Hey, I am not saying that I have been seeing your bike but we have been seeing a bike that looks almost exactly like the WTB.
Our group is currently stuck in Luxembourg right now, we where here during the attacks and have been playing hell with border police trying to get out of this country so we can winter up in Sweden.
The first day I saw the WTB was with 9 other riders; we had just come back from our Embassy to register a complaint and seek a solution to continue riding. It was at the big city park in Luxembourg city when we first saw it. Someone in our group made a joke about "ANOTHER CUSTOM ASYLUM SEEKER BIKE MOD" because this thing had the ugly bling red tires on it like ones you would get at the Real or Super U. LOL
Then the riser and Bars stood out and one of my mates said that sh*t looks like it would be perfect for him. I have been doing nothing but riding around and camping in Europe since 2004 and never saw anything like that.
Then we saw it again the following day but down towards the main train station without the rider.
I guess about 5 days ago our entire group (46 Expedition Riders) went to the city again from our camp site to see if our embassy's had found a solution yet and we all ran into him when we met back up at the big city park. We where talking with the Lux Bike Cops when that guy came riding by us and one of us stopped the guy and asked him about his rig.
We ended up talking to this man for about 30 minutes. Asked him about his rig, who did his bars and risers. He did not know very much about the bike at all. The kid said that he purchased it from a man who spoke a screwed up dialect of Dutch but was not Dutch him self. We did not ask what he gave for it. He complained about the tires some but said he could not do much because he did not have much money.
Anyway long story short the police had asked the man if he had papers. The guy produced a passport that was grey; standard issue passport for any EU nation that is providing temp asylum to those Without State or Stateless during the investigation period. That is what the police said because right away we asked what nation hands out a grey passport like that.
So the kid is 22 years old at about 163 CM Tall and maybe 48 kilograms, the bike is sort of bike on him. He claims that he is from Iraq but that during the Iraq war his family sought asylum in Syria, that when the fighting started in Syria his family was killed, he had no papers and could not show proof from Syria or Iraq and has to wait until either Iraq or Syria can at least say that he is who he claims to be before he can stay.
He says that his name is Hassan Jama, he is a Minority Christian, loves US Heavy Metal and British Punk. He speaks French, English, Turkish and Arabic that we know of because we are such a mixed group of nationals our selves and we running dialects past him.
Yeah anyway, he asked about us and what we do, we told him that we are all retired military from various nations that have met each other over the years during our service, stayed in contact and formed up dating back to 2004 and have been riding and camping ever since. We said that we where on our way to Sweden for the winter. he mentioned that he has a cousin in Sweden and a cousin in the Netherlands. He said that his cousin in the Netherlands actually has papers to prove who he is but does not know he is in Europe and he does not know how to get in touch with him.
We suggested that he just rides with us north and then we can point him in the proper direction. But that for now we all had to sit tight because border cops where acting like Expedition Bikers are the cause for terrorism and not letting us cross into Germany. We let him know what camp site we where staying at but also told him he could most likely just ask any cop if they knew where to find a large group of pissed off retired military guys riding bikes with trailers and that they could point the way.
Then again I saw the bike 3 days ago chained up on a back street be the Best Western right near the Indian Food restaurant some of us went and ate at. We hung out inside for about 4 hours easy and when we came out that bike was still there. I would only assume that he lives right near there because that is right by the main train station that we saw the bike near before.
So today, me the 9 other Americans went back to our Embassy to really flip out this time because we are getting sick of this shit. We ran into Hassan yet again, this time without his bike. Naturally the first thing asked was dude where is your bike. I mean that is all he has, just like us, by choice our rigs and gear we pack is all we have too; that is common ground so your going to ask, right.
He said that his shitty tires ave up on him and that he could not afford to fix it. So we went and had a look at it, those reds where worn through pretty good and both tires where flat. One of the guys called another one out of our group who knows this country better than we did, and he and 4 others took off to meet up with them to go to some bike shop in the area. The rest of us and Hassan went over to the donner stand for a bite to eat. We waited about an hour or so and they met back up with us.
Now the bike has a set of Tioga Square Eight (front and back), some cheap XLC pedals that are better in this weather than half broke pedals he had on the bike. New brake pads, a cheap gas tank, cheap frame bag (both in black), a cheap cateye set of lights, spoke refelctive tape on every third spoke now, the bars have a new wrap (blue and white), left brake lever is new, (other was broke in half), 3 new drink bottle carriers with crane 1 liter bottles that are yellow (one in the normal spot and one each mounted on either side of the fork.
Then we told him to come out with us to our camp site and we picked up some steaks to grill. Some of or all of us gave him some gear that would help him get on his way which ever way that might be. Nothing special really just some things that may stick out would be like a 511 three day assault pack with an orange reflective rain cover. A black Bass Pro Shop pancho, Some warm weather clothing, tire repair kit and cheap air pump someone had an extra of. some para cord and an 8X12 blue tarp, a laminated large size European Map I had before I switched to GPS. Extra set of tubes.
