GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – For Allen Lipscomb, riding bikes was more than a hobby, it was a lifelong passion.
Since he was four, bikes were a way of life – a therapy. And that was never truer than when Lipscomb returned back from three tours in four years as an active duty Marine Corps sniper. He resumed biking, both for leisure and competitively, and even returned back to school to earn a degree under the G.I. Bill, biking when he could to his classes at Grand Rapids Community College.
“Riding bikes puts a smile on my face every time I get on my bike,” said Lipscomb. "It’s what I look forward to doing.”
Just two weeks ago and after plenty of internal debate, Lipscomb forked over $2,300 of his hard-earned money for a custom Niner cycle. He called it his dream bike.
But Tuesday, his excitement became sorrow when he emerged from class to find that his bike, which had been chained to a rack just feet away from the GRCC Campus Police Department, had been stolen.
“My stomach started to turn,” said Lipscomb. “How does that happen, in broad daylight, right in front of a bus stop, right in front of the GRCC police?”
There weren’t any cameras in the area, but Lipscomb was able to provide GRCC Police with the bike’s serial number. Police say that’s a huge help to them as they monitor local pawn shop inventories and sites like Craigslist and Ebay.
Interestingly enough, Lipscomb isn’t angry. Instead of viewing himself as a victim, he chooses to see himself more as an accidental advocate to the biking world.
“At first I was bitter,” he said, “but now I hope that if I never get it back, I hope that somebody enjoys it just as much as I do. I guess if that’s one way to be an advocate.”
GRCC Police tell FOX 17 they plan to open a secure storage facility for bikes sometime over the summer.
In the meantime, those with information about Allen’s bike can call GRCC Police or FOX 17 News.