Meet Clyde (short for Clydesdale.) Clyde is my new (to me) bike. I acquired him when the avid cyclist husband of a friend of mine passed away and she, knowing that I was training for the IM, very kindly asked me if I would like to have his bike.
I picked Clyde up and brought him home right before I left for a series of speaking engagements. So I was in Austin speaking at the GenAustin We Are Girls Conference, and my partner was in Las Vegas with her Best Friend when the police called to let us know that they had chased a suspect into our back yard and they thought he had stolen a bike. Well crap.
I called and described my bike and the officer assured me that they had it and I could come in during office hours and pick it up. If only. I walked in and said “I’m here to pick up my bike” and what followed was a good old-fashioned debacle during which I had a note and a voicemail from the police saying that they had my bike, and I had provided them with the serial number, model number, size and color of the bike, and I showed them texts providing proof that the bike had been given to me, and I still couldn’t get the bike back because the working theory of four police officers, a sergeant and a detective seemed to be that I was at the center of an elaborate plot to steal a used bike with two flat tires that had likely been damaged in a robbery attempt, rather than assuming that I was, in fact, the victim of a crime and returning my stolen property back.
If I had purchased the bike at a garage sale I’m certain I would never have seen it again. By the way, though I’m sharing this story because I think it’s entertaining, I am aware that my story is steeped in privilege and was a walk in the park compared to the treatment that People of Color regularly face from the police.
So I have Clyde back. Next step is new tires and a tune-up and then getting on the bike for the first time in a very long time. Right now a lot of my optimism rests on the axiom “It’s just like riding the bike.” Here’s hoping that remembering how to ride a bike is easier than getting it back after it gets stolen!
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