by Vanessa McCracken
Our Reedley bike shop was broken into in early February. The thief smashed a window and grabbed the $2,000 bike we had on display, and ran. Moments like this rip my heart out. In less than a minute, this person cost me thousands of dollars (windows aren’t cheap), and thousands of tears. Anyone who is self-employed knows how hard it is to run a healthy, viable business. My husband and I work seven days a week, often 14-17 hours a day, and have invested everything we have—money, sweat, tears—into our business. When someone does something to take away from our effort, it crushes me.
In devastating moments like this, it would be easy to feel defeated. It would be easy to throw in the towel and say, “I give up.” But that is not how my husband and I are wired. Thirteen years in business has taught us to be resilient, taught us how to regroup and stay focused on the positive. This was not the first break-in we’ve had, nor was it the first major financial setback we’ve experienced. Our unshakeable faith told us that this experience, however frustrating and challenging it might be, was happening for a reason. With that in mind, we immediately got back to work and tried to rebuild.
What happened next amazed us. As word spread about the break-in, we were inundated with calls, visits, and messages of support. Erik Rosales from KMPH reached out to help us spread the word and hundreds of you shared the photo of the stolen bicycle on your social media. People called and left anonymous tips, customers sent photos of what looked to be our bike around town, and some of you were even on the lookout while out of town on vacation with your families. We were shocked and humbled by how many of you cared enough to share our hurt and outrage, by how many of you took our loss personally, too. It was comforting to know we were not alone.
The Reedley Police Department impacted us the most, though. Officers came in regularly and kept us updated on the investigation. They apologized that this happened to us, and seemed genuinely offended someone would do this to a business under their watch. They told us they were determined to find our bike for us, which we appreciated but took with a grain of salt—after all, this was not our first rodeo; we knew the department had bigger crimes to solve and that finding our bicycle had to be low on the priority list. We appreciated their attitude, but knew deep down we weren’t seeing that bike again.
You can imagine our surprise, then, when we were on the phone with Nehemias at the Reedley shop one day in March, and he said, “I have to hang up. Reedley PD is here with the stolen bike.” Wait, what?! Reedley who is there with the what?! We immediately drove to the Reedley shop to see what was going on and sure enough, Officer Cardenas from the Reedley Police Department was there to return the stolen bike to us! We were shocked. Officer Cardenas was determined to find our bike, and diligently followed several tips over the weeks until he finally tracked it down and was able to retrieve it for us nearly a month later. Standing there staring at the bike that we were certain we’d never see again, we were speechless.
People are always curious why we opened up a second bike shop in Reedley, but it was a no-brainer for us. We are two small-town kids who love tight-knit communities, and Reedley is all about community. Officer Cardenas and the Reedley Police Department drove that point home for us with their efforts. Their persistence and sheer determination to get our bike back was a testament to their commitment to their community as well as to small business. Everything happens for a reason, and in hindsight, we see that the break-in served to show us that the good far outweighs the bad, and that we are exactly where we need to be. We love being in this beautiful community!
To show our appreciation for the Reedley Police Department, we have partnered up with Xcelerate Fitness in Reedley to host the First Annual Reedley Police Appreciation Bike Ride on May 28. Join us for this fun and free event designed to celebrate family, fitness and the Reedley PD. We will be leading two rides:, a short and family-friendly ride, and a longer, 20-mile ride for anyone who wants to push themselves a little more. Both will be no-drop rides (meaning nobody is left behind), lead by Sunnyside Bicycles’ team members. After the ride, join us at Xcelerate Fitness for a raffle and refreshments.
Also, drop off a children’s book at either Sunnyside Bicycles locations between now and May 28 and get entered to win a free kid’s bike which we’ll be raffling off. All books will be donated to the Reedley Police Department to be handed out to children in the community. You get one entry per book donated, so the more you donate, the better your odds of winning the free bike. Sunnyside Bicycles Fresno is located at: 6105 E. Kings Canyon Road in Fresno (at the corner of Kings Canyon and Fowler next to Baked Sunnyside and Gb3), Sunnyside Bicycles Reedley is located at: 1760 11th Street in Reedley (off the bike trail between I and G). Thank you in advance for your generosity!