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Amputee’s bicycle stolen

All he wanted to do was join his family for a ride through the mountains of Idaho.

Instead, triple-amputee Bob Mortimer will stay at the trail’s edge today and see them off.

That’s because someone in Spokane stole Mortimer’s specialized bike, and he’s having a hard time understanding why.

“I don’t think they understood what they were taking,” said Mortimer, who lives in Gig Harbor, Wash. “It’s not useful for anybody unless you happen to be an amputee.”

After losing both of his legs and one arm in a drunken driving accident in which he was electrocuted by downed power lines, Mortimer cleaned up his life and began taking his message to groups as a motivational speaker. He came to Spokane this week to tell his story during an assembly at Northwood Middle School and to ride the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes with his wife and three children, ages 7, 13, and 17.

But those plans fell apart when the family awoke at their north Spokane hotel room Wednesday to find the $1,500 bike — which can be pedaled, steered and braked with one hand — to be missing, stolen from the car rack while the family’s other bikes were left behind.

Mortimer and his wife have pedaled across Washington and were planning to ride across the country. The bike could be replaced, he said, but it would take time.

“I’ve kind of become comfortable with that bike, I hope I don’t have to break in a new one,” he said.

In the meantime, the family is trying to enjoy the rest of their vacation. The children offered to stay behind with their dad in Kellogg today, but Bob Mortimer wanted to make sure they got their ride.

“Now I’m the support team,” he said. “I’ll make sure they have everything they need and cheer them on.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.