My Faithful Readers (assuming there are any of you left after a shaky 2010 blogging season), I have a problem.
I want a bike.
I don’t want to pay a lot of money for a bike.
All of the bikes in Boston cost an arm and a leg.
This pretty much leads to the kind of quandary that can only be remedied by criminal activity. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to swipe someone’s bike and claim it as my own when confronted and eventually end up having to bury another body in courtyard at MIT. No, I’d prefer to avoid that outcome if at all possible.
What I’d really like is to find someone selling a slightly used bike for like $50. That seems reasonable, right?!
I don’t know any (sane) person in the Midwest who ever paid more than $150 for a bike. Heck, most of the time you can get a bike for less than my aforementioned target price of $50.
In fact, my brother has a bitchin’ one-speed Huffy with fenders and everything sitting in his garage he got for free. He got it and a matching ladies version of the bike and two kids bikes…for free.
Granted, bikes don’t serve nearly the purpose in the Midwest that they do here in the city, that much is a given. In the Midwest, unless you’re feeling adventurous, you pretty much drive everywhere.
I was home for Christmas and it drove (note the pun) me nuts how much unnecessary driving took place. We were at a mall at one point and drove from one end of the parking lot to the other, because no one wanted to walk that far. It was less than a block. We did the same thing when we went to the Applebee’s (yep, that happened) in the middle of the mall. We loaded the big ole SUV up and drove back across the parking lot.
Needless to say, it’s different and bikes don’t serve nearly the functional purpose they do here back on my home turf, but is it still too much to ask that we don’t rape and pillage a dude’s bank account for a bike?!
Anyway, all of that rambling leads me back to my main point: my neighbors want me to rob them.
Most of last fall one of my neighbors left a bike unlocked for months. I actually took it out for a test run once, only to find that the tubes in the tires were blown, it was covered in rust and neither the gears nor brakes wanted to work.
As such, I decided to put it back where I found it and give up on any notion of making it mine. Two days later it vanished for good.
This isn’t an uncommon occurrence in my neighborhood. There have been a slew of bikes—some of them pretty dang nice—just left unlocked and unattended for days, weeks or even months at a time.
This is largely unfathomable since bike theft is a pretty big deal in Cambridge, but somehow people have been dumb enough to leave their crap unlocked. I’ve yet to really swipe one of these bikes despite a desire to do so.
Mostly this is because I think it’d be pretty danged awkward to steal someone’s bike and then have them catch me riding it about the neighborhood a few days later. The other big factor has been the fact that my Mama taught me not to steal. Granted, taking an unlocked bike isn’t so much “stealing” as it is “liberating the bike from a careless owner.”
Unfortunately, the police and previous owner rarely feel the same way and will generally press charges.
Anyway, now that you’re all up to speed, we can hit on the real issue at hand. The real issue currently stems with a bike that is currently residing behind the dumpsters by my apartment.
I noticed it last Tuesday when I got back from Christmas vacation and was quite surprised to see that it’s a big bike and would actually fit my rather lanky frame.
I decided I’d give it through the weekend and if the lackadaisical owner hadn’t safely tucked it away or at least put a damn lock on it, I’d swipe it and claim it as my own.
Generally these things work out in a way that the bike disappears right before my self-appointed deadlines and I don’t have to get into any sort of internal moral dilemma. This time, however, that isn’t the case.
It’s Monday afternoon and the bike is still there, beckoning me to unshackle it from the hands of an uncaring owner…and then literally shackle it to something else so no one else can swipe it.
So, I turn to you, my Faithful Readers…what is a brotha to do?!
Do I take the bike, name it Captain Zoom-Zoom and lock it up to my fire escape until Spring comes and the previous owner has hopefully forgotten all about it and/or moved.
Do I leave the bike where it is hoping that the owner will remove his/her head from their sphincter and lock up their damned bike?!
Take it to the comments folks…help a brotha decide, the majority rules and voting closes at noon on Wednesday…you know, unless the bike is gone before then. In which case it closes whenever the bike disappears.
NOTE: I suppose if all y’all vote that I swipe that sucker, it would probably be in my best interest to delete this blog post as to avoid having it used as “evidence” somewhere down the road, huh?!
UPDATE: As is often the case, the morning after I legitimately contemplated swiping the bike, it was gone. As such, this debate has come to an end. Thanks to all y’all who chimed in with advice.