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Thief puts brakes on amputee's US journey

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POSTED June 8, 2012 9:58 p.m.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A double amputee who hoped to hand-pedal across the United States has found himself without a ride after a thief stole his $13,000 custom bike in San Francisco.

Krzyszof Jarzebski, 53, of Poland was staying in Hayes Valley when someone drilled a hole in a locked gate of an apartment and stole his hand-cranked bike from the stairwell on Thursday, police said.

Jarzebski, a Paralympics athlete who lost his legs to cancer in 1991, had planned to start a 3,000-mile bike journey to New York on Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Jarzebski wanted to cover more than 200 miles a day on Interstate 80 during the cross-country trip, said the Rev. Ted Rusnak of the Polish Church of the Nativity in San Francisco. The athlete lives in Pabianice, Poland, and had many Polish sponsors for the U.S. trip.

"He is a master in the world in Paralympics, especially hand biking," Rusnak said. "It was his dream, to prove he can do this."

Jarzebski hopes he can get back the bike that has a sticker with the letters AZSLODZ or arrange for another journey with a wheelchair, said Vladimir Zgoda, a doctor traveling with Jarzebski.

"Now he must realize Plan B," Zgoda said. "Maybe we ask the person who robbed this bicycle to give it back to Christopher. Maybe he made a mistake. If you are an honorable man, you can give this bicycle back. A lot of good people want to help us."

 

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