Do you think a good time to steal bikes off the racks is 7 a.m. on a Tuesday, when the sun has been up for two hours and folks are leaving for work? I don’t, but when I opened the kitchen blinds today I saw a guy doing just that. He looked like a tweeker, dressed in dirty t-shirt and shorts, probably in his forties or fifties although drug abuse ages the skin. He was trying to pry the back wheel off my bike, which was locked to the rack.

I watched this for a moment and thought, “Am I really seeing this?” Most mornings I’ll take a peek out the window to check on the car and the bike, because you figure your stuff will disappear late at night if it disappears at all. I wasn’t prepared for, let alone expecting, to see some bum unscrewing the rear wheel from my bike.

I went back to the bedroom and got dressed and grabbed my keys. I knew confronting the guy was risky, and it made me nervous. But I was just as pissed off, because this brainless jerk decided he wanted my bike, at this moment.

I peeked through the window again. He had given up. My bike was still on the rack, with both wheels. A woman, just as old, just as tweeked out, joined him. She was pushing a bike and carrying a tire with her other hand. They walked around the opposite apartment and to the parking lot.

I went outside and checked my bike. Sure enough, both lug nuts were loose and the wheel was off the frame. Fortunately, the bike lock was wedged between the frame and the rack, with another bike pressed up against mine, preventing the old  tweeker from yanking it off. The two were gone. I took the bike inside and reattached the wheel.

God, what a scene to wake up to. The bike, a cheapo beach cruiser, is brand new.  I bought it less than two weeks ago. My old bike sat on that rack for a year, and nobody touched it. And now this. Obviously, the new bike is spending nights indoors from now on.