Woodside: Roberts shoppers do good deed

By Kate Daly

Special to the Almanac

Thanks to a group of loyal customers, the store manager at Roberts Market in Woodside has a new bike to commute to work with after his old one was stolen.

Michael Kerr, who has worked at Roberts for 26 years, likes to commute by bike. On May 17, during Bike to Work Week, he commuted as usual from his home in Palo Alto by train and bike.

He chained his bike to the building at Roberts, but at the end of his shift he discovered his bike was missing.

He happened to share the news with Betty Irvine when she came in to shop. The longtime Woodside resident said she wanted to help Mr. Kerr. "I hate it when bad things happen to good people," she said.

She sent out an email to local friends, asking them to make donations toward buying him a new bike. Twenty-one people responded. A few weeks ago she presented him with a $1,500 gift certificate to a bike shop in Palo Alto.

"I was surprised, and moved," he said.

He's now riding a "new specialized hybrid" bike from his place in San Carlos to Roberts five days a week. He said he feels very fortunate, and is taking the precaution of parking his new bike inside.

The irony of the situation, he said, is his bike "is the only one I've ever heard of getting ripped off from this store, and every day there are hundreds of bicycles leaning up against the building that are much nicer than mine."

He said the Sheriff's Office is "aware of pros who snap bikes, throw them in vans, and then move them." He checked eBay and Craigslist to see if anyone posted his old bike for sale, but nothing showed up online.


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