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To The Person Who Stole My Bike Last Night,
I was in a rush leaving my apartment this morning and despite being focused on getting myself out the door I froze at the top of the stairs when I saw the empty space where bike once lived. I assume you stole her in the middle of the night, but I can't be sure. I'm curious how you got through the locked security gate without waking any of my very watchful neighbors. Was the gate ajar or did you pick the lock? Also I could have sworn my bike was U-locked, did you pick that lock too?
I have to say you made off with a complete package: vintage handmade steel frame Miyata with drop down handlebars, rear rack, front and rear lights, helmet, new tires, saddle with center cutout, and you even took my bike pump which was sitting next to the bike. I normally store that inside but I moved it to the porch when I learned it bothered my roommates when they exit.
My initial reaction was disbelief, I kept looking around the block hoping to see my bike leaning against a post. Then I was angry and had violent fantasies about finding you and getting justice. Some of my comments to myself where fit for a sailor. My anger lasted a few hours until I started thinking about all the great rides I'd had:
Almost getting blown over during my first ride across the Golden Gate bridge.
Training through the winter for my first triathlon.
Getting to & from work in rain, shine, and literal freezing cold.
The sense of MacGyver accomplishment when I figured out how to bungee my bike to the rail in the BART train.
Loading up the rear rack with way too many groceries.
Riding East Bay Bike Partaaay with tall cans in my water bottle holders.
Giving visiting friends a biking tour of the city.
Flying down Market St. during rush hour and wanting to high five the other riders at every stop light even though no one talks to each other.
Learning to change a bike tire in under 5 mins.
Riding past volcanic rock during my first triathlon in Hawaii.
The exhilarating feeling of bombing down a steep hill so fast that the wind starts to whistle in my ears and the thought of letting go makes me grip the handlebars tighter as I exhale.
Hearing a crowd of people gasp in horror as I hit the pavement coming down Mt. Diablo.
Learning that my bike was perfectly fine after the crash but my body was not.
Riding through Golden Gate park on a nice sunny day.
Passing all the cars stuck in rush hour traffic.
Carrying her up the 16th St BART stairs.
Recalling all these wonderful memories initially put me in a melancholy state, I can't believe I'll never ride her again. Although this has been a great loss, I am grateful for the adventures I had and have come to accept that I'll likely never see her again.
I forgive you.
I realize you had your reasons for taking my precious bike from me. It's the holidays so I can only speculate that my bike will given to someone else or stripped for parts and sold in order to pay for gifts and/or bills. For this reason, I forgive you. I just hope that you keep her intact and find her a new owner who will love her as much as I do.
Her name is Raspberry Squirrel, or Raspuirrela for short. I bought her off Craigslist 3 years ago and rode her across the Golden Gate bridge that same day. The white sticker on the frame is from my first triathlon, Lavaman. The yellow "Sun At Work" sticker is a tribute to my career in the solar industry. Both front and rear bike lights are rechargeable so please don't throw them away, find a charger. The nuts and bolts holding the rear rack to the frame have a tendency of vibrating off so you'll need to tighten them every once in a while. All her parts are in great condition and shouldn't need to be replaced for a while, except the bar tape. The bar tape is gross, you should change that ASAP. Also don't buy white bar tape, it's a terrible color for something that your hands will be sweating into for hours. The pedals are great for riding in the rain as they have some serious teeth that will grip your shoes but be careful when walking, your shins will suffer if you accidentally clip a pedal.
Raspuirrela has been all over the bay area with me and even across the Pacific Ocean. She taught me a lot about myself, mainly what my mind and body are capable of handling and the glory of perseverance. May she bring you (or whomever her new owner) joy, freedom, and humility.
Goodbye Raspberry Squirrel, we had some wonderful times together.