The thieves have won.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the saga of Bike Number 1, Bike Number 2, and the acquisition and temporary disposition of Bike Number 3, you can go here for the full story. I’ll wait.

Back? Okay, I will now remind you of what I said a few posts ago concerning this bike:

“My newest replacement bike is in the hallway, leaning against the wall, 68 steps, two hallways and a catwalk from street level. Its tires have never touched pavement. I may like the balance we have negotiated, but I am not giving them another bike.”

That bike has now been stolen.

This is as perplexing as it is disappointing and frustrating.

First off, I have been looking at my stationary bike every day for the past few months wondering what I was going to do with it. Now that I am retired again, I thought it might be nice to get some use out of it, but having had two bikes stolen from the “secure” garage, and knowing I was way too lazy to actually carry the bike up and down stairs every time I wanted to use it, I was at a loss.

But then I figured it wasn\’t doing me any good sitting there so I resolved to buy a massive, chain-link lock and a can of orange day-glo paint so I could lock the bike up and spray paint my name and the serial number on the frame. I would look like a pillock riding it, but at least it would be me who was riding it.

So on Friday, I resolved to purchase the necessary items and move the bike the the garage over the weekend, hopefully in a state that would make it undesirable for thieves.

The next morning, the bike was gone. It\’s as if the thieves can read my mind (or, perhaps, they just read this blog).

I must admit a grudging respect for them, though. To steal this bike, they not only had to negotiate the aforementioned obstacles, they also had to pass by three other bicycles, similarly parked, on other levels. They somehow resisted that temptation, pressed on and stole mine. And then they had to carry it down, so it\’s not as if they didn\’t work for it.

I did report it to the police, not that I thought it would do any good, but it was nice to have someone to bitch to and I got the satisfaction of being told to my face that there wasn\’t much they could do about it.

So I am without a bike. Again. I will not buy another one this time. I realise this is letting the thieves win, but buying another bike will only add to the money I have already thrown away and result in four people, instead of three, riding around Horsham on bikes that belong to me.

This is an enemy I cannot defeat. They have more resources, determination, tenacity, spare time and low cunning than I can effectively counter. Think of it as a tactical retreat.

This is what my current bike looks like.

But it is frustrating to know that I am not able to do something I want to do because there is no way (and, apparently, no police force) to keep what is lawfully mine from being taken away. Frustrating and disappointing.

If you’ll excuse me now I have a few items I need to take to the tip. Usually I leave them in the garage for them to steal but apparently now I can just put them outside my door.

Does that qualify as an improvement?