John StallSee more blogs
My stolen bikes
I know that this is supposed to be a traffic blog, so perhaps talking about lost bicycles might be a stretch, but I just want to tell you what happened when I tried to find my stolen bikes. If you have been listening to 680News over the past few weeks, as I’m sure you have, you will be aware of a man being arrested and the police subsequently uncovering close to 3,000 stolen bikes. The recovered bikes were collected and placed in two west-end warehouses, and police invited the public to come and reclaim them. In order to do this; however, one would need some proof of ownership. Ah…there’s the rub. Since my last bike was stolen about eight years ago I had no proof; nothing but my memories. I only keep my receipts for seven years, then shred them. So I had no bike receipt. I had also hung on to the front tire of one of my stolen Bianchi bikes until last year, when I finally threw it out. That too could have been proof. After eight years I knew my chances were slim that I would find my bikes, and even slimmer that I would be able to convince a police officer on duty that the bike was indeed mine; but being the eternal optimist I decided to give it a try. At the stolen bike warehouse there were two very serious looking women at the door. I patiently waited my turn to tell them my story and gain access to the plethora of bikes that lay just ahead. Maybe, just maybe, one of my bikes was there. As I waited my turn, I overheard one gentleman say that he had four bikes stolen over the years and another fellow had seven! When it was my turn I said with a smile, “So, are you ready to hear another stolen bike sob story?” Not a smile from the lady at the door. So I said cheerily, “Well, guess that means no!” Still no smile…great start Halina…I thought that since I didn’t have concrete proof that I even owned a bicycle, I would try charm! So much for that! So I launched into my story, trying to wow her with all the minute details I could recall about my bikes. Finally she asked, “Do you have any receipts?” “No,” I said “Any pictures?” “No,” I replied. “I did have the front tire, but …” My voice trailed off. I’d lost her. She had already moved on to the next person in line. I began walking towards the section that would most likely have my bike. Just then a woman came running to the front; face a glow, eyes shining, as she said in a hushed, excited whisper to her companion, “That’s it. That’s the one. That’s my bike.” I felt envy. I wanted to find my bike! I wanted that glow! Well, I checked each bike carefully and did find a couple of women’s Bianchi bikes, but sadly they were not mine. Even if I had found mine, I don’t know if I would have been able to re-claim them based on the fact that evidence of ownership was required. So off I went, feeling deflated. Even after all those years I still feel a pang when I think of my lost bikes. Maybe it’s better that I didn’t find them. After so much time , who knows what condition they would have been in. When they were stolen they were new, beautiful, bright and blue. Now in my mind they always will be.