Fixies must be a hot commodity these days, because two months ago, mine was stolen. Luckily, I have it back now. And this is my story of how it was stolen, and how I was incredibly lucky to get it back.
On Thursday, Dec. 2nd, 2010, I was working a night shift at Willy’s Pub (until 2:00 am). I had left my fixie outside the backdoor to pub with the wheel locked to the frame with a U-bolt lock. Not being locked to anything, someone just walked away with it.
Two months later, my bike was still missing. I had given up. After checking the Houston craiglist listing for bikes daily, filing a stolen bike report with the police, and checking every bike rack on Rice campus, there wasn’t much else I could do. I figured I would never see my fixie again.
On January 28th, that all changed. My friend, Ben, and I decided to go on a critical mass ride, a bike ride with at least a hundred other bikers. In particular, there were lots of fixies. As we were riding, I always found it fun to check out people’s fixies, as they usually had some cool styles or setups.
About an hour into the ride, I’m biking alongside this guy with a black fixie, checking it out. The first thing I notice is the tires: they had that same blue stripe that my stolen fixie had. I needed to get a closer look, so I fell behind and trailed the bike for a few minutes, staring at it non-stop. As I noticed more and more details that were unique to my stolen bike, my heart started pounding. This was MY bike! It had the same white-single LED taillight, the paint job was matched exactly, with the black cranks arms and the silver Motobecane logo in the front. This was undoubtedly my bike!
I could barely contain my excitement, but at the same time I was completely unsure what move to make next. I had the urge to just knock him off and beat him up, but that obviously wasn’t the right move to take. I also thought about just calling the police, but I didn’t want to be a mood killer.
With a feeling that time was running out, I knew I had to do something quickly. I decided to seize the moment, and confront him one on one.
I went up to him and asked, “Do you go to Rice?” Seems like a weird first question, but I had to start somewhere, right?
He replied, “No,” with a surprised look on his face.
“Do you go to U of H,” I continued?
Again, “No,” he replied. “Why do you ask?”
Since I didn’t have anything prepared, I just dove right in: “Well,” I said, “two months ago, my bike was stolen off of Rice campus.” I paused, pointed at the bike he was riding, and in a dead serious voice, said “And that’s my bike.”
Initially, the bike thief made up a story about buying the bike for $300. But once I threatened getting the cops involved, he gave in: “I’m the one that stole your bike. I’ll give it back, just please don’t call the cops.”
“Whew, what a relief!” I thought to myself. My bike was back in my possession, and I was one lucky man!