It’s hard to explain the rash of emotions that overcame me when I discovered Steel missing from my front porch in Salt Lake City. Initial feelings included shock of course — this being my first bicycle theft. And I was mad, but more so I felt sad and disappointed that someone would do such a thing. I grasp stealing a shiny new bike that could demand some serious cash, but Steel? — my beloved twenty year old, well-worn, purple chipped-paint-sporting, foam-seat-spurting bicycle which I married a couple years ago (here’s the story and bicycle wedding video!). Oh yes, I should add feeling utterly stupid and guilty that I only had Steel secured with a cheap cable lock, while Steve’s more valuable bikes had the U-locks.
The timing of the theft really could not be worse. Not only is it the only bike I have in SLC to explore this amazing area, but also Steve and I were aiming to launch on an ambitious bicycle adventure in just a couple months (more on that soon). Needless-to-say, buying a new touring bicycle was not figured into the budget. Moreover, I love MY bike. It’s like buying new hiking shoes — you don’t really know until you are way up top a mountain if they work right for you. Steel is tried and true. I don’t want a new bike. I want Steel!
I was overcome with an equally compelling desire: to understand and be a part of solving the bicycle theft problem here, which obviously, is now very personal. Ironically, only a week prior to the theft, a homeless fellow hanging out at the library was telling me that bike theft is a huge problem in Salt Lake City, “They bring the bikes out back the shelter and sell them cheap for drug money.” I learned from multiple folks “on the street” after the incident that Steel probably went for no more than $10, maybe $20. Oh the pain! So began my quest to find Steel and see what can be done about bicycle theft.