ASPEN - Aspen resident Jay Maytin is just happy to be back on his bicycle, which he received as a gift in 1999, after being without it for less than one day last week. He doesn't care who took it and dropped it next to the Pitkin County Courthouse on Friday. He doesn't even want to know, in fact.
"I would never press charges," he said Monday. "All I wanted was my bike back."
And he got it Saturday after seeing an Aspen Times article about an unidentified person who dropped off a bicycle next to the courthouse steps that lead down to the Aspen Police Department and Pitkin County Sheriff's Office.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. Friday, in broad daylight, Undersheriff Ron Ryan saw the dark blue Trek bicycle, in plain view, next to the building. Nothing unusual there, but a letter posted to the bike revealed, in that only-in-Aspen kind of way, much more: "Sorry. I stole this bike. I rode it home. Please give it back - Drunk."
Ryan then turned the bike over to the Aspen Police Department, with which the bicycle was not registered.
Meanwhile on Friday, at about 7:30 p.m., Maytin went by his wife Lauren's law office 520 E. Cooper Ave. He had left his bicycle, unlocked, outside of the practice the night before. But it wasn't there when he came by to pick it up.
"I knew a drunk took it because it doesn't have much of a re-sale value," Maytin said.
The next morning as he read the newspaper article, Maytin didn't make the connection until near the end of the piece, which described, in not-so-flattering terms, the bicycle. Included in that description was that the bike has a "RAD" sticker on it. RAD is in reference to the Maytin's Aspen friend Adam Dennis, who died in a backcountry avalanche near Aspen Highlands on April 4, 2011. The sticker also has the lyric "Feels good to watch a big man dance," from the Widespread Panic tune "Heroes."
"I believe Adam Dennis had a role in my finding my bike," said Maytin, who picked it up Saturday morning from the police department. Had he not claimed it, the bike would have been put up for sale at the department's bicycle auction, scheduled May 18.
Maytin said last week's caper marked the first time his bike has been stolen. He described it as a "workhorse" that might not be pretty, but gets the job done nonetheless.
"To me it's worth $500. It's transportation," he said.