December 21, 2016

"I AM THIEVE [sic]"

Photo by Dije Siha Rahmad
When an Australian couple was caught on CCTV stealing a bike on the Indonesian island of Gili Trawangan last week, local law enforcement meted out a punishment aimed at (1) embarrassing the pair and (2) deterring other would-be thieves.

The day after the attempted theft, members of a locally organized security force—at less than two miles long and with fewer than 1,000 permanent residents, Gili Trawangan has no police presence—escorted the Australians on a "walk of shame." Such spectacles are not, the Guardian reports, uncommon on the island, with both tourists and locals subjected to the public shaming.

The Aussies got off easy, if you ask me, though the English on their neck placards is pretty grating...

December 5, 2016

"Thank you...for returning it"

For anyone in need of a feel-good story fix, here are a few:

1. Maybe you saw Mara Abbott come oh-so-close to winning the women's road race in Rio in August. The cyclist was in the news again late last month when her gold-colored Blue brand commuter bike went missing from outside her Boulder, CO home. The theft was her fault, Abbott said, since she'd left her ride unlocked, intending—but forgetting—to secure it in her carport after grabbing a bite to eat. Abbott's bike theft story had a happy ending, however: A Boulder man who'd read a Daily Camera piece about Abbott's loss spotted a two wheeler that looked like hers and reported it to police. Abbott was so thrilled to be reunited with her ride that on her way home from the police station she stopped for a celebratory doughnut. "I was jumping up and down and maybe crying a little because I was so happy," she told the Daily Camera.

2. James Brewster is nine, and his father died a little over a year ago, on November 29, 2015. The day before the one-year anniversary of Mr. Brewster's death, a silver mountain bike was stolen from outside young James’s home in Pinebank, Craigavon, County Armagh, Ireland. The bike was the last present Brewster had given his son. James's mother Una launched a Facebook appeal pleading for the bike's return, and it worked. Twelve hundred shares later the bike materialized in the Brewsters' yard. When James came home after Gaelic after-school club (!) he could hardly believe his eyes: "I actually looked at the bike and didn't think it was really there," he told the Belfast Telegraph. "I thought I was dreaming." (Watch Una's video of James's reunion with his bike.) 

3. Bike Index put out its full rundown of November bike recoveries yesterday, and photographic documentation of an early December recovery caught my eye. Nicely composed shot, eh?

October 21, 2016

Assault the Thief's Senses

Any lock that's halfway convenient to carry can be compromised by a thief with the proper tools and sufficient time to wield them. Two current Indiegogo campaigns—Stingray and SkunkLock—offer cyclists extra security measures in the form of ear- and nose-assaulting deterrents, respectively.

Designed by electrical engineer (and three-time victim of bike theft) Obadiah Sheikh, Stingray combines a powerful front bike light with a motion sensor that triggers a 140-decibel alarm, an ear-splitting screech on par with a gunshot or a jet engine upon takeoff. While typical locks, if broken, "sit quietly and watch as a thief rides away with your bicycle and all onlookers assume nothing wrong," Stingray both deafens the would-be criminal and alerts bystanders to a crime-in-progress.

"The main problem with a stolen bike," says Sheikh, "is once the thief is around the first corner, nobody knows it’s a stolen bike." Watch the full pitch below:

SkunkLock, which bills itself as "the only lock that fights back," holds a surprise for thieves with power tools: pressurized within a hollow chamber running the length of the U-lock is an undisclosed cocktail of chemicals that "induce vomit in the majority of cases, and elicit an instinctive response to run away immediately."

While it will not deliver the "Death to Bike Thieves" my sticker advocates (or fulfill creator Daniel Idzkowski's desire for bikes to blow thieves' balls off), SkunkLock does promise to leave the would-be bike thief with eyes stinging, stomach churning, and clothes ruined. Not bad. Check it out:

October 10, 2016

Loaner Locks and Bait Bikes

In August 2015, nearly a bike a day was reported stolen on Vancouver's Granville Island. Thanks to Operation Rudy, however, August 2016 saw only a theft a week. 

A collaboration between Granville Island, Project 529, the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Police Department, Better Environmentally Sound Transportation, and several Island businesses, Operation Rudy is "a multi-spoked approach that addresses easy bicycle storage and registration, cyclists’ security habits, theft deterrence, and physical site design."

