Saturday, July 28, 2007

I'm Lucky. Stupid....but lucky

So last night we were headed back to our friend Jess's house in Columbia Heights following jazz in the sculpture garden, which is really a story in itself due the rain. I had all of our food and the blanket and stuff hanging on my bike, so I went home to drop it all off before biking over to meet The Bride and our friends Ben and Brooke who were walking over to Jess's

So at about 9:15 or so, I came by our rowhouse on Meridian, and laid my bike against the front steps, and went inside with the bags to set 'em down before coming right back outside to leave. So I'm inside for about 10-15 seconds, and I come outside, and as I'm coming up the basement steps, I don't see my bike wheel in front of the steps. "CRAP!"

I run up the steps, and my neighbor Josue sees me, looks at my face, and says "you just got your bike stolen, didn't you!"

He was walking up after parking his car and there was a guy walking up the street near our place. When he got to his house next door, he's going inside and sees the guy riding a bike across the street into the alley. Then I show my face, and he put 2 and 2 together.

We take off down to the alley on the S. side of Meridian place, look all the way to 14th, don't see him, and run around behind the building across the street. All this time, I have flip flops on and can barely keep 'em on running. We come back to the house, I grab shoes from inside, and we go to get in my truck and look through the neighborhood.

Josue and I both knew that whoever it was, they probably lived in the neighborhood, and the chances that they would bike it far away were unlikely. So we started driving around. After about 7-10 minutes, were getting ready to give up and head back. I'm coming south on Holmead, and right at Oak Street, there's a couple of kids on bikes turning onto Holmead towards us.

I see the first one, and can tell it's not mine by the shape of the handlebars. But as we get closer, the second one is DEFINITELY mine. So I swerve my truck in front of the kid as he turns north onto Holmead, so I block him in up against the curb.

He lays the bike down as Josue gets out of the truck and asks him something about "is that your bike." There are two couples walking by, and a lady sitting on her porch on the corner, so the kid just takes off up Holmead, leaving my bike on the side of the road. I grab it, and stick it in the back of my truck. The lady asks us, "did he steal that bike?" I said "yes", though I didn't know at the time that it wasn't the same guy who stole it. She said she knew him or something like that.

A cop came up pretty quick due to my truck parked basically across the road, we told him what happened, and he took off up Holmead to look for the kid.

After a few minutes, he came back and said he couldn't find him, and would I like to file a report. Josue says that neither of us could ID the guy who took it, the kid likely wouldn't be prosecuted anyway for receiving stolen property. I said there was no real point in filing a report, since I got my bike back, didn't get shot looking for it or confronting the thief, and we couldn't ID the guy who took it.

The cop said it was probably a crackhead or junkie of some kind who took it, which makes sense. It was an older guy, according to Josue, not a kid, and the cop said he probably biked around the corner and sold it for 10 bucks to the nearest 14-year-old and got his fix for the day. Jumping to conclusions, perhaps, but it makes sense.

Anyway, so despite being an idiot by leaving my bike outside, even for just 15 seconds, I managed to get it back within 15 minutes. He tossed off my bike lock and helmet, so I've gotta replace those today, but it's better than buying a new bike, eh?

The only other thing I really did lose is a convenient excuse to buy a new road bike, which I'd been thinking of doing since I'm still riding a 50 pound mountain bike to commute only. I guess I'll just have to save money for that instead.