Really just some things we all either had extra of or stuff that for what ever reason we still had after we replaced something or upgraded.
But anyway we again offered that the kid rolls out with us north when ever they actually let us through. He seemed pretty interested this time though and was even looking at the map. We showed him the route we would be taking on the map and that at the nearest point we would only be about 17 kilometer from the Netherlander border and which route he could follow without flaw to take him directly to Emmen where he says his cousin lives that has papers on him.
We also let him know that when ever we are let through the German border that we would not be screwing around coming to look for him. That every second day we ride that 20 kilometers to the border to see if we can pass or not and that if they let us pass that not one of us would be riding back to find him; that every second day he needed to be at our camp site at 0900 hours ready to ride just in case they let us through that day.
He said that he would go on and get his stuff ready and he would meet us our here in 2 days.
But look, as I said before, I do not know if this is your bike or not. Facts are it looks exactly like it with that hunter green, riser and bars. I have seen many bikes in my years but never one of these, however that does not mean anything.
In a way I sort of hope that it is not yours, because we put on some pretty cheap gear on to the bike, serviced what we could and it would certainly make from here to Emmen 3 or 4 times with what we did to it but the bike really needs to by put up on a rack, torn down and serviced properly.
I am not saying it is the bike in the picture but it sure as hell looks like it is. I would suggest that you contact your police there, show them this thread and get them to call the Luxembourg Police. From the known locations I had mentioned seeing the bike at, the kids name, plus what it looks like now I am sure the Police would have no issue running over there and checking it out. Hell I am sure the bike cops would even remember speaking with him at the park the other day. They told us that there is only 6 bike cops in that city and that Him and Her where the only ones that ride in the winter.
It gives you 2 days at least to have that sorted out. I am not often on here at all, but if we do not get to cross the border again then we will be back right here camped out and I will have a net connection and contact you to let you know if he showed up or not and what he is up to and if he plans on trying to come with us again.
Sorry I had to put this out on the forum, I know it is sort of f*cked up to be like hey dude, we saw your bike and temp fixed it up with some cheap stuff; but seriously I had a great deal of details to put in to this just in case it is your rig then the police have as much to go on as they can in finding it, and that did not all fit in the Private Message.
But on the up side of things, if it is your bike and we do get to cross the border and he does come along with us. The German Border Police have checked our frame numbers every day that we have gone there, plus searched the hell out of gear as well. 5 years ago Interpol set up a system that is a data base that allow EU police agencies to check VIN's on vehicles. The Germans right away mentioned what a great idea that would be to have for bikes too and that system soon followed. So when a cop does their job properly your bike would be flagged in the system as stolen. Just saying.
But if they do not do their jobs properly (we are crossing on and important Christmas Sunday in to Germany) then you at least know what city he is going to in the Netherlands. Those Netherlands investigators are squared away really good. I am sure they could track it down from there. But also if he does travel with us I will try to juice him for some more information to see who his cousin is.
He only knows what city his cousin is in, he has no way to contact his cousin. So he has been around us enough now and thinks we mean no harm, I will ask what his cousins name is, what his plans are to contact his cousin, just simple intel. Then the next time we get to a place that has internet I can sign on and give you the details I have and that should help more.
In closing, again I am not saying it is your bike, it just looks like it. Also if it is, when you get it back, sorry about the cheap and tacky colors of Gucci gear we put on. We just wanted to make it safer and able to ride, but seriously it looks pretty tacky now.
Thanks! I've forwarded your post to Jeroen.
Thanks for the info.
Please make a picture of the bike if possible?
No, I am not retro.... I am way ahead of my time...
"...though a lot of marijuana was smoked in the early days of mountain bike development, not all of the riders were potsmoking hippies... " Frank J. Berto
Who's that f#$king Doug Lexington?!
Well we did not make it out today, German Border Police are being bigger pricks than normal. Each one of us served 20 years or longer in our countries, some of us are from Europe and those of us who are not even have residency visa's. Hell mine is from Germany, so I can pay tax in that country, just not ride in with a large group people because "Bike Travelers Are Currently A Threat To This Nation".
Anyway Hassan was a no show; we are back at the same camp site again but will be headed north to cross at the Belgium border. We have already called ahead and asked if their borders where open to riders.
If Hassan shows then he shows, if he does not show up then you have enough details to pass along to your nations authorities, if you do head down this way your self just do not go through Germany, they are currently concerned with Bike Riders more so than Terrorist.
I was talking with the other guys about one of them doing a pic, to put on here. Then I told them about this thread and one of them pointed out that you posted the Frame Number, so if we see him we will lock his bike up to one of our bikes and show him this thread as well. Chances are he was not the person who stole it, most likely he purchased it off of a fence. Legally all we can do is chain it up, show him the thread and contact the local police about this thread. So if he does come around today then I will let you know, if not then it will be a couple weeks before I am back on the net again because our route does not have any camp sites with net access until we get up to Sweden.
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