Pardon the hyperbole, but I am turning into a bit of a zealot.
On Friday, my friend Emily called me to tell me that her bike had been stolen outside of work.
Emily is a nurse in the cancer ward at Sick Kids Hospital who, after a 12-hour shift, just wanted to hop on her bike and work out the stress of her day on a slow ride home. What kind of creep steals a bike from outside Sick Kids? Do you have zero imagination?
Now today, Sarah, who has already had a bike ripped off this year emailed from Montreal. Her new bike has been stolen.
For many, this is the last straw after a long, cold winter. Each summer, my friends and I look forward to the freedom of riding our bikes farther than we would ever walk, biking to the ice cream store, visiting people at their homes, and the giddy feeling of gathering a gang of friends with blinking bike lights and dory helmets and biking en-masse to go dancing.
And the best - that dreamy feeling of 3 am, leaving the hot sticky club for the cool ride home on empty streets as the smoky club air evaporates and coming home with skin smelling like summer. Bikes are awesome.
I don't know this for sure, but I think bike thieves only steal bikes. Somewhere in their minds they have justified this theft as an entitlement. They see us as suckers for trusting a parking sign and a kryptonite lock.
From all of us who don't drive cars in favor of cleaner, cheaper, healthier transportation... bike thieves suck. It is the worst violation. It takes away freedom, erodes our trust, and makes the city that much harder to live in.