Look at all these bike-stealing options! Why me?

My bike was stolen last Friday!

It took a couple of minutes for it to sink in that my bike was gone. I went through a number of stages of grief, but mostly hovered in denial. “Maybe I parked it over there,”I thought, as I wandered around looking for a black bike with a black basket.

There were many of those ( this is Amsterdam after all), but none were mine.

Then I got furious. Then sad. Then bitter. Then sad again.

But I understood why it got stolen: I didn’t lock it to anything. The bike racks at Central Station were full, so I locked my bike between them. Not in a footpath or anything, but still, just locked to itself, like a mobius strip of vulnerability.

But still, that was no excuse to steal my bike. Being in Amsterdam without a bike means you’re not actually in real Amsterdam, you’re in a parallel Amsterdam, one that is less fun, mobile and carefree.

When I got home (after walking the whole way!) I got angry again. I even composed an open letter to those shitty jerk-off bike thieves, along the lines of Bruce McCulloch’s Open Letter to the Guy Who Stole His Bike Wheel.

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Yesterday I was chatting with my neighbour, lamenting the loss of my bike. He suggested that perhaps it was picked up by the city, seeing how it was at the overcrowded Central Station and not locked to anything. So I called the Bicycle Depository this morning and lo and behold, they have my bike, and I can get it back. It will cost me €10, and the depository is quite inconveniently located, so it’s not ideal – but it is way better than having my bike stolen by a thief who wouldn’t catalogue it, store it, and return it. Plus I learned a valuable lesson.

Always lock your bike to something.

Preferably a bike rack. Because bike thieves have a much easier time stealing your bike if it isn’t locked to anything. And the city has a much easier time of claiming your bike too.