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Missing disabled man back home in Petaluma after 2-county bike journey

John Wirth of Petaluma had been lost a long time when police caught up with him in St. Helena late Thursday night, got him something to eat and drink, and brought him back home.

It had been more than 40 hours since the mentally disabled man had left on one of his usual bike rides, and clues from his ensuing odyssey suggest he may have pedaled as much as 60 miles along a sometimes treacherous route that included Highway 37 toward Vallejo, though there's no way to know for sure.

All he could tell authorities when his adventure came to an end late Thursday was, "I was just out for a bike ride," Petaluma Police Lt. Tim Lyons said Friday.

He was weary and worn, but "he was OK," Lyons said.

"There are no words that can say how grateful I am," said Wirth's sister, Mary Ann Grant. "I was so worried he wouldn't make it back."


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