I'm back earlier than expected, but only because I have an important message about the crisis facing our nation. I'm speaking, of course, about the fact that my Trek 7300 has gone missing. If you see it, drop me a line.
I oppose capital punishment for several reasons. Still, some people deserve a good killing. Bicycle thieves, for instance. I got home yesterday afternoon to discover that our shed had been broken into and, yup, my bicycle was gone. Amanda's was still there, curiously, which leads me to believe that either there was only one thief or that it was an inside job. I think that the latter is extremely improbable. So that means that somebody with a sizeable pair of bolt cutters hacked his way into the shed (which is at the front of our house) in broad daylight and took my bike. As friends and devoted readers of this blog know, I don't drive, and so my bike is my primary method of transportation when the weather is a good. It wasn't yesterday, so I took the bus instead. Big mistake, it turns out.
The bicycle is one of the great democratizing inventions in human history. It provides reliable and relatively inexpensive transportation for hundreds of millions of people around the world. In my case, it gets me to work in about the same amount of time as driving at rush-hour, and in about half the time it takes to ride the bus. It's fun, on paths it's safe (and on roads, too, with a little care and, for me, unaccustomed automatic deference to others); I get some exercise out of it, and I get the satisfaction of not contributing to the global warming experiment that the rest of you are conducting with the only planet we have. So, bicycle thief, you've not only taken something that didn't belong to you, you've hastened the end of the world. Well done. If I knew who you were, I'd karate chop you.
Anyway, now I need a new bike. And more money. I liked my old bike just fine. It wasn't low end. It wasn't high end. It was just right. With a few repairs (it needed a fairly expensive one – take that, bike thieves!) it got me through the last ten years without a hitch. We had some good times, including some substantial bicycle trips. The photo, above, is me on the Niagara Parkway, the time Amanda and I cycled from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Falls. My only consolation is in hoping that maybe, just maybe, my beloved bike will be sold to somebody who needs it, too. Some slightly addled graduate student who is too dumb to figure out how to operate two pedals and steering wheel at the same time, for instance. There are plenty of those, at least.
Here's a test, by the way, of anyone who claims to be a Marxist. Steal his stuff and see if he really believes in the abolition of private property. If he catches you, just say, "Hey, I had the ability to take your stuff, and I really needed it, too."