Given the success of the initiative, other jurisdictions may want to consider implementing some of its components. The program 
  • offers bicycle valet service free of charge seven days a week (at least during the summer months);
  • encourages bike registration with 529 Garage;
  • makes loaner locks available to cyclists willing to leave a photo ID at one of the participating businesses;
  • uses bike rack signage to educate riders about proper locking technique;
  • employs bait bikes to catch thieves (six arrests this summer!); and
  • prompted the installation of bike parking structures in high-visibility (and thus safer) areas.
Heartened by this summer's decrease in Granville Island thefts, Vancouver officials are already hoping to take Operation Rudy to Olympic Village, another of the city's bike theft hotspots.

September 30, 2016

U-locks Are Targets Now

Bike security is an arms race: As riders employ sturdier locks, would-be thieves wield more powerful tools or devise sneakier attacks.

Consider the Bay Area. For years, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has mounted a public information campaign aimed at getting cyclists to swap their cable locks for more secure U-locks. And BART bike thefts have declined, 28 percent between 2014 and 2015, and another 22 percent in the first seven months of 2016. Bike East Bay's outreach coordinator Robert Prinz told the East Bay Times he attributes this decrease not only to BART's installation of bike lockers and encouragement of bike valet parking, but to its pro-U-lock message.

But now that the low-hanging cabled-locked fruit is more rare, thieves are increasingly targeting U-locks. Analysis by the East Bay Times of bikes reported stolen in the first three months of 2016 showed that, where the type of lock was mentioned, approximately 45 percent of thefts involved a cable lock, while around 38 percent involved U-locks. Sentences like this one from the East Bay Times's story strike fear in the heart of any bike lover: "In at least one case, the cyclist secured the bike with two Kryptonite U-locks—among the most expensive around—and a Kryptonite-brand chain, only to find the bike missing." Is no configuration of locks safe??

BART is considering upping its theft-prevention game with the installation of a new kind of bike rack, called Bikeep. Check out the next security measure thieves will be figuring out how to foil:

September 28, 2016

More Red Schwinns

Two updates on the Muhammed Ali story BTB brought you in June:

1. The red bike Spalding University hung from what used to be Columbia Gym to honor Muhammed Ali (and mark the spot where his boxing career got its start) was stolen in August. When efforts to recover the bike proved unsuccessful, the university replaced it. The new two-wheeled tribute is suspended by from cables rather than ropes, and Spalding's president is stressing that the bike has no historic value. "It's not Muhammad Ali's bicycle," Tori Murden McClure told WDRB News. "Don't come and steal it."

A replacement bike rises above the entry of the Spalding University Center, which the university's
Board of Trustees has voted to rename Columbia Gym, as the building was known when Ali was a boy.

2. In another bike-related commemoration of Ali, 100 children in the boxer's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, received donated Schwinns earlier this month. The 100 youngsters, all of whom had learned bike safety skills in Bike Louisville's Bike Sense program, also each received a helmet and lock. "The Champ inspired us all to believe that we could, like him, be 'The Greatest' at whatever we are willing to work hard to be," said Mayor Greg Fischer, "and with this donation, we're rewarding hard work and focus." 

September 17, 2016

Another Bike Lock Contender

So for all my May coveting, I did not in fact fund Altor's Kickstarter campaign. The 560G titanium bike lock was to be the Bethelem, PA-based outfit's first ever product, and part of me didn't believe they'd pull it off...

Oh me of little faith! The 560G is now available on Altor's website not for pre-order, but for bona fide have-it-within-days purchase. My doubt cost me the early-bird discount, of course, but the 560G remains atop my must-have list.

I also, however, have my eye on yet another Kickstarter, this one for Ottolock, the "go-anywhere cinch lock." While Altor bills the 560G as "the world's strongest lightest lock" (thus likely angling for the same market share as the folks at TiGr), the Ottolock positions itself carefully between the two most familiar types of bike lock: "It's far more secure than a cable lock, and much lighter than a U-lock."

Actually, at 115 grams, the Ottolock is lighter than either a cable lock (350-1200 grams) or a U-lock (1200-2500 grams). It is not, however—and makes no claim to be—stronger than a U-lock. Which is all that gives my security-obsessed self pause.

Otherwise the Ottolock looks great. Super portable and apparently surprisingly strong. Even if you wouldn't trust it to keep your bike safe in a high-risk area or for long periods of unsupervised time, it might be handy to have for quick or unanticipated lock-ups.

