Man reunited with stolen bike after ‘eureka moment’ in Canada that ‘just seemed real’

When William Perkins was hiking in Yellowknife back in February, he decided to carry his bike with him.

Just a few days later, he learned he’d misplaced it.

“I called the bike shop, spoke to the person at the shop, and, honestly, I thought I’d found it,” said Perkins, who was born in Yellowknife and now lives in Toronto.

“She said it was in Winnipeg and, from the moment the shop owner heard my story, [she] made sure my bike was located and returned to me.”

It was nine months after his bike disappeared from a snowbank along a trail in Yellowknife.

“I was crushed,” he said. “I couldn’t believe I’d had to wait nine months to get my bike back.”

But at last weekend’s Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa, Perkins said he was reunited with his bike.

“The ride felt like a quick eureka moment where I realized this could only be real,” he wrote in a blog post. “It’s just a bike, not a piece of art or important artifact.”

For most Canadians, their memories of Canada Day involve slathering themselves in maple syrup, kicking off a Friday night barbecue or hosting an Independence Day barbecue with family. It’s a celebration of our nation, our rich history and our intricate story as a modern nation.

That day, however, for William Perkins, marked another thrill in his growing battle to retrieve his stolen bicycle.

Perkins wrote that he was standing at the corner of Holland Avenue and Laurier Avenue on July 1 when he spotted a man looking around and clutching a brown and white bike.

“One minute later, he hopped on the bike, took off up Laurier and headed east on Holland.”

“I am amazed how the levels of community they have,” Perkins wrote of the man who reclaimed his bike. “To me, this isn’t a random kind of random.”

This is not the first time in the world that an accused bike thief has returned it to the owner.

In February, Canadian Daniel Smit realized he’d stolen a pair of wheels from a Williams Lake, B.C., store, and when he went to retrieve them, the storekeeper told him the bike was gone. He went looking for it in the washroom and by the time he found it, it was too late. A security camera caught a man wearing a helmet and carrying a bike on a luggage cart, and was able to identify him. Smit presented the man with an $11,000 bounty, an amount that would be worth about $40,000 in U.S. dollars at today’s exchange rate. The man, who had no prior criminal record, was forced to give Smit the bike back.

And then, earlier this year, a dog named Rudy arrived in New York with his owner, John Relton, to see Relton’s family, who live in Cananda. Rudy traveled with Relton for three months and stayed at Relton’s home until its return in March. When Rudy found the family’s two bikes, he tore off and found its way home to Relton, who immediately offered $200 to anyone who could return the bicycles. He did not, however, offer a reward.

When Rudy returned to Canada, he immediately found his way back to Relton.

“It was a very good day and a lot of really good things happened,” Relton said. “I thought we had a really good day.

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