Long-distance bicyclist gets free car
GREELEY – Once again, the rain fell.University student Joseph Feiccabrino Jr. has ridden his bicycle on countless days like this. His rain gear, Broncos stocking cap and gloves helped repel a lot of the water, but he was still wet and shivering when he rolled into the parking lot. The only difference between that and any other cold, wet journey: This trip was one way.On Wednesday, Feiccabrino, 37, picked up his new car at Champion Chevrolet in Windsor. Shortly after the Greeley Tribune published a story about Feiccabrino’s broken-down car and almost daily bike rides from his Longmont home to classes at the University of Northern Colorado, readers have responded, asking if anyone would help. Bryan Larsen, general manager at Champion Chevrolet, contacted the Tribune and said the dealership wanted to give Feiccabrino a car.Feiccabrino pictured something small, such as a Geo Metro. When he saw the shining 2000 Dodge Caravan with 61,276 miles, he immediately began to make plans. He studies dietetics and wants to take some friends to a dietetics convention this fall in St. Louis. He peered into the back storage space and imagined friends’ luggage stacked behind the rear seat.”I’ll probably get a whole bunch of people, stick their stuff inside and tie their stuff on top,” he said, gesturing to where everything would go.He thought he might take the mini-van to Independence Pass and camp inside overnight. In the morning he would ride his bike, for fun. He might get his old job back delivering pizzas, but he hopes he can find a job working in dietetics. He might even move to Greeley, now that he isn’t tied to the public transportation ports in Longmont. “It’s a good day,” Feiccabrino said moments after seeing the new car. He paused while signing his name to the paperwork. He flexed fingers, made cold and stiff by the three-hour bicycle ride to the dealership. His wet arms left watery traces on the table, and the road grit from his back and legs ground into his chair.The bicycle ride back to Longmont would have been miserable, Feiccabrino said. He’d heard forecasters predicting snow for the afternoon. The day before, he laid his bike down in the middle of the road and dodged hail.The sales staff looked out the dealership’s windows as Feiccabrino climbed into the van, switched on the headlights and cranked the windshield wipers toggle. He honked twice and backed out, his bike still muddy and dripping in the back seat.Vail, Colorado
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