Getting Your Goat: Everyone Hates a Bike Thief

Bicycles.  They're fun.  They're efficient.  They're practical.  Sometimes, but not always, their frames are filled with candy.  And also, it's pretty easy to steal them.

There's an expression that goes, "There's no such thing as a free lunch," though whoever coined it obviously never pulled off a successful dine-and-dash at Denny's.  Nevertheless, there is some truth to this expression where bicycles are concerned.  See, the great thing about a bicycle is that all you have to do to use it is jump on it and go.  Unfortunately, thieves also figured this out almost immediately, and ever since then they've been jumping and going on other people's bicycles.

You'd think people would stop finding this surprising, but they don't, and even savvy urban cyclists like Casey Neistat still find it amazing:

I hate bike thieves as much as any cyclist and I also enjoyed the video, but I'm not really sure bike theft is our biggest problem here:

New York City has installed 260 miles of bike lanes over the past four years. Ridership increased 20 percent in the last decade and cycling has gone from something for tattooed risk-takers to the everyday commuter.  Meanwhile bikes are still being stolen.

Yes, bikes are still being stolen, but I'd like to see the city address the pesky little problem of drivers killing cyclists and getting away with it before they turn their unique brand of ineffectuality to the nuisance of bike theft.

I was also surprised to read this:

Solutions to the bike theft problem are hard to find. More bike racks in better-lit areas, stronger locks and bike garages all help.  But ultimately, greater public awareness may be the only way to substantially curb theft. If someone saw a car being stolen, they would surely call the police. Why should a bike be any different?

What?  I can't imagine there is a single person in New York City who would call the police if they saw a car being stolen.  Car alarms go off in this city constantly.  When was the last time you heard one and said to your friend, "Someone's car must be getting stolen!  We'd better investigate!"  Plus, how do you even know whether or not a car is even being stolen in the firt place?  Who's to say whether someone's stealing some sweet rims or just fixing a flat?  Is the guy with the slim jim a burglar, or is he just some schmuck who locked his keys in his car?  Is the person hunched under the steering column hotwiring that Honda Civic, or is he merely trying to fellate himself?  I don't know, I don't care, and--especially in that last scenario--I just look away and walk on by.

Really, the only way to be 100% sure someone in New York City is stealing a car is if that someone is David Byrne, since we all know he doesn't own one.  You can be sure if I saw David Byrne trying to fellate himself in the front seat of a car that I'd call the police immediately.

By the way, when discussing barriers to cycling in America it is customary in the discourse of smugness to evoke either Amsterdam, or Copenhagen, or both, and given this I would be remiss were I not to point out that bike theft happens in both of these cities as well, yet people still ride.  In fact, I wanted to learn more about bike theft in Copenhagen, so I flew all the way there via first class and then read Mikael Colville-Andersen's blog in my hotel room.  It turns out lots of bikes get stolen in Denmark (that's the country where they have Copenhagen), and I also learned the following:

First, a bit of background. In Denmark, bicycles are covered under your household insurance. If you have storm damage on your house, break a vase or get your bike stolen somewhere in the city, it's the same policy that covers it. You may have to pay an extra fee for bicycle insurance, but it's not excessive.

When I buy a bike, the bike shop registers the frame number and my name into the system and my insurance company thereafter registers it in their system.

If my bike gets stolen, I register the theft on the police website - takes a couple of minutes - and then call or email my insurance company. I'll usually get a pay-out within the week. It's quite a fluent system.

On the other side of the coin, if I get caught stealing a bike, I am required to pay a fine of 1400 kroner [$280 / €186]. Not that anyone is looking for the perps. In 2008, the police caught the thief in 0.46% of all cases.

