No bike, no race for competitor

John Colson

A local teenage cycling competitor – ranked No. 1 in the USA Cycling standings in the Sport Junior category – won’t be competing this weekend because his expensive mountain bike was stolen recently. And, while Jamie Fenn is worried the theft could be the work of a Denver-based ring operating in Aspen, local police say that isn’t so. Fenn, 17, told The Aspen Times on Wednesday his $3,400 competition bike, a black Yeti DJ, was taken around 2:30 p.m. July 9 from a rack near the Elks Club. The bike was locked to the rack, Fenn said. He has expressed fears to friends, and to members of the media, that his bike was taken by professional thieves, but an Aspen police officer said this week that Fenn is wrong. “My gut feeling is, just looking at the patterns, we’re not experiencing a theft ring,” said Sgt. Bill Linn, who acts as media liaison for the Aspen Police Department. Linn said there have been 15 bikes stolen in 2007, and that three of them were taken in July, which he said is not out of the ordinary. Although he was unable to recall dates, Linn confirmed that the police department has, in the past, “had concerns” that a theft ring was working Aspen, due to the theft of large numbers of bikes over short periods of time. But, he said, bike thefts have averaged about one every week or 10 days so far this year, “which does not a ring make.” Linn admitted that “a determined thief can get through just about any type of lock,” but he urged people to lock their bikes when leaving them unattended for any amount of time. “A lot of the bikes we see [stolen] could have been secured by a bread tie,” he said, “because frequently they are merely crimes of opportunity.” Fenn said ruefully that he believes “my bike is gone,” and that it was the bike he planned to ride in a mountain-cross competition this weekend in Snowmass Village. As a result, he said, he probably will have to skip the race, in which he would have represented the Ute City Cycles team. Besides Ute City Cycles, Fenn is sponsored by Monster energy drinks, SDG seats and posts, and ODI handlebar grips.John Colson’s e-mail address is