My bicycle was stolen tonight.
I don’t own a car, so it was my daily baby. It was a cross bike. Silver. My first pricey bike, I bought it on sale at University Bikes in Boulder, Colorado. It was “only” $1,000 bucks, which makes it pretty cheap for many of the rides in this bike town.
It’s been a hot summer, but I’ve worn my bike shoes just about all day every day. I put baby powder in them so my feet don’t get too stinky. I can’t not ride my cross bike. Couldn’t, I should say. It’s so light and sleek and simple and fast and fun. Many have said this, but riding a bike that you’re used to, that’s a part of you, gives you the illusion you’re flying. No bubble, like being in a car. No roof. Just you and the air.
I work a lot, I’m an entrepreneur, and commuting is the highlight of my day. While they still hang bike thieves in Wyoming, or so the bumper sticker says, and while bicycle theft has got to be some pretty bad karma (do you come back as a lame bug? Not even a cool bug?), my reaction on losing my daily baby was just, well. It’s gone.
My friend’s reaction was to call the police and look around the creek, where the local homeless hang out, and to search around the block. He felt violated, hurt, on my behalf. Yeah, it’s sad what some of us, if only a few, do to one another. I guess I feel all that, too…but it’s gone.
I just think about it being gone. An empty space on the fence where I’d locked it up amidst 20 other bikes while I ate at Sherpa’s, a Nepali restaurant, not 15 feet away out on the patio.
Tomorrow, I’ll go buy a new bike. I have a $125 buck craigslist starter mountain bike and a Masi that I rode for 6 years every day, with a hub twice that old. Both are pretty worn out, not good for daily riding.
I’ll buy one other thing, tomorrow: a new lock—a heftier one.
Fare well, silver. And thank you for being such a trusty steed. I’ll miss you and your ripped handle tape. My first road-ish bike. My baby, in some van already back in Denver, or down by the creek somewhere, or who knows.
I’m comforted to remember that you aren’t sentient, though we had a relationship. You’re a tool. A great one. But you won’t feel scared tonight, in the company of thieves. In fact, you’ll likely serve the next rider just as well as you did me.
And I guess there’s some small, strange comfort in that: Bikes continue to be just as wonderful, the best human inventions ever, as long as they’re ridden.
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