Visually impaired photographer's bike stolen on cross country trip to spread kindness

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

A visually impaired photographer from Detroit, who is on a cross country bike trip to spread random acts of kindness, is stuck in Missouri after his bike was stolen.

Colin McConnell, who goes by Colin Detroit on Instagram (@colindetroit), left 90 days ago to travel around the United States. He said he had some bike trouble Sunday in Missouri and was forced to hide his bike on the side of the road to get his tired fixed. 

By the time he got back, the bike was gone. He wasn't able to lock the bike because there was nothing to lock it to.

Colin McConnell has been on an on epic cross country bike ride since early July to spread acts of kindness funded by his social media followers. His bike was stolen Sunday.

"This is all I have left of that bike," he said in a video Monday on Instagram, holding up a tire. "They took everything. I feel lost, empty, violated. But I'm not going to quit. Stay tuned."

McConnell said he left Detroit in early July and has already traveled more than 4,100 miles, doing "some amazing acts of kindness." He worked with a school doing a cereal drive in Texas, attempting to break a Guinness Book of World Record, buying them 75 boxes of cereal. He also worked with a friend to help people affected by Hurricane Ida in Louisiana.

He said he got a wire in his tire Sunday in Waynesville, Missouri. He got to a gas station to get the wire out of his bike.

Not just his bike, but his clothes, iPad, and camera were all stolen. McConnell was at a fire station Monday.

"Everything I own," he said. "I'm safe. That's all that matters."

This isn't the first time McConnell — who has approximately 17,000 followers on Instagram — has done an epic bike trip to spread kindness. He also rode his bike more than 6,000 miles from Detroit to Austin, again doing acts of kindness along the way.

McConnell — who funds his kindness acts through social media — said he didn't know if he'd fly home, walk or get a bike after having his bike stolen Sunday.

"I don't want this one to end like this."