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December 4, 2017

Hostage negotiation with Mike Saavedra.

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Barcelona, is a city of many faces. She has a way of intoxicating you with a rich architectural history dating back to the Roman empire.  An abundance of fresh foods, and a plethora of spots that seem to be straight out of a video game, but not many people are aware of the gem that sits just north of the city. Nestled on the coast about 30 miles north of Barcelona in the small village of Mataro lays a masterpiece of creativity and dedication; The utopia I am speaking of is the Lost Trails, one of the most creative and perfectly shaped sets of trails I have ever had the privilege of riding.

The locals David and JR have dedicated countless hours to meticulously shape what can only be described as dirt waves.

 Inspired by trails from around the world they have built one of the baddest spots on the planet. And this year they decided to hold the first annual Lost Trails jam. Bringing together an international group of people from all parts of Europe. It was truly an honor to be present for such an inspirational gathering of like-minded individuals.
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Photo by @Axledomingou

With Barcelona only 30 minutes away by train, myself and the english boys who made the trip down south decided to have a night in the city. After a few beers with the boys we decided to hit another spot just around the corner, Unfortunately the bar we went to had a fairly dark courtyard. I locked my bike on a rack amongst 20 other bicycles. At the time I didn’t feel too worried about it because the plan was to only have a beer, however one beer turned into three and by the time I got back outside my baby was long gone. Without any idea of who took it or when it was taken, it made the efforts to recover my bike feel futile. Although a bicycle is nothing more than a physical possession, most of us reading this know that the bond with our bikes is far more than we can explain or even limit to it just being a possession.
With 11 days to go on my two week trip I decided I should probably come home early. That’s when I received a photo that a kid had taken of someone with my bike exiting a store in the center of the city.

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Photo captured by @thatlittleginge

Although he was unable to confront the man in the photo, to see my bike in one piece was enough for me to stay in Barcelona and continue my search.
In the mean time, I spent my days pedaling around the city seeing some of the beautiful history Bcn has to offer, while scanning every bmx bike I saw going down the street.

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That’s when the homie, Beto, from Happy Bikes in Barcelona, sent me a DM To inform me that someone had contacted the bike shop trying to sell my bike ! And they found it online. It had been painted red.

Found on wallapop.com

So they arranged to meet up to try to recover my bike.
It almost felt too easy…no way was this guy going to walk straight into our trap. We arranged to meet the guy the next day at the local metro stop near the bike shop. After two hours of standing around, we figured this guy isn’t showing up or maybe he had been tipped off. It was also the same day a massive march for independence was held. With over 50 thousand people on one street.

I wanted to let it go and just enjoy my trip. But I felt like we were so close.
A week passed. I had decided that I wasn’t going to allow my bike getting stolen ruin my trip. With so many things to be thankful for, I wanted my last weekend to be fun and positive. Borrowing my good friend Dani Ebo’s bike I made the most of it; Cooking up a fresh dish of paella at the trails with the boys and getting a solid session in felt better then I could ever find the words to describe.

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I couldn’t have found a better way to end my trip. Until….we fished dinner at the trails and got a phone call. The guy wanted to meet up again!
Beto had got a call from the homie, Kerpa, saying the guy wanted to meet up that night and sell the bike for $250. This time it was on. The boys rallied and before long we had a caravan on the way to Barcelona to rescue my bike. We spread out to cover as much ground as we could. Rolling deep, we had a steak out, 8 heads on different corners until someone spotted the guys and nabbed them. He wanted 60 bucks for the bike, he said he bought it off a junkie. It wasn’t the same guy that was spotted with the bike in the photo that was taken so it was hard to say if he was telling the truth. Either way I wasn’t about to pay him. He weighed his options quickly and gave us the bike without any trouble. My bike had been spray painted red, with most of the red scraped off. My Profile push stem had been swapped out for hunk of shit. My sealed pedals swapped for some loose ball plastic crap, But over all my bike was still intact. We had a few street beers in celebration of recovering yet another bike.

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Beto told me this was the 6th bike he helped recover in Barcelona. After we retrieved my bike, I knew I wanted to do something special for him in return. I was flying out the next day so I decided to part my bike out to Beto and Kerpa for all of their help!  Those dudes truly embody the idea of a bmx brotherhood:  It’s not about how you ride or who you ride with, It’s a family, A community of people watching out for one another. And that right there is the biggest blessing anyone could have.
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 Thank you to Dani, David, JR, Beto and Happy Bikes in Barcelona for all you do for the community and the people around you.
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@davidLTM Lost Trails master builder. Photo by @PJturns

December 4, 2017