20 May 2013

I Pity The Fool Who Tries To Steal My Bike

Just last week I was thinking to myself as I bike commuted home - I should really write a post about how much I love my bike, I simply love, love, love my roadbike. There isn't anything super special about it, I've just had it for 5 years, ride it to work, home from dinner, to the tri shop, it's comfortable yet light, fast yet steady, and it was my first nice bike. I see the two of us growing old together.

And today some JERK tried to steal it. From the locked office cage in the parking garage at work. I've always felt complacent leaving my bike there - it's a bike cage with racks that only people from my company can access - you need a company badge to buzz in. I work with lots of nice people and maybe I am too trusting but I could never see any of them stealing my bike.

I left the office a little earlier than usual because I was leading the Tri360 group run at 6:30. I still had piles of work to keep me busy so if I wasn't leading the run, I would've stayed at the office a bit later (and I am SO thankful now that I was a run lead). I changed into my bike gear and running shoes and made my way down to the parking garage. As I came around the corner to the bike cage, I saw some JERK crouched over my bike, cutting away at my lock. I started yelling at him and ran into the cage. I will tell you this, he did NOT work at my nerdy (in a good way) company - he was wearing a toolbelt, tee-shirt, saggy jeans, ballcap, and his grammar was total crap.

He starts claiming that it was his bike, it was stolen, and he was just getting it back, that the security guy let him into the cage. Uh-huh. So he starts walking out of the cage (while stuffing away the lock clippers) and I am right next to him - OK, let's go see the security guy right now, he's right there. The guy starts walking faster and I start yelling and pointing He was trying to steal my bike, he was trying to steal my bike and the security guy was on the phone, just giving me a funny look. Meanwhile, the bike-thief kept saying It's my bike and I keep saying No it's not, it's mine. And we went back and forth like five year olds. The guy just kept walking when we got to the security office and that's when I grabbed his arm and tried to drag him back. He had a good 50+ pounds on me and shook me off like I was nothing and took off running. So I took off after him (and no, I wasn't wearing my bike shoes and helmet - that's what Mr. Sweetie pictured I was doing when I regaled him with my story), yelling to anyone who would listen That guy tried to steal my bike, that guy tried to steal my bike! And the guy is yelling over his shoulder, No, it's my bike! as he kept running. As I'm chasing him down the street, all I could think of was man, I'm going to be really late to the group run. This went on for about a block, the construction guys on the street were looking at me like I was nuts and some of my co-workers who saw me run after the guy in the parking garage started to give chase (turns out it was more to make sure I was fine, as they reminded me that you don't chase people in the city, you never know what they might be carrying. True).

I gave up the chase, what was I going to do when I caught him, jump on his back and wrestle him to the ground? Judging by the way he brushed me aside when I grabbed his arm, I was outmatched and probably wouldn't win that fight. On the bike ride home, it dawned on me that I should've tried to knee him where it counts when he was speedwalking out of the parking garage, but of course I didn't think of it at the time. I also should've thrown some zingers his way - Oh yeah, this is a WOMEN'S SPECIFIC ROADBIKE! You don't look like you have a VAGINA!

Even though none of my property was ACTUALLY stolen, I'm irritable that the guy got away. Not like there is a whole lot that he could be charged with - he'd end up with maybe a fine? And something tells me that someone who has no qualms about stealing a bike probably has no qualms about evading a fine. But boy, it would've been satisfying to tackle him/kick him in the junk/make sure he has second thoughts about stealing someone's bike ever again. And really, he can't be terribly bright - if you are going to steal a bike that someone commutes on, at least do it at the middle of the afternoon, NOT at 5:30pm when everyone is coming down to get their bikes. And also - he touched my bike shoes. That is just beyond disgusting. I always figured my bike shoes were safe to just leave out because nobody in their right mind would touch something that stunk to high heaven like that.

I bought a NEW lock (U-lock) from Tri360 tonight and an additional cable. Sadly, it looks like a locked bike cage doesn't mean a bike is safe from thieves.


Melody said...

I'm sorry you didn't get to kick him in the junk, Caroline... but glad tgw bike's okay. :-)

Melody said...


Tami said...

All I kept thinking while I was reading this was…I can't wait to see what she does to this guy when she catches him. Haha.
I'm sorry he got away…but I'm glad you still have your bike! Hopefully the next time he tries to steal someones bike, they get the chance to kick him in the balls. I'll keep an eye out. I love a good ball kicking.

Gina said...

Glad he didn't get your bike, Caroline. How stressful!

James Ford said...

I had my bike stolen out of my garage one Tuesday afternoon while my 3 yr old and wife were inside the house. That meant that someone came into my garage, very near to the door that went into the house! I was very glad that all they got was my bike, but I was also very pissed off about it. Glad you scared him off, and I know your adrenaline was pumping, but also glad you did not catch him!!!!

Kathy said...

This is so upsetting. My office has the same set up for the bike cage. How did that guy get in your cage? Though at ours the security guard is about 50 yards away in the booth at the front of the garage, so hopefully they would notice a sawing noise.... Glad your bike survived.

Jennifer Harrison said...

Jerome was telling me about this last night -- WHAT an ass. GLAD YOU went after him!!!!! UGH. Next time take a pic of him too and post it all over FB/twitter!

Caroline said...

Thanks so much everyone! @Mel - I'm glad the bike is OK too. Hopefully another chance at junk-kicking will NOT occur. @Tami - you crack me up! @Gina - me too, that bike is my primary mode of transportation, I would've been relegated to Metro, blarg! @James - I CANNOT even imagine how that must've felt, such a violation against you and your family. I'm glad your wife and child were safe, but how scary! @Kathy - we're not sure how, but hopefully he won't try again. And hopefully people in the garage will be extra vigilant. @Jen - I'm glad I stopped him in time and didn't let him just walk away with my bike. I can't wrap my mind around how some people think it is OK to steal. I don't get it.