Tuesday, 20 January 2015
An Open Letter to Whoever Stole My Bike
To Whoever it is That Stole my Bike Tonight,
Yes, sure I am angry. Sure that tears were shed. But my overriding attitude towards you is pity. Pity, because you will never have the experiences that I had on that machine, because that was more than a machine to me. That bike was my life.
I remember the day, nine years ago, when I was given it by my parents for my eighteenth birthday. The sheer unbridled joy of the thing. The wonderment of the thing, the sheer speed of being smitten by it. I remember the summer rides, the commuting to my first real job, the hard times riding in the snow and the good times riding with friends, old and new in the summer sun, wheels whirring on hot tarmac summer lanes under sieve-skied leaf-strewn skies.
You won't get to have those memories. You won't get the excitement of new parts lovingly installed. The oily sparkle of components under late-night-garage-light. Even if you do exactly the same things that I did, with exactly the same people, you will never love that bike as much as I do.
So, what are you going to do with it? I guess you'll sell it. Maybe you already have. I hope you get a massive amount of money for it, because if you're out stealing bikes then I guess you must need it. Just so you know, I am a student, currently paying for a Masters degree out of my overdraft and my savings. Over the past two weeks I applied for jobs at four shops and three coffee shops. None of them got back to me. Next week, hopefully, I will have a job that will keep me going thanks, in part, to good friends. Now my finances are going to have to cover the taxis and extra trains I will need. But regardless of where my money goes. I will have good friends.
There is something that, however much money you collect. can't buy. It's my freedom. I am not allowed to drive. Being diagnosed with epilepsy four years ago took my license away from me. Did you know that? No. I guessed not. I guessed that you didn't think about who was on the other end of you little bolt-cutter adventure. That bike represents the last vestiges of freedom of transport I have. So when you stole my bike you made my life a mass more difficult. Not terminally, not painfully, perhaps. But it's going to be more than an annoyance.
So there will be other bikes. People have already offered to lend me them. My house insurance should help out, and I am surrounded by loving, caring people who I'm sure will offer me help without me asking at all. In the long term this may not affect me that much, really. But still. Still. You have stolen my bike and that is the point, isn't it. It is my bike. It is not yours. You have stolen my bike. It will never be yours.
You have successfully ruined more than my day.