Already supported by over 1200 backers to the tune of more than twice its fundraising goal, Ottolock is sure to be spotted on bike frames near you in the not too distant future... Will yours be one of them?

September 1, 2016

"Ready to go Rambo to get that bike back"

This is just to say that you should read Christopher Solomon's Outside story "The Real-Life Superhero Who Beats the Cops to Bike Thieves." BTB brought you (courtesy of the Seattle Times and the Guardian) word of Bike Repo Batman back in March, but Solomon's got the fuller scoop.

"A year ago," it teases, "before the man they call Bike Batman began his work—before he headed out on missions around the Emerald City with a pocketful of cash and the cops on speed dial and a paladin’s sense of wrongs to be righted, before he’d rescued two dozen stolen bikes from the grubby fingers of the city’s thieves, before even anyone referred to him as Bike Batman—he was just an average-seeming guy in Seattle who liked to ride his bicycles."

Go read the rest. (But know that you might be inspired to undertake something akin to Bike Batman's vigilantism yourself. "Our thirst for justice," as Solomon writes, "runs strong.")

August 1, 2016

For want of a s#!tty bike

Getting your bike stolen in Winnipeg sucks a little less now, thanks to the sometime owner of a battered red Schwinn (no, not that red Schwinn).

Twenty-one-year-old Winnipeg resident Sarah Arksey posted five or six copies of a profanity-laced poster after her "shitty bike" was stolen in broad daylight last week:

Arksey's plea caught the fancy of Free Press books editor/wine columnist Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson, who posted a photo of it to social media.

Soon Arksey had received 40 or 50 offers of replacement rides—from strangers.

"It's totally restored my faith in this city and humanity in general," she told the CBC.

The community's generosity inspired Arksey to start the Wolseley Bike Co-op, a nonprofit whose mission is to match donated bikes with riders who have had theirs stolen.

"Most people in this situation don’t get anywhere near the attention and support I have had over my shitty stolen bike," Arksey writes on the co-op's website. "Because of this, and the mass amount of people offering to donate their used bikes, I realized this shitty situation could really help a lot of people."

July 21, 2016

Steer Clear

At the second annual Steering Clear of Cycle Crime Conference in Birmingham, England earlier this month, the Lancashire Police received the inaugural Quickest Cycle Recovery Award.

The department "not only recovered a stolen bike within an hour" says the award citation, "but also apprehended the bike thieves, all while the bike owner was on holiday..."

Other prizes included the Largest Cycle Recovery Award and the Most Innovative Use of BikeRegister Award.

National cycle database BikeRegister hosted the conference in association with British Transport Police. Officers from 28 police forces attended the one-day event, joined by partners from the cycling, education, and security industries.

"If everybody comes together here," said the Durham Constabulary's Dave Williamson of last year's Steering Clear meeting, "this could be problem-solving policing on an industrial scale."

The theme for the 2016 conference was "Partnership Working," and the day's speakers highlighted the importance of the public, private, and volunteer sectors working together to beat bike crime.

How about sharing best practices internationally?

June 23, 2016


Sometimes, like when he stood atop the Tour de Suisse podium last week, 22-year-old Colombian cyclist Miguel Ángel López looks more like a schoolboy who thinks he has died and gone to heaven than a force to be reckoned with.

Photo: Tim De Waele

López did more to earn his nickname "Superman," though, than win prestigious stage races or soldier on in spandex, precipitation be damned. 

Five years ago López was ambushed on a training ride by a pair of would-be bike thieves. The brigands got more than they'd bargained for with the 5'6", 143-pound López, however. The cyclist fought the men off, sustaining two stab wounds before disarming his assailants—and retaining his bike, of course.  

"Anyone would have defended themselves, wouldn't they?" López says of the episode.

Maybe so, Superman, but few would have done so so successfully.

Thanks to Tom and Karen Carter for bringing López's story to my attention, and to Rafael Michelena for translation assistance.

June 22, 2016

"I'll whup him"

Spalding University president Tori Murden McClure suspended
a red Schwinn—not Clay's, which was never recovered—from the
university's main building as a tribute to Ali after his June 3 death.
Some people, when their bikes get stolen, start blogs. Others parlay their theft-induced animus into legendary boxing careers.

But perhaps I've misleadingly used the plural there. That second course of events has only unfolded once, that I know of: in the case of Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., better known today as Muhammed Ali.

