News

Burnaby bike store to assist Giro host family

Different Bikes Burnaby co-owner Jordie Thomson, left, and Dennis Hansen, host housing coordinator for the Giro di Burnaby, talk bikes after the store offers to assist a host family that had their bikes stolen in a break-in hours after the race. - Wanda Chow/NewsLeader
Different Bikes Burnaby co-owner Jordie Thomson, left, and Dennis Hansen, host housing coordinator for the Giro di Burnaby, talk bikes after the store offers to assist a host family that had their bikes stolen in a break-in hours after the race.
— image credit: Wanda Chow/NewsLeader

After hearing about the theft of a Giro host family's bikes, Different Bikes Burnaby is stepping up to help.

The couple and the Giro di Burnaby cyclist they were hosting, Anton Varabei of Team Jet Fuel Coffee La Bicicletta, had their bikes stolen during a break-in to their locked garage hours after the July 12 race.

Varabei's $5,000 bike, a 2009 Focus Izalco 58cm with a wheelset that reads "Dura Ace," is owned by his team and still hasn't turned up. He was forced to race in the Tour de White Rock and the Cascades Classic in Bend, Ore. on a borrowed set of wheels.

The host family, who have asked not to be named, are regular customers of Different Bikes Burnaby, so when co-owner Jordie Thomson heard what happened, he offered to help.

"Everyone can empathize with having a bike stolen," Thomson said.

Their bikes cost more than what their insurance will cover, so Different Bikes will provide a discount to "get them close to where they were at," he said.

Thomson noted that while the couple will get new bikes, that doesn't make up for the time and effort they spent getting a proper fit for their particular needs.

Giro race director Rainy Kent recalled that she'd had all of four hours sleep after the successful race when her phone rang. It was the couple calling to let her know of the theft.

"I went from being up here to absolutely devastated," Kent said. "They had to wake Anton up to tell him his bike was gone."

The Giro Hero Volunteer Team took up a collection and raised $200 to help the couple as well, she noted.

Kent said the couple are both avid cyclists and commute by bike when the weather is good. They were "totally overwhelmed" by Different Bikes Burnaby's gesture.

"At least they can enjoy the great outdoors for the rest of the summer."

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

twitter.com/WandaChow

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