New Wheels -or- The Great Bicycle Theft Incident

Here is another tale of woe.

Rewind the clock a week, to Friday the 17th.  My wife went out that evening for a girl’s night out and I took care of the kids.  She got back a little before midnight; the rest of us were already in bed.  She distinctly remembers closing the garage door and locking up before coming to bed.

The next morning, the 18th, I went out into the garage to check on laundry, since our laundry facilities are in the garage.  The garage door was wide open.

I shouted back over my shoulder, “Hey you left the garage door open last night.”

She replied, “No I didn’t…”

It was at that point that I noticed the two empty bicycle stands in our garage.  A second later, she arrived at my side and saw the same. Someone had stolen both of our bicycles.  The perp also had apparently gone into our minivan, because we noticed some thing out of place within it.

To say that Ericka was upset was to say that the federal deficit over the last five years is a paltry sum, not worth considering.  Tears flowed.  Self-flagelation along the lines of “How could I be so stupid” ensued.  It was a bad morning.

But wait, it gets better.

I called 911.  15 minutes later, I spoke with an actual person, who put me on hold again to transfer me to the Police.  Note: do not ever get into a life or death situation in San Diego.  Or more to the point, while in San Diego make sure you walk around with enough medical supplies and weapons to be able to deal with the life or death situation yourself because the cops ain’t going to.  Not with hold times like that.  A few minutes later, the police picked up and I described what happened.

“Were any weapons stolen?”

“No.”

“Did the stolen items amount to more than $5,000?”

I did a quick estimate in my head.  I figured the two bikes together were worth about $4,500.

“No.”

“Ok, you need to go to our website and file a report online.  Once you do that, we’ll process it in a few days.”

“Wait, aren’t you going to send out an officer to investigate?  I haven’t touched the minivan or the bike stands, so I haven’t disturbed fingerprints or anything.”

“No, they don’t do that.”

“Beg pardon?”

“They don’t take fingerprints, and unless the value was over $5,000 they’re not going to send someone over.”

“Well, there’s probably an officer patrolling nearby.  Can you ask one of them to swing by so they can talk to my wife?  She’s pretty upset.”

“Sorry, they don’t do that.”

It’s good to know the public services here in grand old California are top notch, what with the ludicrous amounts of taxes people who live here are forced to pay.  Oh wait, that money goes to other things.  Never mind…  Oh and did I mention the roads here absolutely suck?  Yeah, I mean they blow hard.  Even Pennsylvania has better roads than some areas I’ve driven through here in California.  That’s how bad they are.  Again, your tax money (not) at work.

Anyway, I gritted my teeth to hold back some unpleasant words and set about finding the serial numbers of our bikes.

So that’s the woe part of the story.  The worst part is my bicycle is my transportation to and from work, so this little episode really put a crimp in our style this week, let me tell you.

But wait, I can hear you saying now.  Kingswood, you told us you ran a Triathlon last weekend.  How’d you do that with your bike stolen?

Glad you asked.  Now comes the good part of the story: Moment Cycle Sports and USAA.

Moment Cycle Sports is the bike/triathlon shop around the corner from my house, the place where Ericka got her triathlon package, if you recall.  They rent bicycles.  They just happened to have a carbon frame road bike in my size available for rental on Saturday.  So they saved my bacon.  They also revealed that a whole lot of people in my area have had their bikes stolen lately.  Apparently there’s this guy who roams the neighborhoods late at night with a universal garage door remote, clicking away.  He just rolls into whichever garages open and helps himself to whatever he likes.

Bastard.

Of course, when Ericka learned about this, she felt a lot better.  This didn’t happen because she was careless, but because of a clever douchebag.

Now, USAA.  I love me some USAA.  Can’t say enough good things about them.  Their rates are awesome, their customer service is awesome, and when it comes to fulfilling claims…  Well, I’ve had to file a number of claims over the years and they have never been anything but fast, courteous, and eager to help.  Top notch company, USAA.

Anyway, it took a couple days to find my bike’s serial number, because I bought it three years ago and I’ve lost the receipt and while I thought I’d registered it with Specialized, I apparently had not.  Fortunately, the bike store I bought it from was able to locate the original sales documents and email them to me.  We submitted the receipts on Tuesday evening.  Thursday morning, USAA called and said everything was good to go and we should have the claim money (just under $3,900 – we have a $500 deductible) deposited into our checking account within 24-48 business hours.  Friday morning, the money was there.

So Friday afternoon, I went by Moment for a bike fit.  Turns out I need a larger frame than I recall from before.  I’m a 56; I could have sworn my Roubaix was a 52, but I could be wrong.  Maybe it was a 54?

Whatever.

Point is, they sized me up and brought forth a selection of recommendations from the bikes they had in stock.  One in particular struck my eye as I was waiting for them to come back, and I was gratified to see it on the list.  My bikes before have all been Specialized, but I decided to open my aperture a bit on this purchase.  I’m glad I did.  Once I set tush on that bike that stood out, I was hooked.  I picked the new wheels up today.  Behold:

IMG_2936 IMG_2937

It’s a Cervelo S2.  Aerodynamic carbon frame. SRAM Rival components (I’ve always rode Shimano 105s before, but the Rival is on the same level quality-wise and it works well, just differently, so I was happy to make the switch), pretty nice wheels, and it rides great.  Plus, it’s last year’s model, so I got it at a discount.  😉  Man, it accelerates quickly, and it feels…I guess the best word is tight.  I like it, and from the reviews I’ve found online it seems all sorts of others agree with me.

We’ll pick up Ericka’s replacement bike at the end of the week.  She’s getting the same bike she had before; she saw no need to change.

So all’s well that ends well, I guess.  But I’m still going to rip the fingernails off the guy who swiped our stuff if ever I find him.

0 thoughts on “New Wheels -or- The Great Bicycle Theft Incident”

  1. Ugh, that’s terrible! People are such sleazy d-bags sometimes! How do you conquer a universal remote? Get a garage with a code system/specialized openers? (This is my question AND guess, in-laws have a code garage and special openers, so I’m assuming that universal wouldn’t work on them.)

  2. I know several people that have had their bikes stolen from their garages as night so I store mine in my living room. They add a nice touch of class to the decor 🙂
    Sorry for your loss, but I’m glad your insurance took great care of you. Enjoy your Cervelo, I love mine!

    1. Thanks, Eileen.

      We’ve done the interior storage thing too, but with all the little ones running around things get a bit cramped and there’s the potential for pinched fingers inside gears or wheel spokes. Bad news. So we’re actually looking into some sort of boody-trap/video surveillance device with an alarm that can alert us to chicanery. And we’re going to hit the landlord up for one of those coded/encrypted garage door openers. Hopefully that will do the trick.

      Yeah, the new bike rocks. I got back from 45 miles with the guys a short while ago. The stiffness and acceleration on this baby puts my old Roubaix to shame. Always before I’d had some problems keeping up with those guys. Today? Not so much. Of course, I’ve been training a lot, but I really feel the difference on the new rig. 🙂

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