My Bike Is Out Of Jail!

Clyde Full

Meet Clyde!

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!

More Cool Stuff:

If you have questions about my IRONMAN journey  the FAQ might help!

If you’re looking for a place to talk about fitness from a weight neutral perspective, check out the Fit Fatties Forum. and the Fit Fatties Facebook page.

Book Me!  I’m a professional speaker and I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Buy my book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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13 Responses to My Bike Is Out Of Jail!

  1. jwassists says:

    Welcome home, Clyde!


  2. Lizbeth says:

    Sadly, I suspect more than a little weight bias there. What would Someone Like You be doing with a Bike Like That? A bike even a police officer could covet….


    • Hi Lizbeth,

      I can certainly imagine that could happen to someone, but in this case I will say that, based on my interactions with them, I don’t think it was about my size. I think that this is just how they operate!



      • Lizbeth says:

        Ah, thanks for the clarification. But, hmmm, is that good news (not weight bias) or bad news (just how the police operate)? Or are you glad they were so meticulous in making sure it went home with its rightful owner?


      • I was pretty annoyed – I felt like it was more apathy than being meticulous. When they got a detective involved (after the initial involvement of the property manager, four officers, and a sergeant) and I, again, gave him the serial number, model number, size, color, and showed the texts from my friend saying that she gave it to me, he said “I’m not sure if this is enough to prove that it’s your bike – people come in here all the time saying that stuff is theirs.” I asked “do they typically have the serial number, model number, size, color, and texts proving that the property was given to them?” He said “I’m not sure if this is enough.” and made me wait to get it back.


      • Lizbeth says:

        your clarification leaves me with that special ARRRRRGGGGH! feeling. Very glad you finally got it back.


      • Did they give you any indication of what sort of information would be sufficient to prove ownership?


      • They wanted a receipt from the place where I purchased it. Since it was a gift and I didn’t purchase it that was a sticking point 🙂



  3. lsstrout says:

    OMG! Glad you got your bike back.


  4. fl_commenter says:

    New tires for cheap:

    Performance stuff is decent. That and 4 MTB tubes should get you going for under $50. Two for the bike, two for spares. Make sure you get the right kind of tubes – schrader vs. presta. Look at your tubes and google images to see which you currently have. The valve holes in the tire rims are sized for one or the other, so you should get the same kind you currently have.


  5. Thalia says:

    I went something like 15 years without riding a bike, then went to a bike store and test-rode a few. I was nervous, but in my experience, it really IS just like riding a bike — Your body will immediately remember what to do! I rode my new bike home and felt totally secure doing it.

    Have fun with Clyde! I hope your experience is the same.


  6. Angela Williamson says:

    Ragen, are you planning on getting a road bike? You’ve said you wanted to save time on the bike portion, but even pros would have a hard time riding a bike like that for 112 miles. It’s just not set up correctly to provide any aerodynamics or to maximize power output. And the sheer weight of it alone compared to a road or TT bike


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