Ok people are really starting to annoy me. No not the people who read this blog. Nor the people I work with (it’s been quiet at work lately). It’s not even relatives (ok maybe the aunt who is a Bronco fan is a bit annoying.
No these are those degenerates out there who have a special place in hell waiting for them: Bike thieves. Now let me stop anyone from worrying! My bike is perfectly safe! But as you can see here, even though we have a secure indoor bike location, I still lock it up.
Today though, I was had a chance to talk with one of my fellow cyclist who told me something I didn’t know.
It was a fluke that I even ran into him. Normally I roll the bike into the slot in the morning before he shows up, and I leave before him. However, today I rode into the office and it was a wet one! I was gortexed up (though it was borderline needing a warm layer under the rain shell) so I got to work relatively dry.
The gear though was soaked and needed to drip dry. Suddenly I realized an unforeseen advantage to an indoor bike rack. I could drape everything easily and know nothing would be taken.
After lunch, I decided to go back down, pack stuff up, and straighten up my area. While I was there, he came in to do the same.
As we cyclist do, even cold and callous ones like me, we talked bikes, weather, etc, and I commented it was nice that we could safely leave our crap out without it being stolen. Without that option, I’da had a puddle at my desk! He agreed, since he normally took off his bike lights after they were stolen outside at work.
Then he told me the story that made me angry. Our metro buses all have bike racks on them. It’s nice for people, like him, who live too far away to ride the whole way, and who aren’t lucky enough to work with his wife and use her car to carry the bike. He uses this option every day.
His bus driver warned him though, about people who steal bikes right off the racks! It would be simple. If a dirt bag gets in the bus and sits up front, he (or she I guess (dirtbagettes?)) could watch a cyclist load a bike and get on. If the rider moves toward the back, and has the view blocked, or is reading or otherwise distracted, the dirtbag strikes!
It’s really simple, especially for those riders who take the bus all the time. If the dirtbag knows the stop the cyclist normally uses, all he has to do is get off before hand and grab the bike. If the bus driver doesn’t pay close attention, OR if the dirt bag has a crappy bike and takes a good one, suddenly our intrepid hero is bikeless in Seattle (and trust me that sucks!)
The bus driver let him know it happens all the time. The guy I was talking to let me know that is the main reason he has not gotten a better bike. He is using the old “if my bike is the crappiest at the bike people will leave it alone” trick.
I am not sure why bike thefts have gotten more prevalent around here and elsewhere! Is the resale market that great? When I was a hiker, I was always worried about the car at the trailhead. On the other hand, I would drop my pack at the top of the trail and explore for hours with no worries.
My theory was dirtbags are lazy. It’s easy to drive to a trail head, but they don’t want to put in the time and effort to hike. Have dirtbags decided to be healthy? Do they ride the bikes they steal?
It just made me angry. We work hard for our stuff, and we ride bikes to stay healthy and help the environment. All good things. You’d think we’d earn karma points for that…
So, here’s hoping bike thieves do end up in the lowest rent district of hell, or reincarnated as bushes in a dog park! But, not knowing for sure, I will continue to be the only one who locks the bike in our building!