Bike Thieves

It’s nice to see Fargo officials are attempting to make our community more biker friendly.

Avid bikers are stoked for the bike lanes and paths in the works. They’ve been dreaming of the day they can safely cruise without having a vehicle two inches behind their rear tire. Bikers are tired of the rude honks loud enough to create some space between their bum and their bike seat. Wouldn’t it be something to go for a ride without having your life threatened by an oblivious driver?

Yes, indeed! Having more designated biking lanes will be great. Unfortunately, the city can build all the paths and lanes they want yet never create a “biker friendly” city.

Many two-wheeler friends have stories of being robbed. One friend was shocked to return to his chained-up bike… with no seat. He went to the store to purchase a seat and returned to find his wheel had been stolen in the meantime. Unable to keep up with the demand of parts of the embezzler, he had to leave his bike for another day, when the entire bike was hijacked for good. In another instance, a man had several of his bikes stolen.

Most cyclists spend a healthy stash of cash on their ride and accessories (unless they’re the one stealing them from other bicyclists), so seeing nothing but a cut chain where their bike once was can be maddening – especially if you’ve got somewhere to be!

What do you do at that point? Drop to your knees and cry in your hands? Hysterically call 911 and beg them to track down your bike (which happens to be the #1 seller at the Fargo Scheels this year)? Set up a campsite by the bike rack and wait for the thief to have a change of heart and return your perfectly-outfitted pride and joy?

Unless you’re Lance Armstrong, you’ll have a tough time tracking down your bike. Armstrong’s $10,000 Trek was stolen during a California competition (yes, his bicycle is worth more than your car). When the thief was discovered, he was sentenced to a three-year prison term and Lance got his bike back. If only we could all get that justice! Unfortunately, investigations of bike theft are basically non-existent for those who aren’t all-star bikers.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about bike thieves, but since Fargo – and I suspect other towns as well – aren’t “biker friendly,” cyclists need to get creative. I mean, obviously the locks aren’t cutting it anymore. Rather, they’re “taking the cut” in a matter of seconds with a $10 tool available at the nearest Walmart.

A little law enforcement needs to be implemented to snatch these thieves! Bike crooks could be fined the cost of the bike (Lance’s bike would never be stolen again, guaranteed). Or demand them to patrol bike racks (if bikes get stolen, they know who to go to). Or, best yet, force them to teach bike safety courses to overly-rowdy deviant kids who shriek loudly, don’t pay attention and vigorously chuck their helmets when they’re bored.

Shootin’ the Wit is a column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.