“I thought it was someone pulling my leg. I thought they must’ve had the wrong number,” she said to The Local.
34-year-old Agneta Wallén reported her bike stolen in 1996 after it had been taken from where she had parked it while at work.
An important mode of transportation for Wallén at the time, the loss impelled her to report the matter to the police immediately.
Initially harbouring the hope that the bike might be found within a year, the Gävle native was later obliged to give up the search. She eventually forgot the whole incident.
On Wednesday the police located the long-lost mountainbike in Söderhamn, 69 kilometres to the north and a city Wallén had never set foot in.
With the help of Walléns personal identification number carved into the frame, the police traced the bike’s origins and notified her of its discovery, much to her disbelief.
“I laughed so much that the police eventually started laughing too. I was sure it was a prank my husband was playing on me,” she told The Local.
“It wasn’t until I phoned the police back directly , that I actually believed the bike was found,” she said.
When she was reunited with her beloved bicycle, she felt a wave of nostalgia.
“I was given the bike when I was in high school. The memories came flooding back as soon as I saw it,” she told The Local.
The bike is in almost the same condition, according to Wallén, save for some rust on the handlebars and a punctured front tire.
A single souvenir that the bike picked up on its travels was a sticker that read “The Red Cross 300 kronor”, suggesting that it had at one time been for sale.
The bicycle’s whereabouts and what it has experienced in the years Wallén spent without it remains a mystery.