SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Talk about San Francisco hospitality at its worst.
When Chad Kimbrell loaded two competition bikes on the back of his motorcycle and rode across country to compete in last weekend’s Escape From Alcatraz to raise money to fight prostate cancer, life was great. After all, he just celebrated his 40th birthday, he’d be riding with his fiance Candace Zipf in one of the most beautiful places in the country, and it was all for a good cause.
When he arrived to the Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel, staffers told him to park his motorcycle at the front entryway. Both bikes, worth about $10,000 each, were attached with multiple steel locks, and hotel staff said they would be there all night.
When he woke up, life had changed overnight. Thieves had cut the locks and the bikes were nowhere in sight.
“I was sick to my stomach,” said Kimbell with a Southern accent, sounding close to tears, “I had a good feeling nothing wrong is going to happen, we’re parked right here next to the guys that are here all night.”
Kimball filed a police report and posted a notice on Craigslist, but the bikes were long gone.
His big sister down in Alabama heard about it and decided to alert local news media.
“I just emailed them. I looked on the Internet in the San Francisco-Bay Area,” Monica Davis. “I was just thinking, hopefully with the attention it might help.”
Davis is the proverbial older sister.
“I’m looking out for my little brother. I just hate for that to come on people. Oh well… maybe something good will come out of it, with the donations for the cancer fund.”
Fortunately, the bad hospitality in San Francisco got better. Some other competitors loaned both Kimbrell and his fiancee bikes for the triathlon, so they were able to compete.
In fact, Kimbrell told KPIX 5 he didn’t care if he swam without a wetsuit, rode on a clunky beach cruiser and ran barefooted. He was going to make the most of it.
Big sis said she hasn’t talked to her brother since he left San Francisco.
“He left, but no one returned the bikes. Maybe they’ll still come up,” said Davis.
Kimbrell will be reminded of them every time he checks his donation page. There’s a picture of him and his fiancee smiling, straddling their bikes, ready for the open road. It says,
I want to put an end to the suffering of prostate cancer that strikes nearly 240,000 men each year and kills nearly 30,000 others – and I need your help… And as I cross the finish line of the upcoming Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon you’ll take comfort in knowing you helped make it possible.
The good news is Kimbrell has surpassed his goal of $2000. As of Monday, he has raised, $2,280.
One of the comments below says, “Happy Birthday and Good Luck In San Fran!”
Kimbrell is definitely a winner. Sadly, he needed more than luck in “San Fran,” and “San Fran” could have used a lesson from him in kindness, and good ol’ Southern hospitality.