Posted by Justin Rice April 2, 2012 11:57 AM
Photo courtesy of Kate DayA serious crime involving the whimsical white bike on the Danvers Rail Trail has turned into an April fool’s joke that has, in turn, turned into a serious fundraiser.
Last Thursday Danvers Senior Planner Kate Day reported that the white bike that has adorned the Pickering Street trail entrance to the Danvers Rail Trail was missing.
On Monday morning she found a practical joke ransom note on her desk that read: “If you want the white bike back leave $1,000 in the Code Department by noon today or you’ll never see it again.”
The hand-written note was signed “kidnapper.”
Day couldn’t resist blast e-mailing the news of the note along with a link to the donation page for the Rail Trail.
“See attached ransom note which mysteriously appeared on April 1,” she wrote. “To make a donation for the bike’s safe return, visit http://www.danversrailtrail.org/donate.htm
Day said the Danvers Rail Train Committee has already raised about $9,000 through its Millage Marker sponsorship signs and that they could use about $20,000 to $25,000 by the end of the year to help secure a $75,000 state matching grant they applied for jointly with the Town of Wenham.
The white bike was put up by a neighbor of the Rail Trail, Paula Boyce, in December and has since been decorated for each season.
“This is not a stunt,” Day said during a telephone interview this morning of the bike's disappearance. “It’s funny I got a humorous April 1 ransom note and I figured why not follow up. The bike is actually sorely missed and there has been a lot of interest in finding it. We’ll have to see if it turns up. Everyone keeps saying ‘Somewhere, someone must know something about where the bike is.’”
Day said she hopes to raise more funds during a ceremony to celebrate the work accomplished to date on the Danvers Rail Trail during National Rail Trail Day on June 2.
“That’s going to be a really, really fun event,” Day said. “There is going to be a lot going on that day. That will get a lot of people on the Rail Trail who haven’t been on the Rail Trail before and engage them as well.”
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the white bike can contact the Danvers Police at 978-774-1212.
Justin A. Rice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.