:: :: I wrote a post about my bike a few months ago but haven’t published that post yet. Now I have something else to share about my bike. It’s very long, but if you go to the end you can see my original post. It’s kind of sad in hindsight. :: ::
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Last Thursday my bike was stolen. I wanted to talk about it earlier here, but at first I couldn’t bring myself to look at this older photo of it and I knew I wanted to include this photo in the post. And then I wrote this all out and couldn’t bear to look at it again. But I just need to write this down and if you think it’s dumb, then you think it’s dumb. I just need to get it out.
Starting last Thursday, I was dog sitting for Brian and Jill’s dog, Vegas, and was using their car. I came home at 7:15 p.m. and saw that I’d left my bike out in our courtyard between the stairs to our apartment and the door to our downstairs neighbor’s apartment. I made a mental note to put my bike in our basement when I left to go back and hang out with Vegas more. I picked up a little in the house and made something to eat. When I went downstairs at 8:45 p.m., my bike was gone. Panic!
I checked with all the tenants on our property and no one had seen or heard anything. We looked all around, but it was no where to be found. After the neighbors went back in their houses I sort of freaked out. I tried to call Dallas and couldn’t get him. He was at a friend’s house. I called our landlords and somewhat bitched about how the gates are never locked. And how the basement door was wide open when I walked outside and no one was down there. I was pretty upset so I called Jess and started to tell her what happened. I was outside and I saw a police car go by. By the time it registered that I should report the robbery, their car was already down the block. It came by again, but this time it stopped and two officers came out. I hung up on Jess and ran down by them. I said, “I don’t know what you’re doing here, but my bike just got stolen.” They were in the neighborhood looking for a burglar. A theft had just been reported. Go figure. So either someone was ripping things off all over our block, or the thief had stolen something from someone, was on the run from the cops, and used my bike as a get-away.
The police filed a report for me, but not without such kind, comforting words as “don’t plan on getting your bike back, it’s probably on the south side by now” and “you thought you were moving to a safe neighborhood? sucker!” Great. They also seriously asked me if I had a Google t-shirt they could have after they asked where I worked. What the hell? At least I finally had a report.
I was somewhat amused to think of some thug pedaling his heart out on a pink bike with a basket on the front. Not that amused, though. I was mostly pissed off and heartbroken. I still couldn’t get Dallas on the phone and I called Jess back and cried for about an hour. I don’t know why I was so abnormally attached to that bike. It was like my pet died or something. I was thinking about all the places I’d been with the bike. I thought about the dent I put in the back fender right after I bought it and incorrectly attached it to a bike rack in front of Robey’s while getting dinner salads for Dallas and I once. I noticed that dent a lot while riding the bike and thought how someday it would rust and I’d always remember how it got there. Now I’ll never see it rust. I remembered all the trips to the grocery stores and all the errands I wouldn’t have been able to run without it. I remembered how when I bought it I hated the color, but grew to really love it. Pink!
I know it’s pretty pathetic and I was acting like a 6-year-old, but I was pretty distraught. It’s just a bike. But it was my bike and it meant a lot to me. I think there were a mix of a lot of things going on. I was really very mad at myself for not putting the bike away right when I noticed it was out and instead going upstairs for dinner. I’m very responsible about putting my bike away and this one time I wasn’t I paid. I was mad that I’ve been very lax about making sure our gates are locked. And that our fellow tenants also are. I beat myself up a lot over it how I thought it was all my fault.
I was angry that I thought we’d moved to a safe neighborhood and in the end the same thing happened as when I lived in the up-and-coming neighborhood. Back then my apartment was broken into, but I felt the same sort of violation this time. If my bike was stolen off some random street in Chicago, that’s one thing, but this was my home. I was upstairs eating a veggie wrap while at the bottom of the stairs, 100 feet away from me, someone was taking my property from my “safe” place. I was embarrassed that I always brag to everyone about how great and safe my neighborhood is and then this.
I was sad to have lost something that has given me so much freedom and contributed to a healthier lifestyle. Not to mention fun. At the end of the day, someone basically stole my car. I know this is more of the feeling that the bike gave me, rather than the bike itself, but I really loved the bike itself too. I was proud of it. People knew I loved it. Other people loved it. I had an awesome bike, and I knew it.
Finally, there was the monetary investment I made into it. It was a big splurge for me. I never imagined I’d ever spend that much on a bike, but it was worth every penny. It was the perfect bike for me. I knew what I wanted and I paid to get it. I justified the expense by not having car or car insurance or gas payments. So there was that, too.
When Dallas got home at about midnight or so he of course gave me a big hug and tried to share some kind words but I just started crying again. A week’s time has given me prospective. It’s a bike. It’s a thing. It can be replaced. No one was hurt. In a city where people are shot and killed every day, this is minor. I have enough money to buy a new bike. It’s not the end of the world. But I can’t get the image out of my head of the last time I saw my bike and I can’t help but to have this naive hope that one day I will open the gate, round the corner, and my bike will be where I left it. Dallas keeps telling me every day just to let it go. Today I did call my bike shop and inquire about replacements. I’m feeling better and I know I need a replacement soon. We’ll see what happens. I really can’t explain what my attachment to my bike was, but it is definitely leaving going to take some time for me to get over the loss.
Some fond bike memories on rachelleb.com:
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:: :: Original Post Below :: ::
I ride my bike just about every day, many days more than once a day. I can’t even imagine not having it now. Being carless for about 7 years now, having a bike has allowed me a lot of freedom and convenience that has made my life easier, more enjoyable and healthier.
I took this photo back in May. I rode my bike to the salon to get my hair cut. I was waiting a few minutes for my stylist to come out and I looked outside and thought “Man, I love my bike. And, look how cute it is!” I get compliments while I’m riding it all the time. Once, I was checking out at a store and one cashier wistfully looked outside and said to the other, “Oh, it’s such a nice day outside. I wish I could be out there. And look at that awesome pink bike!” I was just putting my wallet back into my purse, I picked up my bike helmet and proudly said “It’s mine!” as I walked out the door.