Typical Europeans subsidizing criminal behavior.  It's disgusting.  Thank the Lord Jesus Christ we would never do that here in America.  No, in America we deal with our problems American Style.  If the problem is getting run over by cars when we're on our bikes then we just pretend to be cars and engage in "vehicular cycling."  And if the problem is people stealing our bikes then obviously we should engage in "vehicular bike parking."  So instead of locking your bike to a street sign or rack, simply parallel park it alongside the curb and leave it there.  This is called "taking the space."  Don't worry, nobody will steal it or move it out of the way or simply run over it.  Instead, they'll respect it--you know, just like they respect you when you're riding around covered in wrist mirrors and pretending to be in a car.

Again, none of this is to excuse the bike thieves.  It's merely to say that expecting a stranger to stop your bike from getting stolen is like expecting your cat to manage your retirement fund.  No, stealing a bike is low--though arguably not quite as low as stealing a goat:

stolen goat in bronson

Date: 2012-03-09, 9:06PM
If you know of anyone who mysteriously came up with a brown nigerian dwarf goat around Bronson. They stole it from me. To day someone jumped the fence in to my horse pasture opened a pen and stole my goat. If you know of any useless scumbag theifs who are lower then the crap on the bottem of my boot please email me. If you are the scumbags that stole my goat, you know where I live, bring your yellow cowardly thieving asses on over and I bet you will never steal anything again.. sorry bitches

I was disheartened to learn about the theft, though I was pleased that the victim used the appropriate old-timey livestock thief slang by calling the perpetrator "yellow."  (Though it would have been even better if he'd used the more formal "yellow-bellied.")  It also occurred to me that it was only a matter of time before people started keeping goats in trendy urban neighborhoods and they became the new fixiebikes, though as it turns out I'm like a year too late:

Yes, it turns out goats are just as ill-suited to life in the city as track bikes are:

Yet she admits that raising them in her San Francisco backyard has its challenges. The goats mangled her white tiger nectarine tree, gnawed her redwood fence posts, gorged on her grapevines, swallowed her Victorian tea roses like candy and tore off the waterproofing mat under the siding on her house.

Oh, and also this:

And in September, one of the goats spent several weeks covering Ms. Kooy with bruises and scratches whenever she approached its udder, an experience that she described on her blog as “pure milking hell.”

You might think that getting the crap kicked out of you by a goat instead of going to the store is stupid, but it's actually "part of re-envisioning food production in the urban landscape:"

"It’s part of re-envisioning food production in the urban landscape."

And apparently another part of re-envisioning food production in the urban landscape is having way too much goat cheese:

“Suddenly, you have a quart of goat cheese every three days,” Ms. Grant said, chronicling some recent creations from her dairy bounty: pizza with caramelized onions and goat cheese, rosemary goat cheese soufflé, goat cheesecake with a hazelnut crust. “It really changes your cooking.”

That is a fuckload of goat cheese.  Still, between the frequent beatings and the sickening abundance of chèvre the appeal of having a goat in the city is undeniable.  New Yorkers really need to get with the times and legalize goats in the city, since we're so out of it we're still messing around with chickens:

At this point it's becoming increasingly clear to me that there's an urban/rural inversion happening, and if I want to live someplace where my neighbor doesn't have pigs and cattle I'm going to have to move out to the country where the people are sophisticated.  Plus, if I stay in Brooklyn it's only a matter of time before I get taken out by a cow on the Manhattan Bridge:

(Forwarded by a reader.)

Feel free to insert your own "beefy bottom bracket" joke here: ________________.

But how to fund my move to the country?  Well, I'm considering marketing a "Nonplussed Male Models of Cycling Calendar," and (via a reader) I think I may already have found Mister January:

And obviously it's a given that Nonplussed Bibshorts Guy will be included:

As will his arch-nemesis, Assos Guy:

(Assos bib shorts now come with a free spray tan.)

And even the Kitchen Time Trialist:


As for Hipster Skinsuit Model, I'm still debating his inclusion, since I can't see his face so I can't be certain he's actually nonplussed:

Though given the poor fit on that skinsuit you'd think he'd have to be.
automotive ,automotive news ,automotive magazine,automotive industry outlook 2012,automotif,automotive magazine automotive ,automotive news ,automotive magazine,automotive industry outlook 2012,automotif,automotive magazine