A Florida triathlon athlete who is a double-arm amputee says someone stole his custom bike early Thursday morning.
“It’s only fitted, it’s modified for me. You can’t sell it. You can’t ride it. You can’t do anything with it,” Hector Picard said. “So by stealing it, they are doing a lot more damage than they really know.”
Picard, 46, who has completed 73 triathlons in the past four years, said his special bike is worth $12,000 – but it’s worthless to anyone besides him. It’s a Seven Axiom titanium road bike, he said.
“It’s definitely obvious. The handlebars are different, the brakes are different,” he said. “The body of the bike, the frame, is completely modified. I mean, a regular person won’t be able to use it.”
Picard was involved in a work-related electrical accident in 1992.
“I received an electrical shock 21 years ago,” he said. “Thirteen thousands volts of electricity went through my body and caused the amputations and the burns.”
The accident left him in a coma for four weeks. His entire right arm and half of his left one were amputated.
But Picard didn’t quit – and now his mission in life is to inspire. Last August he became the first double-arm amputee to start and finish an Ironman race, and he has completed two more Ironman competitions since then.
On June 8 he will set off on a 3,200-mile bike journey to Spokane, Washington to raise money for a little boy with no arms.
But with his bike stolen, Picard has to turn to his old bike. Picard said it is a lot more difficult for him to use – not to mention the hours he will have to spend repairing it.
“I struggle a little more. I’m still going to do it,” he said. “I’m not going to let anything like this stop me.”
Picard isn’t looking for donations, just his bike. Anyone with information is asked to call Fort Lauderdale Police.
He said he won’t let his latest challenge slow him down.
“I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it,” Picard said. “God willing, as long as I’m healthy, bike or no bike, I’m going to do this, and it would just be nice to have that bike back.”
For more information on Picard and his cross-country ride, see his website, dontstopliving.org.
Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida