Return of the bike
My bike was one of many stored down there. In fact, despite the note I put round every single one of my neighbours, there are still several bikes locked up the same way mine was, attached to a bracket that was bolted to the wall.
The brackets are there to protect the down pipes from getting hit by any of the cars, solid structures, each with four bolts to keep it in place. Perfect for attaching a bike to using a nice heavy Kryptonite D-Lock (with additional chain).
For a while I kept my bike in my flat, right next to the front door but it always seemed in the way so, having spotted so many other bikes down there, and knowing that it is a secured space it seemed to make sense to do the same.
You’ll imagine my surprise when, as I took the bins down one day, the lift door opened and there in front of me my bike wasn’t.
The metal bracket that was bolted to the wall, or more accurately, was screwed to the wall, was lying to one side, discarded. My bike, and the lock that I’d used to attach it to the bracket, was gone. All gone.
What an odd experience. I looked around thinking the bike might have been moved somehow, I could see all the other bikes were still there and with the metal bracket still there then, perhaps a maintenance person had removed it and a kindly neighbour had taken my bike in?
I rushed round the basement area to double check it wasn’t anywhere else, checked my post box – no notes, ransom or otherwise – and then climbed the stairs back to my flat, trying to figure out what had happened.
I phoned the police, gave them the details. I phoned the insurance company and gave them the details.
I started thinking about buying a new bike (I ended up ordering, then cancelling, a new bike through the Cyclescheme system, the same one I used to get my bike in the first place). I was certain I’d never see my bike again, I mean what are the odds?
Apparently they aren’t as high as I thought.
A phone call on Friday evening for a mysterious Glasgow number that you can’t call back turned out to be from Police Scotland where a friendly sounding man told me he thought he had my bike in the back of his van.
Apparently they’d stopped someone riding a bike and quickly ascertained that the man ON the bike certainly couldn’t have AFFORDED the bike. They asked the man to get off the bike then asked why the serial number sticker had been removed (a common occurence on a stolen bike) and without a reasonable explanation, took the bike from him to run some checks. One of those checks, thank the lord I had fitted non-standard SPD pedals, suggested it was my bike.
The guys turned up later that evening at my flat, I met them, identified my bike from the pedals, tyres (also non-standard) and a few other distinguishing features, gave them a written statement and lo and behold, I have my bike back!!
I received a further phone call yesterday to double check a couple of details because apparently they caught the man who stole my bike, who sold it to the man who was riding it, and he will be getting charged! Again, what are the odds?!
So, I have my bike back. I’m storing it in my flat and looking into ways to make it more theft-proof in the future. I’ve already replaced my stolen D-lock with something better, thanks to this amazing article on The Sweethome. Next up is something like Bike Register, and then further ways to personalise/customise and generally make my bike look cheaper – I’m even considering getting it completely repainted in matt black, chuck some stickers on and be done with it.
Regardless, I’m still amazed that I got my bike back. The Police get a lot of flak so it’s nice to be able to give them some credit and thanks.