BOZEMAN, Mont. -

It's bike season again and one Bozeman woman couldn't be happier to be on two wheels. We learned how one woman recovered her stolen bike and what you can do to protect yourself.

"It's like my old friend. I've had this bike a long time." Seven months after Barbara Prowse reported her bike stolen, she's picking it up from the Law and Justice Center. But the way she found her bike might surprise you.

"I'd given up on finding it, so I started looking for another bike," says Prowse.

Brian Menkhaus works at the Bike Peddler, selling new and used bikes.

"What she described, well, we've got a bike like that and it was in the back of the shop," explains Menhkhaus.

"I looked at it and said, 'That's my bike!'" says Prowse.

"There really wasn't a doubt in our mind that it was her bike...The way she reacted, she'd have to be a really good actress to pull that one," says Menkhaus.

That's when folks at the Bike Peddler called police.

"To know that we were in possession of something that somebody took, or stole I should say, that kind of irritates me, to say the least," says Menkhaus.

In order to get her bike back, police wanted a receipt or photo of the bike to confirm it belonged to Prowse. Having received it 20 years ago as a gift, she says she had neither.

"I was pretty upset because, to know my bike was just down the street and I had reported it stolen," explains Prowse.

Police say they took a closer at her initial report and with cooperation from Bike Peddler employees Prowse was reunited with her old friend.

"To make things happen a little quicker, it's really easy to come to the police department and register your bicycle," says Sgt. Travis Munter with the Bozeman Police Department.

With each bike they sell, folks at the Bike Peddler say they also give their customers a bicycle registration form, so they can register their bikes with the police department.

"It doesn't cost you anything and that way they have your serial number," says Menkhaus.

It's something Prowse learned the hard way.

"Make sure you take serial numbers down because it might be difficult to get your bike back, even if it's two blocks down the street," says Prowse.

Prowse was so excited to have her bike back, she left her car in the lot and rode it home.