Ask anyone on my block about my bike, the 1978 white low-rider cruiser, and they will tell you how much I love it. It may be old, it maybe a bit too small for me and slightly rusty, but I ride it everyplace in my hometown of Milton, Ontario. For as long as I know, summertime is all about being outdoors and getting together with friends on bikes and having fun. Sadly, my summer almost came to a crushing end when on Monday evening of July 4th someone stole my beloved bike right from my front lawn.
Bike thefts are common in any community. Often, the bikes in my neighbourhood that are stolen get plucked from the backyards and lawns by young rogues looking for a quick joy ride and are then disposed of in the nearby Sixteen Mile Creek. You can tell me what you want to think, that Milton is turning for the worse or that crime is on the rise, but as long as I can remember bikes were stolen in the past no matter what generation it was.
I was heart broken. After calling the local police, I called my assignment editor Donna sobbing into the phone. "Donna! Someone took my bike!" I cried.
Donna words were sympathetic, "That's too bad, Ann. I really am sorry."
After a short silence and some sobbing, Donna groaned and said "Alright! I will come down to Milton and help you look for your bike," and hung up. Together we drove up and down the streets looking for my low rider. By midnight, I gave up and I went home in tears, fearing I would never see my dear bike again.
However, what this bike thief did not realize is that he stole the wrong person's bike. I sprang into action to get my bike back the only way I knew. I sent off a mass email to all my friends and contacts that lived in my area letting them know that my bike was stolen and to keep a look out for it. The next day I trudged down the humid streets of Milton with a hundred flyers with big block letters that read "STOLEN BIKE" in hopes that someone would contact me if they saw it. All I could do now was to wait and hope. The calls started to flood in at 8pm.
People saw my bike and read my flyers, all right. A call came in at 9:30 from a group of twelve-year-old boys who saw the person on my bike. Keeping a distance, they trailed the thief down to the Mill Pond and they scanned the bush looking for it. It did not take this thief long to realize that the entire neighbourhood was searching for my bike and after strange looks from people on Main Street, he must have been scared stupid and decided it was not worth it anymore and ditched my bike in the creek behind Mill Pond and took off.
I remember when I got the call I was ecstatic. "Please tell me where it is so I can go get it," I asked in a nervous voice. The boy on the phone just answered sweetly, "No, we will bring it to you."
Three boys came riding their own bikes guiding my bike with their free hands just minutes after the phone call. I just tore down the road laughing with joy. I offered to pay them a reward for getting it out of the creek, but they refused. They said they brought it back because when they saw the bike lying in the ditch they knew if it was their bike they would hope someone would return it.
I am so happy that I have my bike back. Yes, bad things do happen, but if this was the city, I could have kissed my bike goodbye. I am happy amidst the growth in Milton and how everyone is talking about the rise of crime, there are still kind people who care about peoples feelings. Small towns are all about community, people watching out for others and keeping everyone safe through communication. Take the time to write down your bike serial number, get a photo and lock it up. Suburban summer is just not the same without a bike.