It's almost like a story out of a, well, a Mark Twain novel. Ty Robinson’s admiration for the author lured him to Hannibal, Mo., but things went sour the night he arrived.
Ty Robinson’s admiration for Mark Twain’s writings is what lured him to Hannibal on Monday. What happened overnight left him with desire to get out of this town posthaste.
The 29-year-old bicyclist from North Bend, Wash., is drawn to way Twain puts a spin on life. Ty is still looking for the positive spin on his own adventure.
Upon the advise of some locals he ran into Monday but can’t identify, the trusting traveler laid down his head in a park on Monday night. Early Tuesday morning he awoke to find his bicycle and all his gear literally stolen out from under him.
Ty left his hometown around the first of July. Traveling on bicycle with two buddies, Ty set his goal to ride from coast to coast, putting his feet down at his final destination, Virginia Beach, Va. The three friends were each under-employed in the construction field in their home state.
Rather than waiting out the economic downturn by doing nothing, they decided to partake on an adventure. Ty sold his car and purchased a brown Fugi touring bike, which is designed to “carry a lot of weight and go a long ways,” Ty said. He separated from his buddies along the way, with an agreement that they would meet back up in St. Louis. Ty took a route that allowed him to stay with friends and family, including his aunt and uncle in Fort Collins, Colo.
Ty’s first setback came in Lander, Wyo., where he was hit by a car. Returning to the road, he has experienced flat tires and broken spokes along the way, but nothing compared to his Hannibal experience.
In touch with his family, which is sending aid in the form of care packages to the motel where he is staying, the young man remains stranded here, without so much as a toothbrush, a change of clothes, a razor or a cable for his cell phone.
On Wednesday, he walked to the police station in downtown Hannibal - close to three miles - in order to pick up a copy of the theft report, only to be told to come back on Thursday.
With the help of his mother back home, he has filed an insurance claim.
“Maybe the insurance will take care of the bike, maybe not,” he said.
Right now, he’s playing the waiting game.
“I don’t know how long I want to stay in town. I don’t have the best thoughts about it.”
He said if it wasn't for Mark Twain, he wouldn’t have even stopped here. “I’d of kept on going right across that bridge,” he said.
If he can get a new bike to ride, or even recover his old bike, “I can see the Atlantic in three weeks,” he said.
More than halfway into his adventure, he remains hopeful he will reach that goal.