Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor (kistaro) wrote,
Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

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What is not, not to like, a shiny bike

So while jmac32here's mate was borrowing my bike, someone unknown party took it upon themselves to borrow Rakeela's bike and has not seen fit to bring it back.

We spent yesterday making sure it wasn't anywhere legit, then filing the police report. Renter's insurance covers it, and there's still a chance the bike will come back- it's incredibly distinctive, being one of only two long-wheelbase recumbents we've seen in the entire year, and it hasa significant number of difficult-to-reverse do-it-yourself quick-fix mods that make it identifiable at a distance even with a new paint job- but we really can't afford to go very long down a bike, so we went tonight and bought a new one. It's not a recumbent, and Rakeela needs a slightly different seat design, but she's also about twice as fast on it as she was on the recumbent. We have different body proportions- my legs are longer in relation to my body, even though I'm shorter- so she needs a bike of a completely different design from mine; as a result, our bikes bear very little resemblance to each other.

Both of us bought our bikes on the grounds of "fits our needs best". Hers is dark grey. Mine is blue. This amuses me.

There's no good place to lock a second upright bike, though. All the bike parking spots- that's to say, all the spots under the first-floor exterior stairs in the building- are already occupied by bikes. We're double-parking under the nearest stairs, but our long-term solution has just been ordered from Amazon and will arrive on Friday. We don't have a car, so we might as well park our vehicles in our parking spot; heading our way is a small throw-over bike rack, which should be more than bulky enough to discourage someone picking up the entire rack (with bikes attached) and walking off with it. This isn't just one of those small wedge-shaped things you put your front wheel in; this is a real bike rack, of the standard vertical kind.

I find my own emotional response interesting. Throughout this two-day experience of taking a day off work to file a police report and now, this evening, buying a replacement knowing full well we run the risk of ending up with more bikes than people, my mood has been mild irritation. It's offputting, and it's obnoxious that someone saw fit to just up and take an expensive bicycle we needed, but there's nothing more to it than that; I'm irritated, not massively upset. I guess it's a matter of financial stability; replacing the bike wasn't a disaster. Actually, it wasn't much of a budget hit; we were planning on spending about 2/3 as much as we spent on the replacement bike just on a major overhaul of the now-missing recumbent. It needed a completely new brake system, a new kickstand (or possibly two, front and back), several bolts replaced, and general service; this is a little more than we were planning to spend on repairing a bike, and not quite the way we intended to do it, but I suppose it does the job. I suppose this is a pun on "sour grapes", but that recumbent was something of a lemon anyway- although most of the problems were with the brake system. And the non-rust-resistant bolts. And the self-releasing quick release on the seat adjust. And the self-releasing quick release on the front wheel. And the unreliable gearshift.

On that note, I hereby formally curse the brake system of the recumbent, with regards to the thief; I channel and direct my energy with the intent that the brakes catastrophically fail (again) downhill. (Not necessarily in traffic; that would be a little too mean, for just a thievery.)

It would be even more beautiful if the thief would take the bicycle into Performance Bike for repair, where the mechanics and staff know me personally and know just who actually owns that bike- especially since it's described on their Wall O' Stolen Bikes, which actually has about a 15% hit rate for reuniting rightful owners with their bikes brought in by thieves who didn't think their cunning plan all the way through as far as repairs go.

Going back a bit, though, this so far has just been irritation (with a bit of a rite-of-passage feel to it; it's so special, it's the first time I've had more than a thousand dollars of personal property stolen from me), no anger. Which at first seemed strange, as I talked about it a bit with people. This was a crime of opportunity; Rakeela forgot to lock the bike up that night after our grocery run. It seems like I "should" be angry at her for this apparent negligence, but I haven't been. And I'm happy about that; I don't like being angry at my mate, whether I've got a good reason or not, because it's not productive at all and I love her and would rather not be upset at her. It was briefly confusing, but I think I understand it now.

This isn't the first time Rakeela hasn't locked the bike. It's not something that happens often, but it's happened before. That's not special; I forget to lock my bike, too, especially when I'm tired after a grocery run and just trying to haul my purchases off the bike and up the stairs. The only thing that makes this any different from any of the n other times one or the other of us has forgotten to lock up a bike is that someone happened to steal it this time, which could have happened just about any other time instead. She made a simple mistake, and got unlucky this time. That's "oops", but no grounds for anger. It doesn't make sense to be angry at anybody except the person who stole my bike. A mistake made their job a bit easier, but a mistake and deciding to deliberately steal someone else's property are very different things, and the former makes no sense to get angry over.

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