In 1954, 12-year-old Cassius rode his brand new red-and-white Schwinn to a business expo in downtown Louisville's Columbia Auditorium, now the Spalding University Center. By the time he came out to pedal home, his bike was gone—and he was livid.

Someone told Cassius that there was a policeman in the Columbia Gym in the auditorium's basement, and that he could report the theft to him.

"I ran downstairs, crying," Ali wrote in his autobiography, The Greatest: My Own Story, "but the sights and sounds and the smell of the boxing gym excited me so much that I almost forgot about the bike."

Maybe that's how Ali remembered it, but in most tellings of the story the first words out of young Cassius's mouth when he met Sergeant Joe Martin expressed his intent to "whup" whoever had made off with his Schwinn.

"You better learn to fight before you start fightin'," Martin replied.

And Cassius did. He began training in the rec center Martin ran in the Columbia Gym and by 1960 had learned the ropes well enough to win the light heavyweight gold at the Summer Olympics in Rome.

And the rest is history: Clay's bike was never recovered, but man was there some whupping.

June 13, 2016

"Not every day you get to rope somebody that did something bad"

The story has been picked up by outlets from The Guardian to New York Magazine, so perhaps you've already heard: A rancher, astride a horse and handy with a lasso, took down a would-be bike thief in a Walmart parking lot in Oregon last week.

When Robert Borba, loading dog food into his truck, heard a woman cry that someone was making off with her bike, he didn't hesitate. Borba let his horse—Long John—out of the cattle trailer attached to his truck, and together the two of them pursued the thief, who, struggling with the bike's gearing, ditched the two-wheeler and attempted to make a getaway on foot.

Not on Borba's watch. The rancher and former rodeo regular brought down the fleeing man with a lasso around the legs and then dragged him to the end of the parking lot. The would-be thief grabbed a tree and tried to free himself, but Borba (1) kept the rope taut, (2) called 911, and (3) waited 15 minutes for the Eagle Point, Oregon, police to arrive.

"We've never had anyone lassoed and held until we got there," said Eagle Point Sergeant Darin May. "That's a first for me."

To read more or watch Borba describe the parking lot throw down, check out the Medford Mail Tribune's coverage of the incident.

June 8, 2016

Total Peace of Mind?

Looks like Boston-based Fortified Bicycle has some competition in the guaranteed-against-theft bike market.

You'll perhaps recall from its December Kickstarter campaign that Fortified promises to replace—within 24 hours, no less!—any one of its Invincible bicycles that thieves manage to steal or plunder for parts.

Well now Amsterdam's VanMoof is pledging to ship its city-ready cycles with a comparable helping of peace of mind.

"The VanMoof SmartBike is unlike any other bike," claims the company's website.
Not only will it ship with anti-theft parts and tracking that make it terrifying to bike thieves. If a thief is brilliant enough to get past all that, we promise to get your stolen bike back to you in two weeks, or we'll replace it.
The SmartBike costs more than the Invincible (early-bird prices of $1098/$1398 versus $399/$649), and is more tech-heavy, but the idea behind both offerings is the same: Bring to market a ride optimized not for setting speed records or shredding single-track, but for getting around the city.

Both bikes are now available for pre-order.

June 7, 2016

Up, Over, and Off

Lest you doubt, dear bike owner, that two-wheelers ever get lifted up, over, and off of the signposts they're locked to, know this: It happened on Washington, D.C.'s L Street on April 23, at 8:41 in the morning. And there's security video to prove it:

Yes it's tempting in this world of too few bike racks to loop your big ole lock around a signpost and hope for the best, but keep in mind that the worst does happen. Don't let it happen to you!

May 26, 2016

You Know You Want One: The Lightest High-Security Lock Ever

If you're (1) into bicycles and (2) would like to hang on to your hard-earned cash, typing "bike" into the search field on Kickstarter's homepage is a dangerous act. Nonetheless, I risk it on occasion. 

My most recent peek at the crowdfunding scene's latest cycling-related projects turned up the 560G from Pennsylvania outfit Altor. This foldable, 1.23-pound lock made from Grade 5 titanium currently tops my must-have list. If you're prepared to covet one, too, watch the pitch below and check out the product's Kickstarter page for more information about the lock's portability and security, as well as the production timeline. The campaign, which has already garnered more than twice its funding goal, ends Monday.   

