Today was going to be a really good day, but that didnâ€™t pan out. After yesterdayâ€™s racing and sailing and general enjoyment of the day, I was pretty motivated to get right back to training. My plan was to get up early, drive to Key Biscayne where I could run, ride my bike, and finish with an ocean swim. After that I as going to check out this little fish shack in the state park that was recommended by my friend Ileana (whoâ€™s family Iâ€™ve been staying with). That all would have served as a pretty good basis for a blog, but I think what actually happened might make for an even better story (better meaning more entertaining).
I did wake up early. I packed my backpack with clothing, Powerbars and sunscreen for the adventure and put my bike in the trunk of the rental car. Then I drove to Key Biscayne for the run. Unfortunately, the traffic in Miami is terrible, so I was already planning to cu tout the fish shack before I even started my run. I lathered on the sunblock and went exploring on the trail. It was hard to get my legs moving for sure, but the run was really pretty. The wind was blowing and itâ€™s the first day Iâ€™ve been able to smell since I came down with a cold over a week ago. It ended up taking me almost 50 minutes to run six miles because on top of being sluggish I kept stopping to look at the scenery and take big breaths of fresh air.
Satisfied with my first workout I ran back to the rental, but when I approached I noticed that the trunk was popped. Adrenaline shot through me, and when I lifted the trunk my fears were realized. My bike was gone. I went to the driverâ€™s door; still locked. I opened it and saw that the glove compartment and center console were open. My Rudy Project glasses were gone. Then I saw the little rear window was shattered and there was glass all over the floor. I knew I needed to call the police, but my backpack was gone too, along with my wallet, my cell phone and any hope that this was some kind of prank.
I flagged down a police officer from the highway and he called another unit. Yesterday alone there were 26 break-ins on Key Biscayne, he told me. I wanted to say, â€œgreat job!â€ but he was being really nice, and it’s the burglars who suck. A detective came, finger printed my car, and another officer called the office and had someone try to locate my phone with the GPS signal. The phone was turned off already. I called my mom and asked if she could contact credit card companies for me to report them stolen, and I listed all the things that were missing from my car:
- Black Beyond Fabrications Blink Time Trial Bike with pink bencollins.org decals and K-Swiss stickers.
- A Zipp 900 clincher disk
- 404 clincher front wheel
- Northwave size 43 triathlon shoes
- A Dura-Ace crankset with SRM
- Shimano Dura-Ace time trial groupo with Vision aerobars
- Profile Design Aero-waterbottle (I just bought that Saturday too!)
- Three Powerbars (banana, cookies and cream, and peanut butter)
- Two bike water bottles
- A TYR backpack with:
- Wallet ($30, drivers license, credit cards, health insurance, and some other membership cards)
- USA Triathlon Team Cycling Kit
- Blue Seventy swim brief and goggles
- Rudy Project Fluo Green Noyz sunglasses with ImpactX Photochromic Grey lenses
- A Garmin Edge 800 with North American maps
What they left:
- A Rudy Project Wingspan Aero-Helmet (pink)
- A half-full bottle of Scape 2x Sunblock (SPF 50)
They took a few prints, but it wasnâ€™t very promising. After everything was finished with the police officers I decided to bag the swim (no suit anyway) and head back home to shower, try to call my parents and figure out how to get through TSA without any identification.
Eventually I get money from the bank (another giant hassle that I won’t get into) and I head back to Ileanaâ€™s house where her brother is just heading out the door. I give him the short version and he hands me all the cash from his wallet and says to take it just in case. Then he tells me, â€œBen, if you can fix it with money, then itâ€™s not a real problem.â€ Coming from a guy whose family has seen much worse than some stolen equipment, it put things into perspective. I tried to relax, thinking that if I didnâ€™t I was likely to do something else dumb. By now I’m feeling rushed to get to the airport in time to deal with TSA, so I gather my empty bike box, throw everything into a suitcase, realize I donâ€™t have time for a shower, scarf some leftovers and pile it all into the car. As Iâ€™m walking out the door the phone rings and I hear the answering machine go on and itâ€™s Ileana hoping to speak to me. She says, â€œBen, I know youâ€™re stressed but you need to drive very carefully to the airport. Is there anything I can do to help?â€ As Iâ€™m talking to her Iâ€™m standing in the pantry of her parentâ€™s house scarfing down cookies as a pure stress reaction (and by now Iâ€™m completely starving, having not eaten anything yet today). I tell her to call my mom and just let my mom know that there are people in Miami taking care of me and so that my mom knows someone to call in Miami if she doesnâ€™t hear from me. Then I hang up, lock the door, and drive to the airport. Advantage was easy, I filled out an incident report, gave the police report number, described what happened and hand in my key. Right then a manager comes out and asks, â€œare you Ben? I have someone on the phone for you.â€ Itâ€™s my mom. Sheâ€™s found a photocopy of my birth certificate, passport and drivers license, and sheâ€™s faxing it to Advantage so that I can take it with me to TSA (my mom is awesome). I wait a couple minutes, get the fax, then head to the airport (by now I have barely an hour before my flight).
At the Delta check in the agents see my fax, along with my OTC photo ID and they check me right in. TSA is even easier, I just had to step to the side for a minute while a supervisor came, talk a bit about triathlon (what are the distances? How long does that take? Is that a full triathlon?). They complimented me on my resourcefulness, but my mom totally saved the day. Again.
Now, if you know anyone in Miami, please tell them to be on the lookout for my bike. Spread the word to facebook, twitter. Any help is appreciated. I race again in three weeks, so I need a time trial bike ASAP!