Recently I re-read the book "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. If you've read it you may remember a lot of talk about omens and heeding them. Now, I'm not a religious or metaphysical guy, and will leave that to the likes of Aquarius Bjorne. However, there does seem to be something about intuition, and I'm open to the possibility of the universe helping me out (whatever that means).
"Never stop dreaming. Follow the omens."
For some time now a friend of mine has urged me to get a more robust bike lock. His is this huge chain link formidable looking thing seemingly fit to contain demon-possessed Hercules types. Mine was a sort of luggage lock thing with a single cable. Sometimes my hubris with some things can go pretty far while in other instances it seems to be driving away really fast from me.
I remember one day when I rode over to SXSW for some music sessions, I was pretty sure I locked up the bike to something. When I was done for the day I went out and noticed that the lock was on a the bike rack, but my bike was completely free. I looked around in mild bewilderment half-wondering if someone was trying to film my expression after having found out that my bike lock magically unlocked itself then locked itself back up sans bike.
I shrugged my shoulders and just rode home into the beautiful sunset thinking that it was a pretty cool magic trick.
Recently I've been capturing footage of the Lady Bird Lake trail on my bike and being on the third floor of my yellow apartment complex, I tend not to worry about thieves and the like. Prior to last night, I had left the bike out without a lock.
Here is where the omens come, or maybe just common sense. I was talking with my neighbor who is an incredibly kind older gentleman a few days ago about how he used to bike. He said that the two bikes he had in life were both stolen. That was omen 1.
Omen 2 also came from my neighbor when I told him I'd be going to San Francisco for a week. He asked if I would be putting the bike away (inside or on the balcony), and I replied saying that I'd be leaving it on the porch but locked up.
Omen 3 came in the form of a thought that was dismissed. When I returned from my bike ride filming adventure last night, I thought that perhaps I should take the bike to the balcony for the week. Then I thought that damn, the thing was just dirty as hell, I think I'll just leave it here.
This morning I awoke at the literal crack of dawn. It was a beautiful morning, and still is as I write this. Though the lazy part of me protested, I was determined to go on a fasted run. I opened the door, looked outside, and noticed something different.
Ah! The bike was gone. They did, however, leave the severed lock for me to dispose of. I decided that before I reported it, I'd ask my friend with the Herculean bike chain whether he had anything to do with it. He would joke about doing something like that just to teach me a lesson; he was also a practical jokester. I thought maybe he got really wasted last night thought it would be an awesome idea. Anyway, it wasn't him, which is good because that would've made things awkward for a minute or two.
Before getting on with my run, I asked a couple of police officers if they had seen any crazy person on a very dirty black bike. They told me they'd be on the lookout, but hadn't seen anything.
It was a damn good run, with the temperature a really nice 80 degrees, which kind of feels cool during this time of year in Austin. While on the run, I realized a few things.
1) Next time I get a bike I'm getting a better lock (gotta learn right?!)
2) I have a choice. I can either let this get to me or just accept that it happened and move on with life. That said, I still filled out a police report and setup a Craigslist notifier. I want to get the bike back and yell into the ears of the offenders.
I choose not to let it get to me. Life is too damn short to stress about the little things (is it obvious I just went for a run? It just provides much needed mental clarity).
3) Maybe karma really is a bitch, but a just bitch. When I was a teenager I wasn't exactly an angel all the time, including an instance or two of taking something that wasn't mine.
4) Maybe the bike will be sold to someone who really needs it, and the thief, in a state of immense remorse over stealing that bald guy's bike, decides to donate the money to charity. I know, there's probably a greater chance of me winning the lottery and getting struck by lightning, but one can dream, right?
5) Things could be a whole hell of a lot worse. I'm grateful that I have my legs and arms, air to breathe, functioning lungs, and coffee I'm about to drink.
Goodbye GT Timberline. It was fun. I will now use rentals, or just steal one of my neighbor's bikes. I'm joking!