Happier times - returning from motorcycle camping last June
I worked last Sunday afternoon - a beautiful, sunny, blue sky kind of day. I got off around 5, and didn't complain when I had to take the long way home (detoured due to an event along the river drives). I'm glad I had the extra mile or so of twists and turns through parts of Fairmount Park. And, when I finally got home, after filling the tank for the coming week, I went about all of my normal routines: pull up, turn off, kickstand down, push it the rest of the way into its spot, lock the fork, remove helmet and gloves, lock them in the trunk case, enter the back yard, enjoy some wine. Or was it whisky?
When we put our trash out that night, the bike was still there, nestled behind Big Blue, the Wacky Sacky, just like usual. All was right in the world of Sparks.
Monday morning, I lazed in bed a bit longer, pinned by cats. When I got up, I did what I always do - look out of one of the windows facing the backyard. A long time ago, before there was the Kawasaki, there was the vintage Honda. Mike had a love/hate relationship with the little bike (similar to how I felt about my vintage Honda). He'd park it in the street, pretty much where my bike is in that picture above, and it was largely untouched. Except, over the course of just a couple of months (mere weeks, really) his bike was knocked down not once, but twice. These older bikes don't enjoy that sort of abuse, so every time it was knocked down, it was not just a matter of getting it up again (TWSS), but then performing some level of maintenance. So, I got into the habit of checking for another toppled bike every morning.
Then, when I got my wee Honda and nestled it up next to his Wacky Sacky, I continued checking the newly installed bike pad just to get a little bit of a squee feeling whenever I 1. saw the bike, and then 2. made the connection that it was Mine!!! I am an easily amused badass.
It makes perfect sense that I then continued this habit when I got Trixie (named for Speed Racer's girlfriend, and because at first, this bike was tricksy to ride, compared to a 200cc vintage Honda). You can imagine the anal chill I felt when I peeked out first the craft room window and then the entertainment room window, before going outside in my garden gnome pajama pants, hoping that maybe, just maybe, Mike had parked my bike in a neighbor's driveway, only to find that there was no bike anywhere.
I spent the day trying to find it. Of course, I called the police first. There was a report called in that the bike had been found, but I was given the wrong address. After nearly 10 hours of waiting and both physically running and getting the run around, the bike was officially marked as stolen.
My disappointment in the system is currently immeasurable. I know that in the scheme of crimes, a motorcycle being stolen does not trump homicide or rape or kidnapping. But, at the same time, none of those other things happened to me. My heretofore safely parked motorbike was gone, and it turns out that protocol wasn't followed for recovering it (the officer that finally responded to my second 911 call said that if a vehicle is found [as I'd been told around 9am], they are to "sit on it" until the owner or the tow gets there, and that was not done).
As each hour, and then each day, passed, my hope for finding it waned. By Thursday, I didn't want to see it ever again. Unfortunately, this is not an attempt at leading you to a happy reunion. I've gotten no news about the bike.
Fortunately, I have full coverage insurance, something that I am likely never to give up AND that I hope to never have to use again. The peace of mind I've had this week is due in part to having sufficient insurance. The other peace of mind comes from two sources: one is the outpouring of support from friends and family. From gentle pleas for updates, to offers of motorbikes as lenders, to rides home and to possibly recover the bike, to Facebook reposts, and everything, I am beyond grateful.
The final source? Amusement. Somewhere, there's a thug or a wannabe or self-declared I-don't-give-a-shit-Bad-Guy who may or may not be getting the business from his partners-in-crime over stealing a bike with squirrel reflectors, "heart"a librarian bumper sticker, and a sheep decal. Also, if whoever it is breaks into the cases, they will find a Buff that should've been laundered maybe 2 weeks ago, but instead is covered in an assortment of neck sweat and snot.