Have you ever had your bike stolen? It's kind of a right of passage for passionate bicyclists. Mine was stolen after someone literally pulled the pipe it was locked to out of the ground to get it. It was kind of funny, but yeah, it upset me.
Bicyclist and blogger Amanda Needham wrote a post about her own bike thief experience, and it actually has kind of a happy ending.
Needham lives in Carroll Gardens, and writes that her bike was stolen for reasons that were "partly" her fault—she didn't adequately lock it up. But, adds it was "100% the fault of the person who stole it."
Angry to see her ride to work missing, Needham turned to self expression. She made an 8 foot by 3 foot sign and hung it outside her front door. I guess she was assuming the thief was a local, and not someone passing through looking for a vehicle.
The sign reads:
To the person who stole my bicycle
I hope you need it more than I do.
It was $200 used, and I need it to get to work. I can’t afford another one.
Next time, steal a hipster’s Peugeot.
Or not steal! PS: Bring it back.
Needham said that after a few days, her husband urged her to take the sign down, but she was still too mad. Then an interesting thing started to happen—people started ringing her doorbell.
First, it was two young men carrying a smaller, old bike with them.
“Are you the one who got your bike stolen?” one asked. “I had that happen to me as well, and I had this bike lying around, so I figured you might be able to use it.”
Needham said she felt embarrassed and tried to refuse, but the guys obviously wanted to do something nice, so she accepted. Then that weekend, an older woman buzzed her intercom.
“What kind of bicycle do you need?” she asked Needham. “I don’t know much about bicycles, but if I find one I’ll bring it to you.”
Needham thanked the woman, and told her she was using Citibike until she could afford to buy a new one for herself. They had a lovely conversation that ended in a hug goodbye. Moments later, the bell rang again.
This time it was a guy, saying he wanted to help Needham out.
“Well, I posted a picture on Instagram," he explained. "And a few of us started talking, and I was wondering if I could buy the sign off of you for…for $200?”
The man said he was an art dealer, and his friends and followers had chipped in to raise the money for Needham. She accepted, and handed the sign over. Then she took the bike she'd been given by the two younger men, and rolled it down to a local bike shop, Court Cycles, run by a woman mechanic named JoAnne Nicolosi.
Needham asked Nicolosi if she'd be willing to help fix up the kid's bike and find a home for it in exchange for help setting up a social media presence on Instagram and Twitter. Nicolosi agreed, and the concept of #Karmacycle was born.
Needham's story got picked up by the Washington Post, and went viral, because it's really the feel good tale of the year. Everyone loves it:
There is good in the world, even if you have to have your bike stolen to prove it.