Late one night last September, a thief slipped into the backyard of Brad Rogers's home, broke into the shed, lifted the Bianchi Sport SS that he had owned for 30 years off its hook, then wheeled it out to the alley and disappeared into the darkness.
No one heard a thing. Not Brad or his wife, Linda, or any of their four children, who were all of high school or college age.
None of them even knew the bike was gone until a few days later, on a Friday morning when Mikaela, Brad and Linda's oldest daughter, decided, as she sometimes did, to ride it to work. When she swung the shed door open, there was just an empty hook where the Bianchi should have been.
She instantly had a bad feeling but, with that desperate optimism so common in such situations, "I looked all over the place, in the hope that it would be somewhere," she says. Though her father was nearly a foot taller than her and, as an experienced cyclist, knew his bicycle didn't really fit her, he'd allowed her to ride it through ...