Bea Arthur, the new blue bike I so excitedly posted about in April, was stolen from my porch two nights ago. I didn’t have it properly locked up because I’m naive and overly trusting (and didn’t think anyone would be so foolish as to steal a rusting vintage cruiser with one existing brake and a dangling, nonfunctional shifter). I suppose I have learned my lesson and am doing what any freshly-minted realist would do: keeping daily tabs on Craigslist and seething.

I moved to Toronto in the fall of 2004 with a 40-year-old Schwinn two-speed strapped to my parents’ rental minivan, the ride a relic from my grandmother’s wig wearin’ and child rearin’ middle years. “Toronto’s the bike theft capital of North America,” my dorm’s third-floor R.A. warned me as I struggled to manoeuvre  my clunky green cruiser into the elevator’s open mouth without dinging its fenders. I know now what she was thinking then, that my well-cared-for vintage pinup bike begged to be seized and resold to the first vain 19-year-old willing to cough up a hundred of her daddy’s dollars for the privilege. The bike was slow, had an unwieldy shifting mechanism and was unforgivingly heavy, but it sure was sexy to look at. I, however, was less concerned with humping a trophy bike than with the radical concept that my wheels should possess the ability to move at least a little faster than walking pace. So, the following summer, the green cruiser was returned to the  garage from whence it came and, in its place, my mother’s hideous early-’90s black Schwinn hybrid made the journey to Toronto. Not cool by any stretch of the imagination, but a more than adequate city bike whose theft-proof aesthetics eased my mind. Bea Arthur came into play only after my Paris-bound former roommate needed it gone, and I figured I’d be safe.

I figured incorrectly.

At least there will be bicycles for everyone else. Tonight is the launch party for Toronto’s BIXI bike share program, and I will be there with my Hopey Glass haircut and a pair of sore feet—because, let’s face it, cyclists don’t invest in walking shoes.

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