Saturday, October 16, 2010

Love and (bicycle) Theft

Went to City Park for a big yoga class - about 1,300 people showed up, and it was surprisingly hot in the beautiful fall sun. Short video here. And then to St. Marks to cap it off. Great. Still thinking about a long/bad lecture I had on climate change on Thursday. Hey, I'll stop by the library on the way home - I remember a friend mentioning "Super-Freakonomics" had something contrarian and half-interesting on the subject. Of course Denver library still has all the bike racks fenced off, so I locked up to the fence. Went in, of course it was checked out (unless I wanted to read it in French), and walked out.

Then things happened quickly, and here's how I explained it to the police officer:

-My cut lock was hanging from the fence - no bike.

-I look up and there is a guy on a red big-box store mountain bike ghost riding my bike away.

-I drop my bag (bad idea, as it turns out), kick off my flip-flops (it was a yoga morning) and start running after the guy.

I get almost to the guy's shoulder, and he turns on 14th Ave. (the Denver Marathon is tomorrow, so the street is closed. I'm yelling my lungs out. There are a bunch of marathon-type people - in running shoes - who all stand around doing their best grazing-cow imitation.

-I suddenly realize that my bag - containing my computer - is now sitting out in front of the library - the same library where guys are apparently hacking locks at noon on a Saturday.

-I start running back towards my bag as fast as I can. As I turn away, I see the guy pass off my bike to another guy, who looks like he's getting ready to ride it away.

-I get there, and two other guys are now converging on my bag. There's a very nervous woman with her baby in a front-carrier looking at my bag, looking at the two guys, and looking like she very much wished she wasn't there.

-I go into the library, where two security guards also doing their best grazing cow impression are more than happy to call the police and let me fill out a report.


I come home and yup I still have the receipt and serial number for my 2003 closeout Giant OCR3. Goodbye bike. Not good to get attached to things, but we had some good times together. Like this.


Additional thoughts:

-I wish I hadn't seen the guy stealing my bike. I could have thought, "Well, maybe I just botched locking it up and it fell down and some poor homeless guy took it." Instead, I now know there is a team of bicycle thieves who work the library - the guy who rode the bike away didn't have cutters, and there was at least one other guy (the one who was going to keep riding it away) involved.

-I wish I hadn't thrown my bag down, as my computer screen is now quite damaged (bottom right corner square does not display).

-Prior to this morning, I had been pretty smug about my bike. It had a great patina/aura of crappiness, while still quite useful for road rides (used it for my Denver/Boulder commute, etc.) I guess I was wrong. But I'm not sure what the hell those idiots are going to do with it. The frame is covered in stickers, some of which have been on there for five-six years. The components have never been updated. So a team of thieves ended up with something they can sell for...maybe $100? Less.

-And it's lose-lose. The replacement cost is high. Maybe my venerable Giant OCR3 isn't worth much, but a replacement road bike is going to cost a lot. And now I can add in a new computer screen/computer at some point in the near future. Arg.

-Last thing. So the security guys say, "Oh, this happens all the time." The officer says the same thing. But the library still has no secure bike racks at that location. Not that I'm a litigious lawyer or anything, and not that I'd spend oh, maybe three years trying to get $700 out of the city to buy a new bike, but governmental immunity only goes so far. Especially when the city knows there's a problem. At noon. On a Saturday. At a major public edifice.

Oh, well, live and learn.


catherinekleier said...

This truly sucks. It's like having your oatmeal stolen - you're trying to do something good...

catherinekleier said...

What was the love part of this post?