Oregon Cowboy Robert Borba Lassos Bike Thief

There’s this great scene in American Flyers where cyclists Marcus and David Sommers (played by Kevin Costner and David Grant) race two cowboys on horses while training somewhere on the high plains of the American West.  Director John Badham and writer Steven Tesich compare cyclists to cowboys repeatedly throughout the movie.  David Sommers typically trained in a western hat, for example.

I thought of this yesterday when I read of  Robert Borba, the Oregon rodeo cowboy who lassoed a would be bicycle thief in the Walmart parking lot in Eagle Point, Oregon.  Now some readers may question what Borba was doing on his horse in front of the local Walmart, but there are large swaths of the US where horses are still considered a perfectly normal and appropriate mode of transportation.  I suspect that Eagle Point is one of these places.

Denver & Rio Grande Western Rail Trail - iconic images of the American west.

Denver & Rio Grande Western Rail Trail – iconic image of the American west.

Here’s how it all went down.  The woman who owned the bike actually saw the thief take off on it as she came out of the store.  She gave chase.  I imagine she might have screamed at him to stop. I know I would have.  Borba, being a perceptive cowboy and a gentleman, gave chase.  He nabbed the guy too.  Roped him, he did.  Tied him down.  I’m not sure how many seconds it took.  Wish I could have seen it.

I think about the cowboy metaphor a lot while riding, especially when I’m out in the middle of nowhere and the mountains rise up before me.  I sometimes think that if I’d have been born a hundred years earlier I might like that life.  I’ve also been known to urge readers here to “saddle up and ride.”   We’re not that different, we cyclists and cowboys.

I don’t know Robert Borba but I know that I like him.  Maybe someday he’ll find himself in need and a cyclist will return the favor.  I hope so.  In the meantime, it’s nice to know that this man has our backs.  Bravo, Sir.  Well done.


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