Saturday, August 6, 2011

The consequences of living in a bike friendly city- Kayla

Nick's last post is no longer true; we have officially been "robbed".  We weren't held at gunpoint, but Nick did lose something extremely valuable: his bike.  Friday, after he had gotten off work, I got a call from Nick who proceeded to say "my bike is gone".  Apparently we should have gotten better locks for our bikes.  Rope locks just won't cut it.  It has to be a U lock.  We filed a police report, but bikes around here go missing all the time, so the chances of anything coming from it our miniscule.  Nick and I went to the nearest bike shop to see if they bought used bikes hoping that the thief would have been stupid enough to sell it near by.  The guy at the bike shop said that they didn't buy used bikes for that reason, but that we had obviously been hit by a professionals.  We thought it was weird that the bike had been taken in broad daylight  right in the middle of a VERY busy street, but apparently it was the work of someone who knew what he was doing.  Apparently, stealing bikes is a job for some people.  They can walk up to a bike that has a rope lock on it, flip out a cutter and be on our bike and gone in less than 10 seconds.  Great.  Where there are lots of bikes, there are professional bike thieves.  The owner of the bike shop had a used bike, old but okay looking, sitting right on the floor for $175.  He said he would hold it for us until 12 the next day so we could think on it.  He even told us that if we paid cash, he would take care of the sales tax and $175 was all we would pay (underhanded I know, but still nice of him).

The next morning, knowing that he would never get his bike back, and really wanting to go on the bike ride we had been planing on for quite some time, Nick decided to go buy the bike.  After buying the bike, we went home, packed up la picnic lunch, and went for a long bike ride along Lake Shore Drive.  We had a ton of fun and it was great being so close to the lake.  Did you know that we have a beach not far from us?  If we head directly east, we will run right into a beach.  Talk about convenient.  The ride itself was great.  Here are some pictures:

As you can see, we had a really good time and saw some really neat sites.  All in all, it was about a 10 mile round trip.  It probably took us around 50 minutes to ride from our place to Navy Pier, so it wasn't that bad.  The best thing: flat!  It wasn't a tough ride at all since there are no hills in Illinois.  All went really well until we got a little past Navy Pier when Nick said "did I just get a flat?"  Indeed he had.  Apparently the city is trying to break him in.  We found a bike shop that was pretty much right across the road, but with Lollapalooza going on, the street was blocked off and we had to go quite a bit out of our way to get across the road.  At the bike shop we had a guy tell us that both tires were shot to hell and that the other tire would soon go.  So, after getting a new tube and tire for Nick's bike, it was back to Ravenswood and Easy Riders, the bike shop that sold us the bike.  We, thankfully, made it back without the other tire going.  The guy who sold Nick the bike gave him a refund for the tire and tube, put a new tire and tube on the other wheel free of charge, and put on new break pads, also free of charge.  We couldn't ask for a nicer guy; he was really great about it.  I think he felt bad for our predicament.  We will surely be going back there for all our bike needs in the future.

A few updates: I do not yet have a job, but there were several leads including a couple at bakeries.  AND I go to orientation for school this Friday at 1!  Look forward to getting lots of photos of the yummy things I bake at school!

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