Some time between Saturday afternoon when I showed off my recumbent trike to Chris and Jaded, and last night when my housemate Erin took the trash to the back of the garage, some clever wag or wags came into my back yard with a couple of implements, tried to break the high-impact plastic of my Kryptonite coated-braid chain lock, successfully cut through the plastic and steel of the chain itself, opened the gate from the inside, and stole my new Sun EZ-3 USX.

I called Bikesport, the shop from which I had acquired it, and they confirmed a purchase date of June 7. I'd had it less than a month.

As much as a part of my brain is tempted at this point to start saying "him name is Eezy-Three Trike ps who took my trike I'll find my trike", I'm really not in the mood for levity. My home, or at least some part of it, has been violated. My property has been taken. My hutch has somebody else's smell in it.

This was neither a random incident nor an accident. The trike wasn't visible from the street. People have seen me riding it around the neighborhood and a few did ask me how much it cost, so some folks had to know it was worth something. Whoever came into the yard stopped with the trike; they didn't try to get into the house. Somebody knew where it was and where to look for it. That probably means whoever took it lives locally.

I'm angry. I'm angry at a lot of things. I'm angry at the people who thought this was acceptable behavior in any context. I'm angry at those people's parents for not having taught them better. I'm angry at myself for buying a twenty-dollar lock to secure a thousand-dollar vehicle. I'm angry at the borough for being the kind of place in which I had to have a lock on my trike in my own back yard.

I've already called the police and filed an incident report, and I've called the insurance company and filed a claim on my homeowners' insurance. Today's a holiday and I'm not going anywhere if I can avoid it but tomorrow I can get a copy of my receipt to attach to both reports. With any luck, not only will the police locate the old one but the insurance company will reimburse me for the loss and I'll end up with two. Then I can get one sized for Jessie and we can go riding together.

What gets to me about this whole affair is that whoever took it is quickly going to discover that it's not sized to be ridden by anyone under my height; their legs won't reach the pedals. They're not going to be able to get any personal use out of it. In all likelihood, somebody who knew it was worth something stole it to sell it, but how likely is it that someone could sell that and not have it be noticed?

I don't think anyone took my trike to have it. I don't even think someone took it to sell it. I think someone took it to keep me from having it. Yes, I know that sounds paranoid, but given the petty vandalism that's already happened against the house and the cars of the people who've lived here, I wouldn't put it past some of the kids around here to do that.

This is exactly the sort of behavior that really makes me doubt folks who tell me that human beings are inherently good-natured. It's also the sort of thing that suggests to me that maybe it's time to look at moving closer to my job and writing off Pottstown and the surrounding area.

I've also adjusted my goals for the month of August; I don't think I'll have my trike back by then.

Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover.

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