Many of my friends had bikes stolen in NYC before and sources report bike theft is up to 25% over last year. Life as a bike thief in NYC is pretty risk-free (Unless you're trying to mess with this kid). They pretty much never get caught in the act and police even tries talking you out of reporting a stolen bicycle.
But you know what, the majority of people in New York are good people and a true story, that just happened to my friend Mike, makes me believe in the bicycle loving community of NYC and a strong community is essential to fight bicycle theft.
Mike's a passionate city cyclist with proven good bicycle karma. He had several bikes stolen over the past years and beginning of the year he found an old Schwinn Sprint in his basement, that someone was throwing out. He put a lot of money and love into bringing the Schwinn back to life and after just a few weeks the Schwinn got stolen in front of his apartment building. Mike put up a sign describing the bike and offering a $ 200 reward, but nothing happened. He eventually bought a new bike (which also got stolen) and then went out of town for several weeks. (Yeah, we haven't reached the “good bicycle karma” part of the story yet).
Last weekend, we had dinner at Mike's apartment and I was able to witness the whole story. Someone rings the door bell and I answer the door to a delivery guy asking for Mike and saying that he's been trying to get in touch with him for several months. He said he found his bike and immediately could tell someone put a lot of time into it and the bike must have meant a lot to them. He works in the area and when he saw the reward sign he came by several times a week to return the bike, but since Mike was traveling abroad he wasn't able to get a hold of him. It's not exactly sure how he got the bike in the first place, but he refused the reward at first and also put a lot of time and effort into returning the bike to its rightful owner. What a great story of #goodpeoplefuckingrock and hopefully there will be more stories like this in the future of bicycle city.