About a month ago I was approached by the photo director from Bicycling Magazine. Bicycling is the world’s leading cycling magazine – it covers the entire spectrum of cycling from road cycling to mountain biking to recreational cycling and cycling for health and fitness. They decided to fly one of their editors to Slovenia for a week to work on a story about Igor Kenk.
Igor Kenk, the proprietor of a Toronto used bike shop who supplemented his income by “stealing” a bike or two or, as it turns out, 2,865 bikes. He was arrested back in 2008, served some jail time, gained infamy as the most prolific bike thief in history, and subsequently fled Canada for his native land of Slovenia. Igor, not surprisingly, was demonized by the media and bike community in Toronto.
But it’s since become clear that he’s not the evil dude he was made out to be, and that there are more complexities to the story than first appeared. Many of the bikes he rescued from landfills and restored with the idea of providing them to low-income folks who needed a way to get around. The story explores what really happened in Canada. Was Igor maybe on to something, despite the obvious flaws in his business practices? He is, by all accounts, a fascinating man with great love for cycling and bikes. I really enjoyed working with him and editor from Bicycling magazine.