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My Bike Was Stolen And How I Survived It

Morrissey. Because he's emo enough to understand the stuff dudes go through when their bikes get stolen.

So my bike was stolen last Saturday. Partly my fault. I was in a hurry to get to DC, and put the U lock around my wheel instead of the frame when I parked near the convention center light rail stop. Why was I in a hurry?  So I could catch a presentation by economist Ed Glaeser, of course.  Probably the least expected reason for running to catch a train, but it’s totally true and probably makes me kind of a nerd. Damn, that dude can speak in concise, interesting 5 minute long paragraphs without an “ah”, “um”, or “er”, but more on his speech in a future post.

When I got back from DC, I found the lock still on the wheel, but the bike was gone gone gone.  I walked home that night. It was a dark, lonely, itchy walk. Itchy because of the new Hot Topic polyester shirt I was wearing. Thoughts racing through my head in the warm spring night; Where did it all go wrong? Will I ever trust again?  Is it time to buy a Hummer? Why did the Rolling Stones suck so bad after “Some Girls”? I went through all 5 stages of grief during that walk. Bewilderment, hunger, excitement, rage, and finally dizziness.

I immediately sent out a twitter alert. This may be akin to standing on your front porch and yelling, “Did anyone see a burglar?” right after your house got broken into, but I had to try. My desperate plea reverberated through the Internet and garnered a few pats on the back and “there there”s. My favorite response was from Bill Helman (@thinkpol):

“First, Tom Petty’s guitars are stolen, now Car Free Baltimore’s bike? Wish more people adhered to Wil Wheaton’s Law”

I was just honored to be in the same sentence as Tom Petty.

Because being bike and car free would be too much masochism for me to handle, I went to Race Pace on Key Highway the next day and said, “Give me the cheapest, crappiest bike you have”, because I have priorities and spend my money on rare, 19th century Dutch cookie jars rather than bikes. After doing a few test drives, I wound up with some sort of mountain bike. It has two wheels, gears, and will hold me over until my will power caves completely and you see a post entitled: “I just bought a BMW 328i. Car Free Baltimore is officially done. See ya.”

So what’s the lesson of my story? That’s kinda obvious. You really shouldn’t listen to anything the Rolling Stones put out after the late 70s. Also, if you have to shop for clothes at Hot Topic, keep away from the Polyester. That stuff will really make you itch.


Thanks to Baltimore Velo, B’more Bikes, and all the other people on Twitter who got the word out about my bike.  It looks like this.

  • The Baltimore Chop

    I was sorry to hear this as well.

    When My bike was stolen I kinda felt a *little* like it was my fault as well. Only a little, because, you know, the person actually at fault are the motherfuckers who robbed my house.

    But even before I left for overseas I thought “Gee, I wonder if I should lock this to the radiator?” Turns out I should have.

    I was lucky enough to get an insurance payment though, so I just used it as an opportunity to upgrade a little.

    Good luck with the new one.

  • Kate

    lolz Hot Topic polyester. Why do you do that to yourself? :)

  • JK

    Mark, this was terrible news to get – I was pissed for you.  I’m really jealous however that you wasted no time getting a new one.  I am still bitching about the jerks who took mine out of the garage and drive my car to the gym 1/8th of a mile away in retaliation….I’m showing THEM!

  • Robert Kanigel

    I, too, feel terrible about the loss of your bike; my bikes have been burgled a couple of times, though not recently.  To any real bikie, it’s a heavy loss.

    I’m writing a biography of Jane Jacobs.  Want to talk some time?

    Robert Kanigel 
    Charles Village

  • Mark

     Definitely. Will drop you a line.

  • Mark

    Thanks. As I was running to the train, I actually did a second take and thought to myself, “Did I lock that right?”

    Obviously not.

  • Mark

     As long as you’re not “driving” a segway. Then I’d be worried about ya.

  • Guest

    NO… don’t quit.  Glad you bounced at least partially back into a bike so quick.  Stay up, don’t let the negative actions of the few cancel out the positive of the many.  As one  who’s been mugged, stabbed at, had their house broken into and many things stolen… that previous sentence is as much to myself as you, btw.

  • Guest

     I say partially because you don’t sound exactly satisfied with your purchase. peace.

  • Kevin39358

    I’d be halfway to Mexico if all that stuff happened to me. You must really love this place.