Those first moments after a bike theft

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cyclist w his B-twin mountain bike in from of Gare Centrale, Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – After a bike gets stolen, there are those few minutes where disbelief takes hold

“I really like bikes. This is an older one I have in reserve. They stole my other bike and this is the last one that I still have. They steal a lot of bikes in Brussels. Two weeks ago, in front of a hospital, and it was just five minutes. No more than ten. When I came out,  I thought I had made a mistake. It could not be possible.  Maybe I locked it somewhere else. I looked and looked but, it was gone. I actually still had the receipt for the bike in my pocket.”

Notes: I have had one bike stolen. My Ridgeback Comet. I loved that bike. An affordable hybrid, mixing racing and mountain bike designs. And affordable. I had gone to the office in the UK – London, to be precise, the bastion of bike theft. Every other visit, I could leave my bike in the office corridor, nice and safe. This visit, the office manager insisted the bike had to be left in the courtyard. I protested, lost, and took the bike down.

About twenty minutes later, I opened the window and looked down and .. the bike was gone. TWENTY MINUTES!!!

I went down and stared at the space where the bike was supposed to be. The only proof was the snapped lock that had been cast off as the irrelevance it was.

Back upstairs, I had my moments of frustration and anger, then decided to either continue to be angry or just buy another one and suffer the costs. Get the issue behind me.

I spent a couple of hours calling a number of Ridgeback dealers, asking if they had my exact model. Finally found it, had them make adjustments, like clip-pedals and faster tires, turn the handlebars out for a longer reach, add bull bars, and then picked it up on the way home.

It was all so fast, I have almost forgotten I have had a bike stolen. And why I love my inexpensive bikes that are built well. If the worst happens, at least I can recover financially, even if the emotional loss lasts far longer.


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