen from the hotel “secured” garage.

First, little prelude on good spirits: thank you all for the encouraging messages last night–they really lift me up (great to have Internet and social media!). I want to especially thank my two boys (8 and 12) who send me a text and email last night:

Papa you will do good biking today I know you will 🚵🚵🚵🚵🚵🚲🚲🚲🚲

Hey papa:
Mom said that it was a hard time for you today and that you pushed through it. That’s good ! I’m going off to my friends house so if you reply I won’t see it right away.
Pain is just weakness leaving the body

I love Shannon and my 4 kids!

Back to the theft: I had asked the lady twice last night whether is was safe… Never considered the fact that 15 expensive bikes are a magnet. Bikes were stolen professionally between 2 and 4am: they drilled the door lock and got into the garage. Picked the 11 most expensive bikes. We each filed a report at the gendarmerie: adding up cost of my Canondale Super Six with power meter and wheels is about $9,000. There’s a guy who just got himself an $18,000 Pinarello setup for his 60th birthday; there was a custom Storck (supposedly 14,000 euro)… So the thieves got $100,000 worth

I never considered this contingency, but will never not put my bike in the hotel room. (Write this down Aaron for next year!)

Now, just told my friend Neal (whose feeling depressed now), that in the bigger scheme of things this isn’t that bad. He had told me that we each would have at least one thing go wrong during the 7 days. Let’s hope this is “the thing”; Rather this than a crash or worse…

The entire race organizing team has been at our hotel since 6am and have been great! thank you Matt–know that we all appreciate the efforts you guys are putting in in general, and to get us back in the race in particular!

It also is comforting this happened to 11 of us–sharing misery reduces it greatly. It would be totally different if only my bike was stolen…

Two Swiss riders threw in the towel and just left for home. The remaining 9 of us will be transported by taxi around 10am to the next stage hotel in Serre Chevalier. I suggested we get a special long massage before the riders get in :). The organizers took our sizes and said they will get us bikes to race again tomorrow. Sure, I will miss my power meter, but hey, I will just hold Henk’s or Gerry’s wheel (we are close :).

Will make the best of this… Thinking about the news Lauren received last week (Shannon’s best friend and I’ve been thinking of her on both stages during my last climb–Lauren and Todd: you’ve got to hope, believe, and keep pushing whatever can be pushed in the medical system–you are in our thoughts and prayers), this news is just peanuts…

But it was tough seeing the riders pass by our hotel this morning at 7am on a crisp but magnificent morning… We told the four riders who still had their bikes to ride strong for all of us!

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14 Responses to Our bikes got stolen at Haute Route–update

  1. aaronwest says:

    Tragedy. Unbelievable and unthinkable. Very sorry not just for the lost value (which I hope was insured), but for missing out on what looked like a fantastic stage. I hope you can find a worthwhile replacement for tomorrow.

  2. John K says:

    So sorry for the loss, at least the organizer’s are being helpful. A lesson learned for all of us, sorry it has to be at your expense. The bright side is that traveling by taxi you will have one of the fastest times for this stage;-) and you’ll be back in the thick of it tomorrow. Enjoy your massage.

    • Indeed John!

      Granted: We will get an unfair advantage, but it wasn’t intended. And who knows how the mind and legs will feel after a non-day ridimg and what bike we get–dangerous to out such efforts on a different, not perfectly sized bike.

      • John K says:

        Yah, it definitely sucks. I share your and the others pain. Hopefully the rest of the HRA will be better for everybody. Hang in there.

  3. Magda Penne says:

    Dat is minder,niet te geloven ,je mag blijkbaar met goed gerief niet meer buiten komen of er zijn mensen die het willen hebben. Zo te lezen zorgt de organisatie voor een oplossing. Heel spijtig maar zoals je zegt er gebeuren ergere zaken in t leven. Wie is Lauren over wie je schreef. Nog het beste,als het moest gebeuren dan beter dat je lotgenoten hebt.

    Tot Tante Magda

    Verstuurt van op mijn I pad

    Op 20-aug.-2013 om 08:16 heeft Jan Van Mieghem het volgende geschreven:

    > >

  4. ursi says:

    Ook al was het niet op deze manier voorzien, maak er toch een fijne dag van, Jan. En morgen op t gevoel de bergen over! Zonder power-meter kan je wat meer van t landschap genieten 🙂 Succes, sterkte en kijk uit hé. Grtjs, Ursi. Ps: de berichten van je kids zijn ontroerend. Ze zijn terecht fier op hun papa.

  5. Piet Van Breusegem says:

    Jan, heb je een andere fiets kunnen bemachtigen? Laat het in elk geval niet (te veel) aan je hart komen. Een andere fiets zal natuurlijk nooit hetzelfde zijn, maar is hoe dan ook de beste oplossing.
    Ik vind dat ganse verhaal geweldig spijtig.
    Nonkel Piet

  6. Bruce says:

    Sorry for your catastrophe. My car was stolen from hotel garage in Manchester years ago. Good luck from here on.

  7. Opie says:

    Jan, words fail me but INGLORIOUS BASTARDS come to mind. Did not sleep once you posted this, can only imagine your thoughts and feelings upon learning what transpired. It in no way can be compared to airlines losing the bike….it is an affront and invasion of your personal space and being. In line with what Max wrote: Strong is what you have left when you use up all your weak…..RIDE STRONG! Love, Mimi

  8. Chikashi says:

    I am so very sorry this happened. Appalling.

  9. aaronwest says:

    I hear that today’s stage was brutally cold. A friend of mine that is riding had a bit of hypothermia and had to stop for a long time to get his hands warm. I guess if you were to miss a stage, this might have been the best one. I hope they catch the thieves.

  10. suzecycling says:

    I am so so sorry to hear this. That is just an (expletive deleted) thing to have happen. I have seen your comments on Gerry’s site, I think, but not commented here til now. Very very best of luck for a happier finish to this race, and to getting past the extremely sour taste/feeling that must have left. It is a shocking story.

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