Something struck a chord recently when I came across this Facebook plea for help. A desperate victim posted this on their Facebook timeline for help from the public to find his beloved custom bike: Justin Barnes had his bike stolen.
Every bike lover can feel empathy for this guy. He worked hard to put together a sweet (expensive) ride and was proud of it. Now the reality is that he probably won’t ever see it again. So how does he get over a huge loss?
1. Get Over the Denial
The first moment you realize your beloved bike is missing, your logical mind just kicks in & tells you lies like, “I know I put it right here”, or “maybe someone moved it”, or “maybe I didn’t put it here but over there” the mind will do this forever because no one wants to believe they have been a victim of theft. Once reality hits, you need to act quickly.
2. Plead for Help
Report the stolen bike and send pics over the social sites. You never know, someone might recognize it right away. This lucky victim found his bike through a friend that recognized it.
You need to get that information rolling on the internet highway asap – and keep it rolling. Cyclists are a really tight knit group. We don’t want to see fellow riders sidelined for any reason. Cyclists also despise bike thieves more than anything.
3. Move Past Self Blame
“If I just would have”. .. We all have thought it but the “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda” doesn’t change the fact that your ride is gone and if someone wants what you have they will figure out a way to get it. According to Project 529, a bike is stolen every 30 seconds in the U.S. No wonder why, with the high dollars rolling on 2 wheels these days, stealing bikes become such big business. According to an 2010 article by the LA Times, bike thefts were up by 29% just in the Los Angeles area alone.
Craigslist, Ebay and other online forums make it all too easy to sell bikes & bike parts. There are movements happening right now to deter sales of stolen bikes on these channels. Get involved and stay aware!
Accept that the bike you treasured is gone and look at avenues for compensation to get you rolling again. Many homeowners and renters policies cover bicycles. Hopefully, there is good documentation of the bike you lost. Having a detailed inventory of bike brand and bike components is smart to keep on hand. As well as any receipts, serial numbers and pictures on file. All of this will help to get that claims process rolling quicker. Some insurance companies have caps on value so you should check out your policy. You may only be able to recover a portion of the true value. Reality is that something is better than nothing. So be smart & document what you have!
5. Revenge Therapy
The loss of your bike will probably haunt you for a while. Dreaming of ways to plot revenge is good therapy, though.
Humor & revenge is an even better alternative: Who stole your bike?
The hard reality is that times have changed. We can no longer leave our bike in the front yard like we did when we were kids. Taking measures to deter bike thieves is also good practice. Simple bike locks have their purpose and should be used as much as possible. We carry a nice assortment of bike locks for various needs and pocket books.
The price of bike locks are small compared to the large investment you make in owning a high end bike.