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Bike Hunters

VanMoof Bike Hunt Report: July

It’s plain sailing for the Bike Hunters this month, as they track down missing Electrifieds in Amsterdam and San Francisco. Our regular SF Hunter Ryan learns the importance of trusting your gut, while the Amsterdam team takes the time to enjoy an afternoon of rare Dutch sunshine.

Look, we’re the first to admit that hunting for stolen bikes isn’t easy. And we’ve had our fair share of missed opportunities and red herrings over the years. But sometimes the Bike Hunting stars align, and the stolen bikes practically hunt themselves. At least, that’s what it felt like for our Bike Hunters on either side of the Atlantic this month.

Over in San Francisco, veteran Hunter Ryan was chasing down a missing Electrified S2. He’d just received an anonymous tip that someone was selling a bike which matched the description, so Ryan headed over to investigate.

It didn’t take long to find his mark. Ryan spotted the bike on the other side of the street, with the ‘owner’ standing in the classic ‘this bike definitely isn’t stolen’ pose nearby. Ryan asked the suspect who the bike belonged to, and the suspect hastily explained that it was his friend’s – a friend who was conveniently nowhere to be seen.

Ryan called Folkert to run the bike’s frame number through our database, but he could already see that the bike was unlocked. This was an opportunity he couldn’t miss. Seizing both the opportunity and the bike, Ryan made a hasty exit on his own Electrified, dragging the X2 behind him. And just as he escaped the new owner’s unenthusiastic cries of protest, the confirmation came through – the bike was 100% stolen. Ryan’s timing was perfect, as the legitimate owner was still in town and all-too-happy to be reunited with this missing bike.

Back at our Amsterdam HQ, the boys were gearing up for a solid afternoon’s Bike Hunting. The fact that the sky was an uncharacteristic shade of sunny certainly didn’t didn’t dampen their enthusiasm, and the stolen Electrified was giving strong coordinates from the center of town.

An early false alarm did briefly lower the team’s spirits, but with Brice brought in as back-up the Bike Hunter’s could thoroughly scour the area with the strongest location signal. And, sure enough, they found it. We’re not going to complain about a Bike Hunt being too easy, but this thief hadn’t even bothered to lock his new toy – a broken ring lock had been jammed over the rear wheel but the bike was completely unsecured. All the team had to do was wheel it back to base and contact the owner. Which just meant there was more time left to enjoy the sunshine.

Does the thought of someone stealing the VanMoof S3 & X3 send you into a cold sweat? Peace of Mind: Theft to the rescue! It’s our ironclad guarantee that we’ll recover your bike in the event it gets stolen.

How does Peace of Mind: Theft work? Simple. When you report your bike stolen in the VanMoof app, we alert our ruthless Bike Hunter team to track it down. If we can’t recover it for you within two weeks, we'll replace it with a bike of the same (or better) age and condition.

Peter Gigg

About this author

Peter Gigg is VanMoof's resident Brit. He enjoys writing, running, and remaining in the EU.