May 15, 2008

Mysterious Nomadic Bicycle

A few years ago a friend I cycled with almost every weekend (lets call him Ralph, because thats his name) was returning home after a late night out. Ralph arrived in Ikebukuro to find that his connecting train had already finished running for the night, as the majority of passenger trains are prone to do sometime after midnight.

Faced with the prospect of an expensive taxi ride or a long walk home Ralph had an alternative solution to the predicament he found himself in. There are always a lot of bicycles around any station, of these many have simply been abandoned by their owners. In fact, on a regular basis all the bikes are tagged then a week or so later the ones with remaining tags are considered abandoned and are "disposed of" by the local council.

So, in his wisdom Ralph decided he would "borrow" the most abandoned looking one for his journey home.

Now Ralph loves bicycles. He loves looking at them, buying them, riding them, racing them, and maintaining them. Be it a $7,000 road bike, or a $90 shopping bike, he treats all bikes with the same respect.

That cool September evening he formulated a plan that would provide wins for all involved. He would "borrow" the most run down, forlorn looking bicycle he could find. Then, as he was returning to Ikebukuro in the following day, he would spend some time fixing it up and return it to the same location in much better condition that it was in when it was "borrowed".

So with ease Ralph picked the lock of the saddest, most in need of maintenance shopping bike he could find and proceeded to make his way home. Luckily none of the local police paid him any attention in his possibly alcohol influenced state, and he arrived home without incident. After parking the bike downstairs in the space provided, secured with the same ineffective lock he had picked earlier, he rode the elevator up to his apartment contemplating the joy the owner would experience at discovering the bicycle elves had visited in their absence

Awaking the following morning Ralph recalled the events of the night before, and after a shower and some breakfast, he gathered his tools and proceeded down stairs to get started on the bike so he could return it to its rightful owner.

It was then that his flawless plan came undone. The bike was gone, nowhere to be found. Between the hours of 2am and 10am Ralphs stolen bicycle had been stolen! Is nothing sacred?!

Since this event took place we like to think that this bicycle is wandering the country like David Carradine, selflessly assisting hapless travelers reach their destination before mysteriously disappearing into the night seeking others in need of its service.

1 comment:

  1. in paris we call this VELIB :)

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