TL;DR: If you see a blue specialized mountain bike in a tree, please email the location to email@example.com.
Next time, I won’t buy the cheapest bike lock I can find at CVS.
I was cocky. Last year, I wrote a news story for the Observer about the amount of scooters which had been stolen on campus. As a faithful cyclist, I didn’t take my own story too seriously. Surely, it wouldn’t happen to me.
Coming back to campus after my time abroad, I felt fast. With the recent campus-wide scooter ban, I was now the fastest man on campus.
I need the speed, too. If it’s “fashionable” to be late, then I’m basically Harry Styles. Just ask any of the news editors about what time I turn in my stories. I’m always keeping them up late.
But my bike fixed that. I could zoom across campus in a matter of seconds. And for the first few weeks of this semester, I was an exemplary student. I could be seen on my specialized mountain bike, with a coffee in one hand, swerving by walkers, off the sidewalk and back on, benefiting from the elimination of electric scooters.
The last time I rode that bike was Tuesday night this week, when I was riding it at walking pace from an Observer production shift at South Dining Hall to Alumni Hall, chatting with “Chief” Isa Sheikh. I locked my bike on the U-rack in front of Alumni, said my goodbyes to Isa and went to bed.
I’ve recently begun to hit the gym again, and Monday I had the dreaded “leg day.” As any gym rat knows, it isn’t the day after leg day which hurts, but two days after.
So on Wednesday, when I had to make the trek up to Pasquerilla Center for an English class, just walking to the bike racks felt difficult. My hamstrings were on fire. My calves were shaking. My quads were screaming. Riding the bike would be my saving grace.
When my bike wasn’t where I left it, I called Isa up.
“I rode my bike back from SDH last night, right?” I asked him.
“Yeah, you locked it up in front of Alumni,” Isa told me. Good ol’ Isa, always remembering things for me. The Observer is in good hands.
I looked everywhere, and for the past few days my eyes have been scanning every tree on campus to see if some jokester from Dillon Hall decided to play a prank on Alumni. Being so close to Main Circle, though, I realized that in all likelihood, someone probably used a cable cutter to easily snip off my cheap bike lock.
Sure, I did curse whoever stole my bike as I was hobbling around campus Wednesday as if I just got knee-replacement surgery, but I realized that the world isn’t worse for what happened to me. And I learned a valuable lesson: Cheap bike locks equal cheap security. It’s surely a transferable lesson to other facets of life.
I realized that hate won’t help me cope, but love and a sense of humor will. I hope whoever stole my bike enjoys its use. It’s a good bike with a lot of life in it. And I hope that fortune turns for them soon, so that they feel less of a need to take some other student’s bike.
With that said, I’m running late to something, and my speed is now slower. So, peace and love, I have to go.
The views of the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer