Lately, there’s been a whole lot on TV about all sorts of bad people in the world. You’re always hearing about folks with a bunch of children and a big snake and how bad that is, or some small time grow-op getting busted in some guy’s basement (It’s not mine man¡KI don’t even live here.)
While never missing an opportunity to lambaste the most innocuous murderers, J-walkers, drug dealers or politicians there is one kind of criminal the press seems to overlook. Our media can’t realize that whenever they strike, they not only steal somebody’s property, they run off with a fresh piece of soul as well. And no matter how secure we think we are, it can happen to any of us.
They are bike thieves¡K
You spend five months fine-tuning something until you can detect if someone’s moved your seat a millimeter or two. That bike has become a sort of prosthetic limb that carries you down that gnarliest trails with the utmost confidence. You and your partner in grime have been to hell and back and you’ve already booked your next trip¡Kfriends like this don’t come along too often, and you have to hold onto them as long as you can.
And then it’s gone.
No longer will you be able to curse your way up that bloody climb aboard your trusty steed, quick to blame your burning legs or it’s “Piggish” 35 pound weight. (Couldn’t have anything to do with that daily trip to Tim Horton’s and nights of couch surfing ¡K)
No longer will you be able to gaze longingly into the dent in the top tube you picked up on Oilcan that first fateful day on the Shore¡K
So many stories, so many memories, so much heart and soul¡Kgone, just so some dude can score some more dope, or whatever bike thieves do after the fact.
For the most part, we live in a pretty civilized society. There are rules people follow that maintain a certain sense of order and continuity.
- If it’s not yours, you don’t take it.
- If you want to borrow something, you ask.
- If you’re passing someone on the left, call out “on your left”
- Be nice to your mom
¡Ka little bit of that combined with some please and thank you’s, and the world could be a pretty great place.
When people start stealing bikes, though¡Kall bets are off.
To some, a bike is just a toy, so stealing it is like stealing a scooter¡Kno big deal.
To others however, a bike represents freedom. Try to remember the first time you went somewhere further than walking distance from your house¡Kbet you were on a bike. How about the first time you raced your buddies around the block? Bike, right. When you were small and your parents wanted to punish you and make sure you stayed close to home they took away your bike.
Fact is a lot of people can only afford to get to work every day by bike. (No thanks to ICBC our local car insurance provider) You steal their bike, and you steal their livelihood and freedom simultaneously.
It’s my assumption that if you’ve found your way to this website, your bike is a little more than a simple piece of sports equipment.
For a while there theft was rampant on the Shore, with some key riders losing some key bikes. As mountain bikes move towards motorcycles, in terms of complexity and value, the potential monetary loss becomes staggering. By simply stealing a bike, a once petty crime suddenly escalates to Grand Larceny. Add to that the whole soul/karma/badguy thing, and you’ve a one-way ticket to a place where the winters are unrideable, there are no mountains, and all the trails are closed to bikes¡Ksome would call it Mountain Bike Hell¡K.others, the mid-west.
I say, lock the bike thieves up in the same cells as the murderers, child molesters and software providers.
Until our fine government sees fit to do so, however, you’ll have to do your part to rid the world of these soul-stealers.
Don’t buy bikes or parts you suspect are stolen or “fell off the back of a truck.” If there is no market for hot gear, the thieves will move to another target. If you buy stolen stuff, you may as well have ripped it off in the first place. You’re part of the problem.
Other than that, just keep your bike close to you, buy a good lock¡Kand use it.
Bad Karma Graphics – Senan Gorman