A Google maps screenshot of the area. The red arrow indicates where Tsable Lake is.

Man forced to trek 23 kilometres out of B.C. backcountry after bike stolen

Ross Hunt’s $1,000 bike was stolen on June 20

A Vancouver Island man had to walk more than 20 kilometres back to town after his mountain bike was stolen near Tsable Lake last week.

Royston resident Ross Hunt, 63, said his modified Cogburn CB4 fat bike was stolen while he was bikepacking in the Comox Valley backcountry on June 20.

“Usually out in the bush, nobody steals anything,” he said. “Everybody’s honest. Hardly anyone has things stolen from the bush, 23 kilometres from town.”

Hunt said his helmet, pump, and biking shoes were also taken. He believes the cost to replace all the stolen goods is estimated at $4,000.

The Royston resident said he got into bikepacking (combining mountain biking with camping) after learning about the sport at a Comox Valley Cycling Coalition AGM. After trying it out a few times, he bought a secondhand Cogburn CB4 for $1,000 and modified it to better suit his needs. He likened the trip to Tsable Lake as his new bike’s “maiden voyage.”

Having not seen any traffic on his ride out to the lake, and few tracks, Hunt was confident that it would be okay to simply stash the bike out of sight while he set up camp. A gully leading down towards his camping site meant it would have been difficult to bring the bike with him.

“I didn’t lock the bike. I took my bags off for camping and went down the hill to camp. The next morning, I came back up… and the bike was gone,” said Hunt.

“I was confused. I thought I must have put it somewhere else, but I distinctly remembered where I put it.”

With his bike stolen and no cell reception in the area, Hunt had to walk 23 kilometres to return to Cumberland, the nearest village. He said he didn’t get cell service until he’d already walked halfway.

“There was cell service the night before but in the morning I couldn’t get any service,” he said.

Though he never felt in danger, Hunt said he only had $4 crocs for footwear. He said it made the hike out of the woods difficult, as he had to modify his walking style.

A bad knee also complicated matters.

“I can cycle but hiking was always a bit of a problem for me. But I was in survival mode and had to walk back,” said Hunt.

After a little while the pain went away in my knee and it was okay. Then the pain came back and then it went away. I just kept walking and walking and walking.”

Hunt said he walked for about six hours in total, and that the soreness in his legs and back lasted for four days.

“I thought I might be in extreme pain because of my knee but I knew I’d make it,” he said.

Since his return to civilization, Hunt and his wife have filed a police report with the Comox Valley RCMP and have contacted local pawn shops to inquire about his missing bike.

It has a carbon fork, Jones bar, and a green camo paint job.

Just Posted

Ladysmith Maritime Society wants to be known as the Friendliest Marina on the Coast

Group marks 33 years of marine preservation and community

John murder trial at Duncan courthouse on pause until spring

John is charged with the May 2016 murder of 20-year-old Derek Descoteau

Ladysmith proving once again, it’s a small town with a big heart

It takes a town full of volunteers to ensure no child goes hungry

Prosecution in Colin John murder trial wrapping up in Duncan

John on trial for stabbing death in Chemainus in 2016

15 new Indigenous teacher training seats added at Cowichan VIU campus

Thorne said the new Indigenous teacher education curriculum that is planned at VIU

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Canada West loses battle of the unbeaten teams in the preliminary round

Second Canadian missing in China after questioning by authorities

Michael Spavor, founder of a non-profit that organizes cultural-exchange trips to North Korea, “is presently missing in China”

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

Most Read