A Springtime Miracle

by Prince Of Petworth March 21, 2016 at 10:05 am 18 Comments

Lost Bike Hugs

“Dear PoPville,

On Saturday, February 27th, I had an appointment in Dupont Circle in the building right at the south exit of the Dupont metro station. I locked my bike up around 3:30pm and came back about 90 minutes later to see that it was gone. Although not a huge monetary loss (the bike was purchased for $75 on Craigslist three years prior), I certainly loved it, felt connected to it, and was very sad that it was suddenly gone.

Cut to today (Sunday, March 20th), my boyfriend and I are taking an early evening stroll around the Dupont Circle neighborhood, walking a circuitous way without a specific destination in mind. We were walking on Corcoran between New Hampshire and 19th Street when a carriage house in the alley caught our eye, so we went to check it out. As we continued to wander the alley, I saw a bright orange bike leaning — unlocked — against a garage door and I remarked to my boyfriend that it looked like my stolen one. And it was! Oddly, the seat was gone, but it was still in good shape and will be back to riding condition in no time.

As you can see, it was emotional.”


  • Swdc

    Lesson. Multiple u locks.

    • CoHi

      I’m not sure multiple U-locks would make much difference if one did not dissuade a thief, unless I am missing something? (I’m authentically curious as a recently-converted bike commuter.)

      • MV

        As I had it explained to me once by a guy who knew a lot about bikes and keeping bikes safe locked on the street, the goal of locking a bike is not to make it “theft proof”, but to make it the most “theft inconvenient” bike on that block. Multiple U-locks, or just multiple locks, mean that the thief cannot pop one lock and just ride away – they have to carry the bike or take the additional time to pop the second lock, increasing the amount of time for someone to notice something odd happening. I’m pretty big on multiple, completely separate locks for this exact reason.

        • CoHi

          Grumble grumble.
          ***CoHi debates whether her laziness and cheapness trump the value of buying and using multiple locks.***

    • Ben

      Who said a u lock was used? Could have been a chain or a older style u-lock that can be fooled with a simple bic pen.

      • CoHi

        Right, the OP never said a U-lock was used. I am curious as to why Swdc thinks two U-locks would have (more than marginally) helped more than 1.

  • samanda_bynes

    yay! dupont theft, huh? I park my bike there everyday, I’ll keep an eye on it now!

  • dupont is the worst! I had a someone once steal my bike bell and on a separate occasion my bike light. Both worth less than $10 and both locked up by the metro on connecticut ave.

    • Tim

      Weird, I also had my bike light stolen when I locked up my bike on Connecticut ave in dupont (at N street)

  • Kukki Bakemono

    Just out of curiosity, to those who had their bikes stolen at Dupont, are you guys locking it up with newer U-locks or cable locks? If it’s a U-lock, that’s disconcerting because a thief has to saw through those suckers to get the bike. With how constantly busy Dupont is, you know someone has to see them sawing through a bike lock and chose not to report it to the cops.

    • Ben

      Not necessarily. Older kyrptonite u-locks and some cheaper current u-locks can be defeated with a simple, hallowed out bic pen in seconds.

      • Kukki Bakemono

        Agreed about the older u-locks. I was referring to kryptonite u-locks when I said “newer” u-locks in my post because those are the ones you can’t just break into with a bic pen.

    • anon

      even newer U locks can be busted with a tire jack. Many bikes are locked with elongated U bars which provide more space to fit a jack for a leverage attack (or by twisting the frame). shorter u bars are better and locked to rear tire inside rear triangle of seat stay, seat tube, and chain stay and attached either to cable locking front tire or second u bar securing front tire to down tube.

      The people who harvest accessories are a pain in the ass. I’ve lost three reflectors and one handlebar end plug (is there a name for that?) for no reason other than someone could. They cost little but can be hard to find exact sizes for replacement.

      • Kukki Bakemono

        Ahh yea. Forgot about the crow bar technique.

        • retropea

          Hell, over at the DC Stolen Bikes FB group they had pictures of someone who literally sawed the bicycle frame in half and then took it for components.

          • anon

            that’s the urban legend about the Sheldon Brown method described above. Tires can be hacksawed without too much trouble (or noise) but it damages the expensive-to-replace rear wheel, still requires breaking the secondary restraint on the front, and generally precludes riding off with haul (assuming no hub locks). Maybe a very expensive frame might justify but there’s usually an easier target. I see easy targets all over the place — it makes me my bike feel safer but a target rich environment for thieves is also not welcomed either. And thieves who deploy hydraulic tools can also make quick work of even well locked bikes.

  • CKDC

    I love this happy ending! That picture wins the internet in the Most Adorable: Human or Puppy category. I once had my bike stolen with a serious U lock in broad daylight at 19th and M on a weekday. Which means tons of people had to have walked by watching someone hacking the lock off. Maybe the magic bike fairies will reunite me with that bike one day.

  • Ed

    I live in the Dupont Circle area and the thieves are bold. There have been several car break ins in the middle of the day. The thief rides by on his bike looking for items of value in the cars, breaks the window, takes whatever he wants, and keeps on riding. By the time a witness calls the police, it’s too late to do anything but file a report because the thief is long gone. Packages are stolen all the time (also usually by someone on a bike with a backpack). It’s a shame, it really is. In my opinion, it was much better even five years ago. It’s sad to feel how much petty crimes have increased in this city, as well as violent and more serious ones.


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