An impromptu community biking riding event held by Portland Police Saturday recovered a stolen bike along the Springwater Corridor.
Officer David Sanders said a check of the serial number on an expensive road bike listed it as stolen on the popular website, bikeindex.org.
Sanders said a man camping along the trail had the bike and claimed that he bought it on the trail for $40.
According to officers, the bike is worth more than $1,000.
“That’s one of the motivating factors -- just getting these bikes back to the good citizens who lost them,” Sanders said.
Sanders and another officer invited community members on a ‘bike-along’ of the trail. He said he planned the event last minute as a way to interact with the public and hear concerns from trail users.
“We had the idea to just ride out here and see what the situation was,” Sanders said. “(People) are telling us they see a lot of aggressive folks (that) make them feel uncomfortable --threatening behavior.”
Chris Mealy decided to tag along to see the trail for the first time in four years.
"I stopped doing it because I was being yelled at a lot coming out here,” Mealy said. “I didn’t feel threatened, but I didn’t feel like it was an enjoyable ride.”
Mealy figures there are ten times as many campers as he used to see.
Bikes and various bike parts are just as common along the trails as tents.
“A lot of the good stuff doesn’t last long; they strip it down,” Sanders said. "They trade it, sell it off pretty quick so we’re not able to snag a lot of the stolen bikes that are out here.”
But he’s excited to reunite at least one victim with the stolen bike, and it’s apparent cyclists are happy to see the officers along the trail: several tell them “thanks” and “good job” as they ride away.