Bike stolen after 12,000-mile cross country journey

- Since he took up cycling, Marshall Lewis of New Brighton has had his share of accidents--including one where he nearly lost his foot--but now, he says he's lost something almost as valuable.

That's because for 16 months, Lewis practically lived on his bike. Now he fears his home away from home is gone for good.

"It's a bummer," Lewis said. "I don't know how to articulate my thoughts much more than that." 

In June of last year, Lewis left on the ride of a lifetime around the perimeter of the U.S., covering 12,000 miles and 32 states--including Hawaii and a brief side trip to Mexico.

Along the way, Lewis and his Surly tour bike survived everything from volcanoes to rainstorms together.

"It's not so much the bike in itself," he said. "It's that unique bike that I road for 12,000 miles and got stickers from all over the country. That aspect is irreplaceable regardless of money."

But when Lewis finally made it back to New Brighton on Friday the 13th, he had no idea how much his luck would turn.

During his welcome home party, someone made off with his bike as it sat outside Barley John's Brew Pub, less than 15 feet away.

"At first my heart sank and I got mad and stressed out and huffed and puffed a bit," Lewis said. "Then I just kind of breathed and held my head up."

Beyond its sentimental value, Lewis says the bike is his main mode of transportation because he doesn't have a car.

The worst part, he said, is that the bicycle made it all the way around the country only be stolen by someone here at home.

"I can't help but think they must be in a more miserable place in life than I am to even do something like this," Lewis said.

Together, the bike and the GoPro camera on it were worth about $2,500, and though he does have some insurance on the bike he says the memories he made with them are priceless.

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