Teenagers were riding them in, gathering on the corner Cygnet Street. But I was relieved that he was smaller than me. What is disappointing is the law. The practical way would be to buy it at a stolen rate half market value? He had his back to me, he was wearing a white t-shirt and was shaven headed.
Teenagers were riding them in, gathering on the corner Cygnet Street. This is where I saw my bike. My pristine, two-month-old silver ladies Ridgeback, except now it had a buckled front wheel, and it was missing a seat post. The seat was perched skew-whiff, unsecured, directly on top of the frame. I couldn't tell how old the boy holding it was — maybe But I was relieved that he was smaller than me.
Maybe that's why he'd removed the seatpost. There was no way that this was a bike of his that he had grown out of. I was scared but angry enough to go ahead and speak to him. I asked him how much he wanted. I told him that it was my bike and he could either give it to me or he could wait for the police to arrive and I would show them my receipt.
He turned around and walked away. I took a deep breath and started to wheel my unrideable bike through what were now thick crowds between the stalls. When I had confronted the boy I had noticed a man who looked old enough to be his father watching us from the other side of the narrow street.
The boy had walked off in his direction. As I looked over my shoulder I could see this man was now behind me in the crowds. Once you cross over Shoreditch High Street you enter the commercial part of the City which is eerily quiet over the weekend. My route home was down the narrow street on the other side of the High Street. A street with lots of kinks in it and little or no visibility ahead or behind.
I had looked over my shoulder four or five times by now, and made eye contact with the man who was following me more than once. We both knew that he was going to catch up with me as soon as I crossed the road.
I couldn't see that there was anything else for me to do. I got on the bike and rode it, with its wobbly seat and no seat post. My bum was so low down that my knees were practically hitting my chin, the buckled front wheel clonked on every revolution and the brakes had been disconnected — but I didn't care.
I just needed to get away from this man who I believed was intent on doing me harm. I made eye contact with the man chasing me once more as I clanked away down the street. He had stopped following me. He took one good sour look at my face and turned around to walk back into the market. I made it home in one piece and, after a deep breath and a cup of tea, flipped my bike over to remove the buckled front wheel. Here comes the shameful part.
This is when I checked the serial number against my receipt and realised that this wasn't my bike after all. It was the same make and colour but it wasn't mine. I kept it anyway. What's your most shameful cycling story? Post it below or email an outline. This market looks like something out of the third world. What should you do if you find your bike? The practical way would be to buy it at a stolen rate half market value?
Or is there another way? Was there last week and helped recover stolen bikes. What is disappointing is the law. Everyone knows that an individual standing there selling a bike is selling a stolen bike. The Police cannot go into the yard and recover bikes or arrest anyone they can only do it in the street.
To go in the yard they need a specific warrant. These areoles are getting away with it, but do you know who are the bigger areoles? The arseholes that buy these bikes. If you see a black and yellow Mango singlespeed, do not buy it.
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