Wednesday, May 24, 2017


You guys!  Huge news!  Remember a while back I said not to leave bikes locked up in Kensington?  And then quite recently I said that I was having recurring dreams about my bicycle that I'd had for over a decade that was stolen in Kensington in October?  Guess what!  I found Tibor!  Yesterday!  I found Tibor, seven months later!  I think this is a clear indication of remote viewing being a real thing.

Ok, some background.  I'm moving out of Philly at the end of the month, but for all I's and P's, after tomorrow, I'm gone.  I'll be out of town from Thursday to Monday, packing Monday, then leaving the city Monday night.  As part of my going away process, I've been having a lot of farewell meals.  Yesterday's was a farewell lunch on Penn's campus.  After the lunch, I walked my co-eater back to their office on Drexel's campus, and headed west on Market St, an intersection I seldom ride by.  I turned left at 34th, heading towards Spruce, when I noticed a shiny, silver bike locked at the corner to a light post.  Having been on the lookout for Tibor ever since he was stolen in October, looking at every bike I pass is not an uncommon thing for me to do.  Anyway, I turned back to get a closer look, and holy crap, it was Tibor!  Whaaaaaaaat???  He was stolen in Northern Liberties, what was he doing down here???


After some checking and double-checking I confirmed that it was, in fact, Tibor.  Almost all of the original components were intact, which I found funny because the thief had taken the time to scrape some of the turquoise paint off the fork and pinkish paint off the stem (not all, just some) in an attempt to disguise the bike, but left on the easily recognizable gold Salsa grips and wolf-insignia'd WTB saddle.  He was a little beat up, with a thoroughly rusted chain from being locked outside and a non-drive crank arm dangling from the bottom bracket, but nothing that couldn't be fixed.  I was so excited I could have exploded like a giant firework, spraying happy guts all over University City.

So I called the cops.  I'd filed a police report back in October and I wanted to resolve this the proper way.  I called back an hour and a half later after no one showed up.  After two and a half hours, two calls, and still no cop, a friend of mine came down with a hacksaw and we took Tibor back ourselves.  I couldn't tell if the cops weren't showing in the hopes that the thief would appear, a confrontation would ensue, and then they'd have something real to attend to, or what.  In any case, no one paid any attention to us slowly and unskillfully cutting through a cable lock with a dull hacksaw on a busy street corner around rush hour.

After ghost riding Tibor home from my three-speed Ross, I was able to take a good look at the damages.  The seat post had been cut down to accommodate a shorter rider, the chain was shot, the BB and non-drive crank needed replacing, my wooden crate and bungee net were gone, the brakes were worn to nubs, and most annoyingly, the steel fork that had been sanded down to hide his identity was now covered in rust.  Could have been way worse, as the expensive wheel set and high end tires were intact and undamaged, though woefully underinflated.

Based on his somewhat dilapidated state and the location of recovery, here's what I think happened.  Tibor was stolen by a Kenzo junkie looking to get high (I hope their veins fall out).  They sold him to some shady-ass pawn shop under the El for $10 (I hope their store gets broken into by a junkie).  That pawn shop then sold it to a Penn student for $50 (I hope they get buried in student loan debt).  Then, as Penn move-out was last week, that student abandoned Tibor when they left town for the summer.  Just call me Sherlock.

Regardless of everything else, finding Tibor in the 11th hour before my departure (leaving just enough time for repair work) was clearly my going away present from the City of Philadelphia.  Thanks, Philly.  That was a nice going away gift, even if it kind of was a re-gifting.

Is anyone in the market for a three-speed Ross?

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