Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story misidentified Mark Schmidt as the former co-owner of Bike Hampton. He was never involved in the running of the store, though he invested in the business about 10 years ago.
When Bob Michaelson and his wife took their bicycles to BikeHampton for repairs last fall, they thought nothing of it. As city residents who have had a second home in Sag Harbor for about 30 years, they have a long history with the shop. They purchased their bikes from the previous owners back when BikeHampton was located on Bay Street.
Last November, when Michaelson went back to retrieve the bikes, he was told two things: one, his bike — a $2,000 hybrid — needed a part that had to be ordered; and two, the shop would be closing.
“They told me it would reopen, and that in the meantime the bikes would be taken to the owner’s home and the phone would remain active,” he recalled. After some time passed, however, “I hadn’t hear from them,” Michaelson continued. “And the phone had been disconnected.”
According to Sag Harbor Village Detective Jeff Proctor, there have been several different people who have come to the police with similar stories.
“I’ve had a few phone calls from people who have left their bikes there to get repaired or sold,” in which case BikeHampton and the bike owner would share the profits, he said.
And now — with BikeHampton’s closure in December — he said these people have found themselves utterly bike-less.
Employees of the Flying Point Surf Shop, which has since expanded its women’s department into the former BikeHampton space, said they, too, have received visits from frustrated customers who have recently come looking for sprockets and chains only to find Uggs and bikinis. One employee said he’s seen at least five such visitors.
Attempts to contact both BikeHampton’s former owner, Dave Krum, were met with disconnected phone lines. Krum — who Proctor said is currently in Florida — did not return messages left on his cell phone.
“I had gone in the store periodically to buy a bike or get some repairs done,” Michaelson continued. “The people were friendly and got things done. It was a good part of the business community.”
When asked if there were any red flags that could have possibly led to this sudden turn of events, Michaelson said, no, “not from my point of view.”
In an interview last week, however, he said the situation seemed rather grim: “I honestly don’t expect to ever see that bicycle again.”
But, that was then.
This past Tuesday, Detective Proctor said he may have found the missing metal stash. Based on information he received from sources who wished to remain anonymous, he said several bikes are currently being stored at a home near Sag Harbor.
“We don’t know if that’s going to be all the bikes,” Proctor added. However, he urges anyone who had left a bike at BikeHampton prior to its closure to contact the police department.
As of press time, it still wasn’t clear whether or not Michaelson’s bike had been located, but at least Michaelson said he now has hopes of seeing his hybrid once more.
“I had already gone out and bought a new bicycle under the assumption that that one was gone,” he admitted. “But, that’s ok. I wanted a new bike anyway.”
He said he hopes everyone else with a missing bicycle finds him or herself just as fortunate.