Here are some facts about Bill Walton: He has a long history of serious injuries to his back and feet; those injuries and the 40-odd surgeries he’s undergone to manage them have caused him great pain, and at one point he said he contemplated suicide; he has a near-religious affinity for riding his bike, and credits it as “the most important thing I have. It is my gym, my wheelchair and my church all in one”; and he is also a very tall man who rides a custom bike with a 70 centimeter high seat tube.
Cycling is a foundational part of Walton’s life, but he’s fresh out of a bike right now. Walton says that Hawaiian Airlines lost his bike at the Honolulu Airport yesterday, and he implored them to give it back. He waited at the airport for five hours, but no bike. For reference, here’s the bike, with a big-ass dog for scale.
Walton appears to be pretty unhappy with the airline, and I can’t blame him. The man lives on two wheels.
I spoke with a Hawaiian Airlines rep, and when I asked if Walton had recovered his bike, she cryptically said, “It’s been resolved.” When pressed, she said once again that “it” had been “resolved,” that the bike had been located, and that Walton was “in the process” of getting his bike back.
However, this call took place a mere 16 minutes after Walton had tweeted a pretty decent burn against Hawaiian (his Twitter’s been pretty good this afternoon). Perhaps they located it in the intervening quarter hour, but the only person who knows the truth is Walton. We’ve reached out to him for confirmation, and we’ll update when we hear back, hopefully with news that he’s out for a ride or something.
Update, 7:49 p.m. EST: The sun is truly shining.