Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dahon Gone...

...Gazelle vandalized.

I hustled out of work today to meet up with friends when I was stunned to see one of my bikes had been vandalized and the other stolen from inside a secured garage. My Dahon fold-up was taken, my Gazelle Medeo, which served me so well last Saturday as I covered the Rally for Sanity/Fear for WTOP, was vandalized. Someone stole the front wheel, and did some damage to the front end when they did.

But I wasn't alone. And that didn't make me feel better. It seemed there wasn't a bike on that rack that hadn't been vandalized; seats yanked out of tubes, wheels ripped off frames and dumped, some twisted like potato chips, others just cast up against a wall.

That indicated two things to me: the people who did this had time, and I'm guessing weren't working alone. There had to be a group. A bike rack that had been packed with bikes of all kinds was suddenly looking pretty spare.

Building staffers were notified, police contacted, reports filed.

One small positive: I met more of my neighbors. Nothing brings people together like a shared problem.

More on this later.  But now I need sleep: I'm headed to the HeartWalk fundraiser to walk, and to support my colleague Jamie Forzato, who got me on her team "Left Side, Strong Side!" And yes, that's a Remember the Titans reference. We hope to beat Heart step at a time.

Before I sleep: register your bike, get a rock solid lock (my Bianchi wasn't touched, I had some serious chains on that one--same with the Gazelle) and keep your eyes peeled for a blue Dahon fold-up bike. If you see it on Craig's list...let me know. Oddly, they took the frame without the seat. (I often take my bike seat with me...foolishly assuming that makes it a less likely theft-magnet.)


  1. I'm so sorry! That really sucks. You know you can still register your stolen bike with NBR, right? Even if you don't have the serial # on hand, you can still enter a detailed description. That way if it is recovered, there's a way to match it back to you. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled! Do you have a photo of your folding bike, maybe?

  2. What kind of lock did you have on the Dahon. Sometimes the lock company will reimburse you (even if you didn't fill out the paperwork or don't have the broken lock, though those things help).

  3. know, I'm embarrassed to say, I don't recall. I had quite a collection of locks including U-locks and two very heavy duty chain locks. Interestingly, three out of four are still with me: so they worked. I don't rely on on cable locks, they take seconds to cut through with the right tools. But I honestly don't recall. But these are great suggestions, thank you KC and David, and to everyone else out there: invest in the best lock you can afford, register your bikes, and report it when they are stolen. I know it's a pain, but it's like any other problem in a community; when people get together and are willing to work on a problem, it gets solved. If people throw up their hands, you get what you get.