BATAVIA, Ill. -- Thousands of bikes are stolen every day. It’s not newsworthy. But it was how this stolen bike story ends that makes it different.
It begins with a young man who left work at a Batavia grocery store one day to find his ride home was no longer there.
“At first I thought one of my friends put it somewhere else as a joke,” says Christopher Narup. "Nope, it was gone."
Christopher’s bike was gone and a good three-mile walk home was ahead of him.
Christopher texted his friend Blake Hager.
"I got a text from Chris saying he got his bike stolen and this really upset me because Chris has been like family for the past six years to us,” Blake tells WGN News. “I immediately texted Will and Jake and said we should get the neighborhood together and buy him a new bike.”
The text chain included every kid who called Chris a friend.
"Chris is just a really nice guy and out of all the people, I cannot believe it would happen to him," send friend Drew.
The next week the boys huddled up and came up with a plan to not only get their friend a new bike, but also show Chris his riding buddies had his back. The one they wanted was slick and expensive, costing $550. It was a steep price tag but they knew it was the one Chris had been eyeing at the local bike shop.
They knew it would take Chris months of pushing carts at the grocery store to buy it. That's where the “Batavia Bike Gang” came in. They mowed lawns, did chores and donated their allowances.
The manager of the bike shop, moved by the boys’ generosity, got the owner to take $100 off the coveted bike and the deal was done.
The new bike came with the message that Chris meant something to them.
"I get out of the car and I'm like, 'what is this?!’” Chris says. “The sign said, ‘You mean something. You are something.' They open the paper and there's this wonderful bike... I was speechless.”
Chris now has a ride to get to work, and the Batavia Bike Gang is back together again.