Home > Editorials > My Bike Was Stolen

My Bike Was Stolen

I tried to think of a more “title-y” title for this post, but there isn’t one beyond the pure fact: my bike was stolen.

Last night (Jan 31) I went to Publix (on Alton & Fifth Mall) on the bike then rode back to my apt (on Meridian Ave & 10 St). I took the bike through the back gate, past the rather large scooter parked there, and into the little area in the back of the building where I normally tie it down. I put on the U-lock (a Kryptonite Keeper 12 lock), which was stored in the left pannier, through the front wheel’s spokes and around the frame, [put on the chain lock (an OnGuard Mastiff lock) around the down tube], grabbed the bag with the groceries and went up. It was around 8 PM when I go home, as the Grammys started shortly thereafter.

This morning, when I left the house at around 7:25 AM (according to the text message I sent to Twitter right after), I walked out the back gate as I had to throw away the trash, passed by the scooter, and my bike wasn’t there. The U-lock was nowhere around, cut or otherwise, though the chain lock was still tied around the pipe that I use as anchor. The chain lock did not seem tampered with. I took a quick look around but I was late for my bus so I kept going (sending the aforementioned text message).

I’m not stating all these details just to be wordy, but to retrace each of my steps. And the reason I wrote one step above in between [brackets] is that I can only assume that I did this as is my rote when I park the bike, but I can’t remember 100%. The one thing that makes me doubt is that the chain lock was untampered with, and this is a lock that’s guaranteed to be tamper/cutting-proof. So yeah, it is quite possible that when I got home my mind was in la-la land and I forgot to tie the bike using the chain lock.

Nevertheless, with the U-lock locking the front wheel, unless they cut it, they had to have carried the bike out of the building’s fenced perimeter, and while that’s no impossible, my bike weighs around 50 lbs, so they certainly had their work cut out for them.

Thieves suck. I’m so sad and angry about having Elam stolen. I have already reported the theft to the Miami Beach Police Department, and will give them the frame number (equivalent to the VIN in a car) later today along with photographs. I’m also forwarding this info to all Miami Beach/Downtown Miami bike shops just so they can be aware. There aren’t that many Electra Amsterdam bikes in Miami, let alone in the Beach (there are only two Electra dealers in Miami Beach), and mine is the only one with a pair of Basil canvas panniers (though I expect these would have been removed immediately, as they are the bike’s most distinctive feature, though not the only one).

I don’t know if I’ll see my bike again. I certainly hope so, but I also know how common bike thefts are and I don’t really expect the police will be able to do much (even if it is a $700 bike). I also don’t have money right now to get another one, so it seems my slow bike days are, for the moment, on hiatus.

If you see my bike, think you saw it, have some info, whatever, feel free to leave it in the comments section.

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  1. Berin Kinsman
    February 1, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Thieves suck. Was Elam insured? Should be covered on renter’s insurance, if you listed it.

    This is why I’m nervous about getting a bike and leaving it parked outside.

  2. February 1, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    @Berin Kinsman
    No, Elam wasn’t insured; we don’t have renter’s insurance at all. The OnGuard lock as insurance, but only if it is cut, which it wasn’t.

    To be fair, the problem here is that it seems I forgot to put on the chain lock, so there’s a part of the fault that’s mine. What I will recommend to you (and would’ve before this incident) is to get a good chain lock, probably better than what you think the bike deserves, and 98% of the time it will be enough, especially if you couple it with a U-lock. It all depends on the bike you’re securing. With Elam, I paid more because it is an expensive bike. Don’t let this discourage you from getting your bike.

  3. February 1, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    Saw this on Twitter this morning and was shocked. I’ve seen you post about your bike rides and love of riding in Miami and the photo’s you’ve twitpic’ed of your beautiful view while biking … that it just seemed incredible some cretin would take your bike away. I had no idea it was a rare $700+ bike! Sorry you’re going through this.

    I hope they catch the rat bastard that stole it, but I’d honestly be surprised if they did. Good luck on securing another one. I hope this doesn’t spoil your love of biking and all the benefits (health and other) that it brings. Best of luck Daniel.

  4. gustavollamas
    February 1, 2010 at 6:55 PM

    Hey Daniel, sorry to hear about your bike. Sucks !!!

  5. February 1, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    @runester
    Yeah, I loved my bike tons. I’m also not holding out hope of it being found, but I gotta go through all the steps to make sure I do all I can. I won’t stop biking, just until I can afford a replacement (though it won’t be another Amsterdam).

  6. February 1, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    @gustavollamas
    Thanks, Gustavo.

  7. David
    February 1, 2010 at 11:01 PM

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I know how important the biking is to you.

  8. February 2, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    Oh, that sucks! So sorry about your bike! I hope it will come back to you safely.
    .-= Leah´s last blog… Creative Every Day Check-In: February 1-7 =-.

  9. Adi
    February 2, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    If the bike was tucked away behind your building, perhaps consider that someone in your vicinity/neighbors is the possible culprit. Most likely a crime of opportunity rather than premeditated.

  10. February 2, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    @Adi
    That’s my guess as well. It had to be someone who walked by the alleyway and knows my bike was always parked there.

  11. February 2, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    Also, someone not very smart to not realize they were stealing a very distinctive, almost unique, bike for the area and the city. That’s what I hope will be my one chance of getting it back.

  12. February 3, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    Sorry to hear about this Daniel. That’s really crappy. I hate thieves.

    I’ve seen a few different articles about Kryptonite Lock vulnerabilities ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryptonite_lock#Vulnerability ) over the years… which also sucks.
    .-= Stuart´s last blog… The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeois RPGs =-.

  1. February 1, 2010 at 2:20 PM

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