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Bike mystery solved

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Answer to how Landis’ bike got to Owenton found

By John Whitlock

For about week, Owen County’s Greg Estes has been all over the place.

His picture has been prominently featured on Yahoo News. He’s fielded calls from local, regional and international media organizations.

All this over a $5 bike.

Last week, the News-Herald broke the story first of Estes, the custom-made racing bike, and former Tour de France champion Floyd Landis.

During the 127 Yard Sale earlier this month, Estes bought the bike for $5 from a lady in Owenton. The woman told Estes that her late husband worked as a bridge inspector for the state of Kentucky and found the bike at the bottom of a hill off an interstate highway.

After researching the bike’s history, Estes found it was built by Cyco-Path Bikes in Temecula, Calif., for Landis.

Following the discovery, Estes has been part of a minor media storm.

Since the story was published, the News-Herald has received numerous requests from news organizations looking for Estes and several e-mails about the bike’s history and some of the details about how the bike found its way to Owenton.

In a story written by Barry Petchesky of the sports web site Deadspin.com,  the bike was sent to Scott’s Bicycle Center in Cleveland, Tenn., for a tune-up.

Landis was using the bike during part of the National Ultra Endurance series which winds through parts of Georgia and Tennessee. In May 2008, Landis had planned to ride it during the Mohican MTB100 in Ohio.

As an employee from Scott’s Bicycle Center transported the bike from Tennessee to Ohio, it apparently fell off.

The employee told Petchesky that Kentucky State Troopers helped search for the bike for a long time but came up empty handed.

“ After the bike fell off the transport, we called many shops and got Floyd a Hi-Fi Pro from (one of the inventors of the mountain bike) Gary Fisher to ride in the race,” the employee told Deadspin. “We always wondered what had happened to the bike when it was lost. Never thought it would surface.”

In one of the many e-mails received by News-Herald staff over the past week, Jim Snyder, an employee of Herbruck and Adler of Ohio, said he had dinner with Landis the night before the Ohio race in 2008 and was told about the lost bike.

Estes said he has not been contacted by Landis or any of his representatives.

“If Floyd calls, I might turn it over to him for a reward or finder’s fee but that’s not happened yet,” Estes said.

Although the value of the bike has ranged from $2,000 to $6,000, Estes said he’s just about ready to sell it.

“I will probably put it up on eBay in the next couple of days and see what I can get for it,” Estes said.