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.