It’s always such a downer to see posts on Facebook (or whatever social platform you’re on) about a stolen motorcycle. I remember one, posted by a mom who was evidently distraught for her son. The young lad had worked so hard to save for the bike, only to have some creep take it from their property in the night. A few days ago I helped a friend by making such a post, but happy to report that things turned out for the best.
Monday was my last day before work, and Scott and I were cruising around town (on bicycles since my replacement CDI box is in the mail!). Scott got a message from Stephen who lived close by, so we thought we would do a drive-by and check out his new motorcycle! He had purchased a 1994 Suzuki DR350 dual sport just two weeks ago, mainly to do a roadtrip with his brothers (the Zenga Bros) and dad, visiting from Ontario.
We arrive to discover that there was no bike. He had just said goodbye to his girlfriend (who studies in New York) at the airport, was probably feeling a bit low already, only to get home to find his bike was gone. What a heart sinker!
Sadly, this is relatively common in Vancouver. People troll the streets (sometimes with a truck) and dirtbikes, scooters and dual sports are especially popular to nab. My friend, Michelle who runs AntiSocial skateshop witnessed someone hop on her motorcycle directly in front of the shop (while she’s doing the opening procedures), pop it into neutral, and roll it down the Main Street hill, facing traffic!
She chased the thief, and with the help of someone in a truck, retrieved it quickly… the person dumped it in a bush at the bottom of the hill. Desperate moves! Michelle is another person who is so kind and generous with her time, that a thief would have to be heartless to steal from!
Scott and I take our time hanging with Stephen, who had contacted the Police, and explored the neighbourhood, to no avail. In some ways, it was pretty impressive how calm and cool he responded. His roommate straight up acknowledged this, because I know I would be crushed if my bike vanished. It was a great reminder to hold such possessions loosely. Things come and go – no point in losing your mind.
It should be noted that Stephen is our number one mechanic, and the former owner of my XR600R (aka Alaska). He has been so helpful and patient with Scott and I – inviting us to join him in the garage for various wrenching projects, and we often have to force him to accept a reasonable payment for any jobs accomplished! He is solid gold.
So, I just wanted to do something to help. Submitting a Facebook alert seemed pretty minor, although it was encouraging when people shared it out, and offered condolences. But then, both Scott and I had this weird feeling that it was “down there”! We put our bicycle helmets on and made our goodbyes. Stephen was preparing his car to sell that very evening.
In my heart I desperately wanted to do more, to let him know that he had good friends, who appreciated all the good things he does. Scott and I decided to get into the head space of a thief in the night. He (or she) sees this new bike, sees the gradual slope down to the waterfront, and all of the suburban street blockers, preventing anyone in a car from following. They get on, and start rolling in the hopes that further down the line they can try to mess with the ignition. It won’t work, and miraculously they get second thoughts. They can’t sell the bike straight up, they would need help disguising it, parting it out, and perhaps it’s too much trouble.
This is what we hoped the thief was thinking… and sure enough, we were right! We simply headed north down the hill, popping into all the alleys, and checking side streets, and then suddenly there it is!! The bike is abandoned in a terrible spot, parked literally in front of a fire hydrant, partly blocking a drive way. Scott shouts for me to go! He guards the bike, and I rip as fast as possible back to Stephen’s place, yelling and shouting.
I barge into his kitchen, and Stephen looks stunned. I had only seen one photo and explain that there’s a sheepskin rug on the seat, and he says, “That’s my bike!” Off we go back down the hill on our bicycles, just squealing and hooting with absolute joy. Meanwhile, Scott had chatted with the homeowner where the bike was randomly parked. He was just about to call the Police, and been suspicious of it. Either way, it would have been returned but it felt so awesome to find it. I notice that there’s a Buddhist temple kitty corner, so maybe they feared some bad karma!
There was minor damage since the thief had evidently tried to jam a knife or screw driver into the ignition, but otherwise running sweet. The Police came not long after and removed it from the stolen vehicles database. Stephen was free to ride! Scott and I were so happy – high fiving each other. It was the best way to end the summer. And then, to update my Facebook post, and eventually remove it, felt incredible.