I realize now that I was naîve: I threaded a cable lock through the frame and the rear wheel and parked it in the parking lot of a gated apartment complex, and thought it was safe. Maybe it would have been, but for another resident of the complex, who arranged with cohorts to cart it off.
My first bike. Jeez. It’s like taking a pet, for cryin’ out loud. And I did. Cry out loud, I mean, once I got over being profoundly angry. I’d gone to Illinois to bury my 98-year-old mother, and then had to go back on the road for business. When I came back and saw the empty parking space, I stopped, gaped, tried to make sense of it (“Did I park it on the other side? Have I violated some obscure parking rule and the management has towed it off?”). I just couldn’t believe it.
Another neighbor recorded shaky video of the theft on his cell phone. He was half-asleep, afraid to confront the thugs in the pre-dawn hours (and I don’t blame him). They’d come prepared; it can’t have taken long for a couple of guys to pick it up and throw it on the open trailer. Here’s the video:
It’s not like CSI: you can’t read the tag or identify the culprits, although the neighbor who recorded this overheard the thieves thank the guy who let them in the gate. He moved out shortly thereafter, and I never got a chance to confront him. Maybe karma will leap up and bite him on the ass.
The police didn’t exactly leap to action; I guess they get a lot of this. But a detective did call me one week later, when one of the thieves ran into the back of a truck and totaled the bike (and very nearly himself). When I saw the bike in the wrecking yard, I felt like someone had hit my dog.
Here’s what it looked like when I got it; a 2003 SV650 with a few little dings, but healthy:
And here’s what it looked like after John Leonard Humphries of Buford, GA rammed it into a truck:
I’m assuming the rider was somewhat crumpled, too. I hope so. I hope he’s black and blue, and every muscle in his no-good body is screaming. If I could get to him, I’d slap the remaining crap out of him.
The folks at GEICO were absolutely wonderful; if it weren’t for the deductible, I’d have actually made $200 on it. I volunteered to take less, if they’d arrange for me to slap the crap out of the jerks who took it. Apparently there’s a problem with that: it’s considered assault.
I suspect I’ll never even see the culprits in court; bike theft is way down the list as far as the justice system goes. But I’ve taken precautions: I bought a house with a two-car garage, which houses my new bike.