8.09.2005

Bike Thieves and Bad Karma Bikes
a few stories about bike thieves
(here is a post I made about me accidently stealing a bike)
stealing bikes is the worst
I hate bike thieves
thieves are low life scum.... bike thieves are lower than that
people who ride bikes and steal bikes are not cyclists.... they are just thieves
crazy ass crackheads stealing something they have no concept of the value of so that they can get high really pisses me off... no compassion for them and their sickness.... not at my expense
the more shine to the bike... the more likely it is to be stolen
a dirty bike of quality apparently has less value than a clean piece of shit
and to think
all this for some low life to cop a buzz

years ago when working in at the Eastern Market location of Big Wheel Bikes I had great exposure to many aspects of the subculture of the bicycle theif
there were the thieves that came in to try and steal our product
there were the thieves that came in to try and sell us their product
there were those that came in with bikes to have work done on them where the bike appeared to be stolen
and there were those that came in with stolen bikes to be worked on

"how could i tell that a bike was stolen?" you ask....

one situation that repeated itself over and over again until I had drawers full of pedals was the customer coming in with a bike looking for pedals... basic pedals.... basic platform pedals
I would pull out the standard 12 or 14 dollar set of pedals and get a look of surprise when I told them the price....

"14 dollars for pedals?" in a tone loc voice with eyebrows raised so high they were pushing up the ceiling tiles

yes... I would reply
then they would pull out a wad of cash greater than what I had in my savings account
then I would offer to swap the pedals for 7.50ty or for free if they let me keep the old ones
then once back in the shop I would try to pick this customer's brain

usually the person would move from the story that they do not like those pedals any more to that they bought the bike for 25 dollars
to that I would try to explain the concepts of Karma and how I felt that applied to life...
from there there would be a discussion about there being no difference between stealing goods and possessing stolen goods
and lastly... the notion that this bike has a value and at one point a person worked hard to earn that money.... then bought this bike... they no longer have it and they may have save up all over again to buy another bike

that human element usually came as a shock to the person on the listening end of these discussions

there was always some back and forth
but at this point there was usually a pause... an "I didn't think of that" sort of response

no.... I never called the police
that was not my job
that was not my place
I was usually one person in a one man band shop
these guys may have gotten a slap on the wrist.... only to come back and ask me "why?"
or
maybe they did get arrested and prosecuted... well then their brother or one of their fellas would come down and teach me a lesson for getting involved in something that was not my business

was it right for me to benefit for this...
I was young and foolish.... not a pious as I am now
it seemed like a good deal for me
for the most part I just stock piled the pedals and passed them off to friends who needed to move the way of the SPD
those were tight times
a few pedals made it easier to survive the low paying world of the bike shop
there was another guy that worked at Dominos
he paid us in pizza to tune his bikes
he was always rolling up on a new bike
always telling us that the bikes were bought of some crackhead
we tried to express that there was no difference and that he was still in the wrong
but in the end it came down to he needed a tune up and we needed some pizza

there were people casing the place out
there were those that snipped the cable locks on the rental out front and rolled down the block
all sorts of shit happened
less happened to me than to others
but the manager before me got bludgened in the head with an hammer from an alledged customer
the manager after me got held up 3 times in three month
being maced in the face was the last straw
was I lucky or did I just play these situations out differently
not sure

that location ended up closing
it was not a big profit shop for the Big Wheel owner
Sendar treated the Capitol Hill shop like his red headed step child
it always looked like a going out of business sale
I would try to stock it and the other managers would sneak in at night and steal my inventory
this ened up not really being "a" story.... but a general story


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