Saturday, October 16, 2010

News Flash: I Locked My Bike in a Public Place Overnight and It Did Not Get Stolen

I suppose I am asking for it when I tweet "try and steal my bike now, thieves" and then proceed to lock it outside in a public place overnight less than a week later. But that is indeed what happened. And it was planned. Sort of. Here's the story.

With "heavy rain" featuring prominently in Thursday's forecast, and Amy unavailable to assist with pick-up on account of a later work shift, the wheels began to turn in my mind. (Sorry for the pun.) I decided on a plan. If it was not pouring torrentially, I would gut out the bike ride, in the knowledge that it was at the end of the day and I could throw the kids in the bathtub and throw the clothes in the wash. But if it was pouring, I would call a cab and have it meet me at Aaron's school and drive us to Jada's school. Since I was taking the train the next day to Baltimore, and would need my bike to pick up the kids that evening, I knew I would need to stash my bike close to the train station if it was left overnight, and close to my workplace if it wasn't going to be left overnight, and either way I'd have to find a somewhat sheltered place to shield it from the rain. Got it?

I decided on a covered area outside a building on the Drexel campus, especially convenient because I was attending a conference on the Drexel campus that morning. So I locked up my bike and helmet real good, went to the conference, and then walked straight to work, leaving my bike there.

That afternoon, it started to rain, hard at first, but then tapering down. This was easily within the realm of biking in. But Amy called me and said she was able to get out of working late, and so would pick up Aaron and then me and then Jada. So we all stayed relatively dry in the car, and the bike would in fact have to spend the night outside.

Given that the only other time I've ever left my bike outside overnight I got a wheel of it stolen off me, I feared the worst. I decided during my run the next morning to swing by and ride home with it. Thankfully, it was there. I rode home in the stillness of the early morning, gave it a good spray-down with degreaser, and it was ready for service for the day's needs. I'm not sure I'll pull that one again; there's a reason why locking your bike in a public place overnight and having it NOT be stolen is newsworthy.
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