DAMASCUS, Ore. – A quadriplegic man said thieves stole his custom hand-powered bicycle over the weekend in Clackamas County.
Kip Johnson lost the use of his legs and most of his arm muscles during a skiing accident his senior year of high school.
Since then, he’s been able to stay connected to his friends through the annual Hood to Coast relay.
“It really takes away the disability,” Johnson said. “It’s a way for me to go out there and be just another guy.”
But to race, he needs a special, customized handcycle.
That’s something his father, Gordon Johnson, has been working on for years.
“I’ve spent hundreds of hours, probably, designing the back rest and pulling a mold off him and making a mold to make the fiberglass back,” Gordon said.
The Johnsons said over the weekend someone got onto their rural property, rummaged through their cars, but in lieu of cash or a stashed Xbox 360, took only Kip’s handcycle.
Stranger still, they say the thief (or thieves) left behind a regular, foot-powered bicycle with a GPS attached to the handlebars.
Johnson said Clackamas County deputies had told him they wouldn’t be out to examine the bike, so KATU turned on the GPS and searched for any clues that could lead to the thief.
The only stored locations pointed to the Springwater Corridor.
Both Kip and Gordon said they just want the handcycle back in time for Hood to Coast on Friday – and bear no ill will toward the thief.
If you have any information that can help return the bike, call the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.