So my brand new (one-month old), rather nice Cannondale Bad Boy got lifted yesterday from right under my nose. I went into a furniture store near Union Square after locking up my bike with an admittedly flimsy chain, spent 3-5 minutes looking around, grabbed a business card from the counter for fear of leaving my bike unattended too long (seriously), went outside and - gone. The guy must've come in right behind me and/or been really quick.
Now, I felt like a bit of a dope calling the NYC cops about a stolen bike and wondered if I might get laughed off the line. The lady on the phone took my info and told me the police would come around to finish things up with me. An hour later, I left the scene of the crime. The police hadn't come yet, so I guess I'm on the lam. Before I left though, I did watch David Cross cruise slowly by me on his bike, accompanied by a blonde on foot. So that was free. I stifled the urge to call out, "Yo David, don't leave that thing unattended, man."
So it's back to pedestrian/straphanger for me, until I get to the point where I feel comfortable dropping a few quid on a bike again. Does this make me a New Yorker yet? Or do you hafta get mugged? Maybe it just cements my newbie status.
I Googled "'new york' bike stolen" and you get, like, loads of hits. 1.4 million actually, though I'm sure they're not all on topic. One of the first hits is this video guide to bicycle theft by a guy who was sick of getting his stolen and wanted to show how easy it was to do in broad daylight. Co-incidentally, his video starts with him stealing his own bike in Union Square--about a block from where mine was stolen. This guy also goes into great detail about how to avoid getting your bike stolen. On the one hand, I'm sure it would've helped if I'd bought one of these right away (was on my list of things to do - doh!); on the other, the only answer may be to not get off your bike. Unless this guy's right. I hope not.
And, hey, guess which city rates number one on this 2002 list of top ten cities for bike theft? What's the bet it's still number one?
OK, so I'm moving on now. Letting go. Really. . . . Oh, if I'd only come out of that store a couple minutes earlier!