I subscribe to a local list serv, “Ballard Moms” (okay, maybe it’s technically called “Ballard Parents”). It’s ostensibly a buy/sell/trade for our neighborhood, but the real reason I subscribe is purely entertainment. Of course the moms can’t help but post announcements (“I saw a pervert in the park!”) or lost and found (“There’s a blue rainboot in the gutter at the park!”) and sometimes there are real gems. This week there has been an ongoing saga of a missing bike, the mom who posted also posted updates (“Bike spotted! Thief looks like this:”) Then today, as a Mother’s Day offering to my snark, she posted this extraordinary saga of personal heroism, the bike is found! For your enjoyment, I’m presenting you with a little post I like to call, “Really? Was it worth it?” My favorite part is how they go home to get PeeWee’s helmet so he can ride the bike home. Its very rare that I take the side of Seattle cops, but I gotta say I’m with them in their lack of enthusiasm at responding to the repeated 911 calls.
[Reposted from Ballard Moms listserv. Names have been changed because people love to Google themselves. If this post bears any resemblance to your post or someone you know, it’s probably because it is you.]
Our bike is home. Thank you to Tootsie and Biff, total strangers who spotted our bike this afternoon, called me (from one of my numerous posts), locked it, called the cops and waited for us to arrive. When we got to the flea bag hotel off Aurora the bike was there, locked up (by the thief’s lock and Biff’s). The seat and battery were missing and the wheel lock was busted. The cargo box was full of some guy’s laundry. Then, the thief showed up. We knew him from his previous description. White guy, mid 30’s, bleach blond Mohawk. PeeWee confronted him telling him he stole our bike and the cops were on their way. The guy said he didn’t know what we were talking about. Biff, his wife and some others were in the vicinity. PeeWee tried to detain him, announced a citizen’s arrest, and the thief shoved and tried to punch PeeWee. PeeWee shoved back. I called 911 from the car with the kids and asked the police to respond again. PeeWee ducked out of the way. Finally, the guy ditched his backpack, PeeWee followed him. He ran off and jumped six lanes of traffic on Aurora at 45th with a mouth full of blood. Police showed up and the motel manager came down. We told him our story and the manager went into the guy’s room and came up with the seat/battery. Cops took statements but did not follow the guy. We clipped the thief’s lock and took the bike down to Biff and Tootie’s house a block away. We drove home to get PeeWee’s helmet to safely ride the bike home. On the way, we spotted the thief on the street. We followed him for five or six blocks and called 911 again. Watched him go into a gas station. Waited. 911 operator said that if we weren’t being threatened they wouldn’t send anyone. We went home got PeeWee’s helmet and went back with a half rack of beer for Biff and Tootsie. PeeWee got on the bike to ride it home. On the way, he was stopped by a concerned citizen who thought he was the thief. He arrived home safely. Upon inventory, the battery is trashed, there are scratches all over, the lock is broken and it was rode really hard. Still, we have it back, we got to confront the thief, and we’re all safe. A good end to the story. Thank you so much to all the people who reposted and retweeted our posts. We couldn’t have done it without you all. Profoundly grateful. Adrenaline is finally starting to abate. Cocktail in hand, one kid in bed and the other soon to follow. Life is good!
All snark aside, this couple violated one of my number one rules of parenting: Don’t bring your kids to street fights.
To help put this smug cyclophilia into perspective, I also recently learned from this listserv that there is an attorney in Ballard whose practice is solely dedicated to bicyclists who have been injured by cars. Not that being injured in a car accident isn’t a really sucky thing, but because of course the car is always at fault and cyclists love to play the maligned victim card every chance they get.