The incredible story of my stolen Rivendell Road Standard

This is a story about hopes and dreams.

In 2022, I had the opportunity to buy a 1995 Rivendell Road Standard frame—that fit me!— and build it up. I decided to go all out. With the insurance money I got from having my previous gravel bike stolen, I put a plan together with Jay from Scenic Routes.

the rivendell bike

1995 Rivendell Road Standard taking me to taco trucks and beyond.

Here was the build that we planned together:

Part Model
Handlebars randonneur 25.4 400mm
Brake Levers Gran Compe 202 Non Aero Brake Levers, Drilled
Downtube Shifters Dia-Compe ENE Down Tube Shifters
Cranks Rene Herse Double Crank 46-30 - 171mm
Pedals MKS Monarch
front hub Velo Orange 32 hole silver
rear hub Velo Orange 32 hole silver
rims Velocity A32 32 hole polished
spokes and calc spoke calc and spokes and nipples x 64
brakes shimano 105
cassette microshift 11-36
tires 26″ x 1.25″ Elk Pass Tire
cables two brake and 2 shifter
front derailleur dura ace
rear derailleur Shimano deore long cage
chain 9 speed in stock

After a few arduous months, it was finally done. I rode it, happily, for many months. I even went on a YouTube show with it.

Then early last year, the bike—along with all the bikes in my building—disappeared. My Tesla-driving neighbor had apparently left the garage door wide open, which led to someone coming in and grabbing every bike within sight. I was inconsolable, of course.

A few things gave me hope:

A few friends who know a thing or two about used bikes told me they were certain the bike would find its way back to me some day, because my bike was so unique that it would be difficult for the thief to sell; and it would be difficult for anyone thinking about buying it to not know it was stolen.

4 or 5 months passed, and I continued making sure my post about the bike was updated on Craigslist, Reddit and elsewhere.

Randomly, I got a Reddit message from someone who said he had seen my bike at Laney Market in Oakland, and bought it. He told me that he worked in bike industry and that, when he saw it at the flea market, knew for sure it was stolen, so he decided he would try to find me. We met near a BART station and he returned the bike to me (I Venmo-ed him what he paid for it, and a bit more). I had also received a few calls from people who had spotted it at Laney Market, but by the time I made it out there I could not find it myself. I'm thankful to the community and to folks for looking out for this bike for me. I love it to bits.

The bike was returned to me in a really good condition. It was almost as if no one had ridden it at all. Someone had tried to cover its distinctive lugs with ugly markers. That's mostly faded out on its own. I didn't need to do very much when I got the bike back, beyond the flat tires.

I'm now determined to ride the hell out of this bike. Thank you, bicycle gods, for looking out for me!

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