To the person who has my bike,

I'm usually pretty good about using my U lock, but after a quick trip to the grocery store, my hands were full and I just used my cable lock, thinking it would be OK for one night outside my apartment... but I was wrong.

You were waiting to snip off that cable lock and ride away with my bike, which for the record probably has no monetary value whatsoever. In fact, I took it to a local bike shop once, and they told me it 'probably wasn't worth repairing,' and I said, 'I'm not paying for your opinion, I love this bike. Fix it.'

And they probably thought I was an idiot.

I hope you enjoyed the gears grinding; they never really worked quite right, and the front tire needs air.

Why do I care about a dumb bike so much? What you didn't know is that you weren't riding away with some girl's beat up old K-Mart Huffy — not that you care — but you actually took a bike that belonged to my mom. She got it when she was a little younger than I am now, in the late '80s. I love my mom for who she has been my whole life, but thinking about the strong woman my mom was at my age; she inspires me more than anyone I know.

She used to have baby carrier on the back of it for my now 30-year-old brother, and the idea of him in a seat on the back of a bike is making me smile a little bit.

When I moved to Fort Collins at 18, I immediately realized I was missing something everyone else here had: a bike. So I drove all the way to my parents' house and asked my mom if I could have her bike (though, if you ask her, this is the second time the bike has been stolen... the first time by me).

I rode that bike for ten years; all through college, on first dates, to Old Town, on picnics, in a few Tour de Fats, and to work every day and night at Poudre Valley Hospital for years. The basket and headlight on the front were a college graduation gift from my ex-boyfriend, who put up with so much and still fixed up my old bike for me, even when I was difficult. :)

 

But, you took it; my rusty piece-of-crap Huffy that meant so much to me, and you're probably going to ditch it somewhere. At the end of the day, it's just a thing, and I can move on and get a sweet '60s Schwinn, and maybe give it to my kid someday. Well, unless someone steals it. So...

Additionally, I have an open letter to everyone else in Fort Collins:

Use your U lock. And, if you see my bike (last seen in the Downtown Fort Collins area), let me know. Please share the photo around if you'd like. #bringgertiehome2019

Thanks,

Shelby