May 16, 2016

150 Decibels of Protection

From Yannick Read—the Brit behind the 'Bond bike' equipped with an ejector seat, snow-ready ski blade, and, to scorch motorists inclined to violate the 3-feet rule, flamethrowing handlebars—comes a Kickstarter campaign for "the ultimate alarm to protect your precious stuff."

The product's name—BIKE MINE—both hints at its explosive nature and telegraphs, in terse, Tarzan-style syntax, to whom the protected property belongs. Billed as "the world's loudest alarm," BIKE MINE is a battery-free, velcro-affixed way to ensure that the theft of your bike will rouse the neighborhood. Take a look:

April 14, 2016

Steal and Return?

It's the bike theft equivalent of the catch-and-release routine popular among fisherfolk. In the past month, 12 high-end bikes have been stolen from outside a Shiva temple in Bareilly, India—and returned to the same location a few days later, no worse for wear. 

While local police are keen to apprehend the bike borrower, they do, upon receiving a report of a bike theft and before mounting an investigation or recovery effort, try to determine whether the crime occurred near the famous Tibri Nath temple. If yes, they assume the two wheeler will reappear in 4-5 days.

The psychologist quoted in the Times of IndiaI's story deems whoever is taking the bikes a kleptomaniac, but might s/he just be an incorrigible enthusiast, eager to try out as many expensive rides as possible?  

April 1, 2016

"Another bike guy saw a sketchy wrong size dude..."

Anyone in need of a Friday bike-recovery fix should check out Bryan Hance's enumeration of all the bikes Bike Index helped return to their owners in March: 34 in total.

The prevalence of bike theft may shake your faith in humanity, but Hance's snippets of recovery stories will restore at least some of it.

"I am so grateful to the Bike Index community!" wrote the owner of a recovered 2007 Cannondale CAAD 8, and the registry does seem to have empowered cyclists to look out for one another.

Messages like this one, sent via Bike Index to the owner of a 2011 Giant Talon 29er, make me smile (leaving aside the recklessness of confronting a bike thief): "I found your bike, it's in my car. I confronted a dude in Ballard for it. Call me!"

These recovery stories feature an "awesome bike mechanic" and a "good samaritan" and "a kind soul [who] ran into a street peddler who clearly didn't purchase" the 2010 Kona Jake he was hawking.

Sometimes it takes another cyclist—or at least someone able to assess the size (mis)match between a bike and a person—to spot a thief.

"Another bike guy saw a sketchy wrong size dude riding my bike in a shady area," reported the owner of a 2006 Trek Portland. "He offered to buy it, bought it, contacted me through Bike Index and returned it to me!"

So keep your eyes peeled, pro-bike people, and do what you can to help Bike Index reunite cyclists with their rides.

March 23, 2016

Across the Pond: BikeDock and Cyclehoop

No doubt I'd be aware of many more advances in bike infrastructure if my Google Alert returned (and I could read!) news stories in Danish or Dutch, but thankfully I can, even with my linguistic shortcomings, learn what British bike enthusiasts are up to. Two London-based initiatives caught my attention this week.

BikeDock grew from Denis Quilligan's conviction that a cyclist should not have to choose between having a wheel stolen and lugging two locks around. In Quilligan's design, the bike rack itself does the work of the second lock:  

Since six BikeDocks were installed in the London suburb of Dagenham a year ago, no thefts have been reported, and the rack is currently being tested in Central London. May it spread far and wide!

Cyclehoop takes a different approach to bicycle parking, converting existing street furniture into someplace a cyclist could feel good locking his or her bike: 

Launched in London in 2008, Cyclehoop has been adopted across the UK. One concern, though: What's to stop a thief from uninstalling the Cyclehoop (installation doesn't look like it requires terribly exotic tools) and then lifting the bike over the post as before? I'd have to assess the topology...

Side note: Hooray for public bike pumps!

March 21, 2016

"The bolts and screws are already there"

Your bike's got perfectly good bolts, say the creators of the Hexlox. All you need is a way to prevent would-be component thieves from loosening those fasteners. And Hexlox, fully funded on Kickstarter well ahead of its April 14 deadline, promises to do just that (just ask the Berlin Lockpicking Society!):

March 16, 2016

"I’m telling people: this is not yours."

The Guardian picked up the Bike Repo Batman story and secured the first interview with the vigilante they're calling simply "Bike Batman."

