Under the cover of darkness, breaths misting in the chill air, the thieves leapt out of their idling vehicle and began their work of liberation amidst the bike racks. Armed with nothing more than a slender bar, a hammer, and a knowledge of physics, they snapped the end off my Kryptonite U-lock and eased it from the bike's back wheel and frame. They quickly tossed my Trek 2 -- and their other victims -- into the back of their pickup and roared off, knowing that in a few hours, that dead, gray street would come to life with purposeful students, relaxed employees, and harried residents.
Indeed, one of the latter -- me, pushing a happy Junior on his tricycle to his daycare -- came upon the spot and noticed the loss immediately. After all, Trek 2 was my main form of transportation to my Very Important Job of pushing paper and updating Excel spreadsheets. I leave it near Nick's daycare on weekdays, and store it in our building's locked bike room on the weekends.
Alas, Trek 2's continued presence on the bike racks since August had lulled me into a sense of security, as did the police cruiser parked right beside the racks, as well as the campus police office right across the goddamned street. Truly, bike thieves have no fear.
That day would have been my last ride on Trek 2 before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Full of righteous anger but also resignation, I reported the theft to campus police, who were all ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. So then I did what they said and reported to the Boston Police, making a family trip out of it. While I filed the report, Hubby supervised Junior's controlled disassembly of the reception area and supported his Baby Presidential campaign, which consists of waving at absolutely everyone, what a pandering politician, but I had no need to say it twice. The process took 40 minutes, mostly because, according to the officer, "We have this new system...New York had it and got rid of it, it's just horrid, there are so many blocks you have to fill in..." Boston's finest, ladies and gentlemen.
(I'm being a jerk -- the guy was very nice and helpful.)
In honor of Trek 2's five years of excellent service, here is a list of my top five bike riding tips for Boston:
1) Massachusetts Law Chapter 85 Section 11B: This law states that yes, bikes can go on sidewalks, we just have to give right of way to pedestrians, so the next time a crabby lady yells at you for riding on the sidewalk, make a full stop, quote the law chapter and section, and apologize for not giving her the right of way. Seriously, this was my plan for this exact scenario.
2) Go crazy with the lights: Especially when the sun starts setting earlier like a ruiner! I had my flashing red back lights, flashing white front lights, and a flashing blue wristband from my Electric Run 5K back in 2013. Trust me, you'll be safer, and pedestrians will comment on how fracking awesome you are.
3) Make eye contact: A lot of drivers are actually really nice, and will actively not run you over when you look them in the eye and beam. Remember, you are beaming because you're getting fresh air and exercise, and more importantly, you're not on the horrid MBTA! (Do you know how much I hate the MBTA after last winter's crapfest? Sans my bike, I'm going to run to work. More reliable, and probably faster, too.)
4) That windproof layer, though: When temperatures start getting into the forties, your top layer must be windproof, or you will be miserable. Without protection, the icy winds claw into places you never thought would get cold, like your armpits. Unless you're a woman, because women don't have armpits, we have freshly-scented underarms, that's just human anatomy.
5) KEEP IT INSIDE: Like the police officer said, "Just take it right inside your house." Honestly, that's the only surefire way to prevent bike theft, unless thieves break into your home, of course. I figured I was saving myself a five-minute walk back to my building after dropping off Junior, and thus sealed Trek 2's fate.
By the by, my bike was Trek 2 because my original Trek ***drumroll*** got stolen. Because of course it did. The flimsy cable lock didn't help, I'm sure. Le sigh.
TL;DR: My bike got stolen, I'm never buying a bike again.
This post brought to you by toddler tantrums!