Someone stole my bike. It wasn’t new and I have another one, but it was the same aqua blue as the ocean on a summer day. You could feel the wind in your hair just looking at it.
The bike was also the color of this newspaper’s masthead logo and was a gift from my husband in our first profitable year of business. Losing it is not a huge financial loss, but for sentimental reasons, I’m sad that it’s gone.
When we called the Ocean Ridge police to report it missing from the screened porch of the property we own in Briny Breezes, the kind officer told us it was just one of several stolen from the area in the past month.
I learned later that neighbors in Ocean Ridge also found their bikes missing.
Obviously, some group of people believed they needed bicycles more than we did. In all, three bicycles were reported stolen in Briny Breezes and four in Ocean Ridge during November. None was recovered and the police have no suspects. Chances are good there were more stolen than reported.
Richwagen’s Delray Bike & Sport explained when we called to get the make and model, that bicycle thefts have been on the uptick since pandemic-induced supply chain issues have made bikes hard to come by and have caused an increase in street value.
So, sadly, I suspect my beautiful blue bike has already been dismantled for parts in a warehouse in Broward County or is packed into a shipping container on a boat in the Miami River.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s been polished up (the handlebars were pretty rusty) and donated to an organization that provides bikes to needy kids. That would cheer me up. But I’m doubtful.
So, in the spirit of Christmas, my plan is to pay it forward by writing a check for the cost of a new bicycle to one of the many local toy drives taking place in December.
Many kids need bikes to get to school, to the grocery store, to their friends’ houses, to the park.
If a kid can use a bike to help out his household, get away for a little solitude, or simply have a bit of fun, I’ll feel like I have turned a bad event into something good.
My hope is that, maybe someday, as the kid who receives the bike gets older, she’ll pedal to the beach, feel the wind in her hair and marvel at the aqua blue of the ocean on a summer day.
— Mary Kate Leming,