Nigh on two years ago, NYTimes’ City Room blog published a piece on our local cycling community’s heroic stolen-bike-recovery network. The mover and shaker behind the recovery that the Times profiled was Jack Crank, an all-around ne’er-do-well of No Gods, No Vegetables, and he’s done it again.
This time it was Dan Bones’s Waterford, a lovely bike that I hadn’t even had a chance to drool over before it was nicked from his office. He had a run of particularly evil luck:
so! this brings the total over the past five months up to 2 broken collarbones [separate incidents], one stolen front wheel, one fucked up fork, one broken set of road bars, one stolen rear light, one broken rear wheel, one completely destroyed bike and one complete stolen bike.
But Jack saw the bike in a shop almost a year after it was stolen, made a few phone calls, and it was recovered – with the help and cooperation of the shop and the gracious new owner, who had apparently bought it for a song.
The amazing thing is that in the past few years, this has happened over and over again. Kelsey’s ‘cross bike was recovered when the new owner (who had bought it for way too cheap) brought it to a shop; Julie’s workbike was recovered at McCarren Park the same day it was stolen while she was working; Ric’s KHS was recovered almost a year after it was lifted after being spotted around town several times; Graham’s Fuji had been seen around Canal St and was eventually recovered; Continuum assisted in several East Village recoveries. That’s what recent memory uncovers.
From what I’ve seen, the following are crucial to bike recoveries.
1. Publicizing, posting pictures on the local cycling message board
2. Contacting friendly workers at bike shops who will keep their eyes out
3. Mass text messages to the people you know.
4. Knowing hotspots where a bike may be taken for a quick resale in the neighborhood where it was stolen.
Something to keep in mind; hopefully you won’t ever have to use the info.