So to fill in some of the heretofore missing details:
  • Bike Batman is a 6'4" thirty-something engineer.
  • He began his bike recovery efforts in 2015.
  • BB is largely motivated by the desire to uphold Seattle's reputation as a friendly city.
  • Our hero does inform police of his meet-ups with sellers. In more than half of the 22 cases in which he has reclaimed stolen bikes, the thief has been arrested.
  • Bike Batman is not foolhardy; he admits that he once aborted a recovery mission for fear of being jumped by a group of suspected thieves. BB characterizes his actions this way: "I’m not out fighting crime and punching people. I’m telling people: this is not yours."
Want to know more? Read the Guardian's full story.

March 15, 2016

Bike Repo Batman

Photo credit: Sevi_Lwa via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND
One man has made it his personal mission to, as the Seattle Times' Evan Bush puts it, "restore justice to the two-wheeled world." Dubbed "Bike Repo Batman" by Bryan Hance of Bike Index, the anonymous vigilante recovered more than 20 stolen bikes in 2015.

BRB compares bikes hawked via sketchy classifieds with those listed as stolen on registries like Hance's. When he finds a match, he arranges to meet the would-be seller. Once face-to-face, BRB presents proof that the bike is stolen and hints that the police might be interested. Often the seller surrenders the bike, which BRB can then return to its grateful owner.

One beneficiary of BRB's recovery efforts describes her bike's savior as part do-gooder and part thrill-seeker: "The impression I got from him, and stuff his wife said, [is] he’s kind of an adrenaline junkie," she told the Seattle Times. "It’s his way of giving back to the community."

March 14, 2016

Leave No Trace (or Do, If You Want to Get Caught)

Photo credit: Xavier Roeseler via / CC BY-NC-SA
If, as a bike thief, your plan involves leaving possessions at the scene of the crime, best to wipe them down first. Briton Andrew Grubb learned this the hard way in February.

Grubb rode a rusty old bike to Bristol Parkway station, where he stole the frame and rear wheel of one bike and the front wheel of another. He cobbled the pilfered property into a complete (non-rusty) ride and took off, leaving the bike he'd arrived on behind. Along with—it turned out—his DNA.

Tipped off by witnesses, the British Transport Police's forensic team swabbed the bike, recovered the DNA, and identified Grubb—a known bike theft who lived in the neighborhood—as the culprit. Appearing in Bristol Magistrates' Court, Grubb was ordered to pay £1,000 and £40, respectively, to the cyclists whose frame/rear wheel and front wheel he took.

Moral for the cyclists (as opposed to the would-be bike thieves) among you: Don't lock your bike solely by the front wheel, but be sure to secure it, too!

March 2, 2016

A Better Staple

In January 2015 we learned that Portland's ubiquitous staple racks are sometimes—if seldom—cut clear through.

And just last week the BBC reported that bike thieves in the UK have taken to cutting racks and then hiding their handiwork with tape to fool cyclists into thinking they're locking their rides to uncompromised infrastructure.

But bike security is nothing if not an arms race, and the city of Portland has just upped its game. As Jonathan Maus announced on, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has revamped the staple rack: they've added a steel crossbar, placed a floating wire rope inside the rack's steel pipe body, and instructed installation crews to ground the racks in 18-inch deep concrete foundations, as shown below.

While the new racks won't replace existing ones, they will be used in all future installations. Ball's in your court, bike thieves.

February 17, 2016

'Bolt cutters' is not, in fact, one word

What to do when a man approaches you pushing a bike with one hand and wielding bolt cutters in the other? 

Seattle's Scott Gamble opted to give the "crackhead" (Gamble's word) $20 for the Trek 620 in question, hoping he'd be able to reunite the bike with its rightful owner. 

Gamble's Craigslist ad—which cautions would-be bike claimers that they'll have to furnish details to convince him of their legitimacy—has yet to bring the owner forward, however. 

So is the late-80s model Trek in fact "not a special bike" as KIRO 7's Gary Horcher had the cheek to suggest in the station's segment on Gamble's action? Here's hoping that whoever has tuned, cared for, and tooled around the Emerald City on this ride connects with Gamble soon. 

One of my favorite parts of this story, oddly, is the correction appended to Gamble's ad. Apparently he first wrote "bolt cutters" as one word and was informed—by someone trolling Craigslist??—of his error. "However 'crackhead' according to is a single word meaning 'A person who smokes the illegal drug crack,'" writes Gamble, "so I hit that one out of the park. Go me."

Go you indeed.