When it came time to buy a bike, I tried to do some thief profiling. Some just take it for a joy ride and dump it if it's not great (the petty thief). Other more industrious thieves will only steal bikes they can get a decent price for on Craigslist (the criminal in the making). I've seen a lot of Cruisers on Craigslist, but when the bike only costs $80, chances are it's hot. Hot bike...bad karma.
Two years ago, I saw a faded pink lady's bike for sale on the street. I made a call, and the "salesman" told my husband, daughter and I to come over, he had more than just the pink bike on the street. When he gave us his address, I must confess, I was confused. Not only did he live on one of Montreal's busiest streets, but he also lived in a two-bedroom third floor walk-up.
His apartment's hallway and kitchen were cluttered with bikes. They were hanging from the ceiling and stacked one on top of the other. He said he had some more on the balcony, and told us to follow him like there was actually an unobstructed path. We were running into bikes and getting jabbed by pedals and handlebars with our every step. We looked around "so to speak," and there were just too many to decide. I told him that I wanted the pink bike in the street. "Fine," he said, and we headed outside. On our way down the stairs, he told us that he had a son my daughter's age, then he confessed that he was divorced...Somehow I wasn't surprised!
I bought the faded pink beater sans crossbar so I could ride it downtown to work. Strictly from an aesthetic point of view, the bike is hideous, but that's the point. My logic was the petty thief wouldn't steal this bike without getting razzed, and the criminal in the making would see that it was worthless.
I have been told that a bike thief in Montreal will steal anything, but I've had this one for two years, and so far, so good. One day downtown I even forgot to lock it up. Miraculously, old pinkie was still there at the end of the day.
But I have to admit, I dream about, and salivate over, having a new bike. But the stress, the anguish, the fear of taking it out. Ahhhh! Then there's Lance, his one-of-a-kind $10,000 bike is stolen, and after an appeal to his fans and twitterati, someone turns it in four days later. Not only that, Sacramento PD actually "looked" for it. The ink on the police report was still wet when the bike turned up!
If I told a cop in Montreal that someone had stolen my bike, I'm not even sure he would think a crime had been committed. And if I asked him whether he was going to help me find it, I would only expect a guffaw...
A very funny video of a near naked Montrealer cycling around downtown. LOL