Last night, someone stole my bike, Bradford D. Bike (the D stands for “Danger”). I had locked it to a metal post outside the house I’m staying at near 58th and Division in Portland, part of the Mount Tabor neighborhood (so pretty suburban of an area). But I woke up and it was gone.

I’m not really upset over the loss of the bike itself, mostly just feeling violated and sort of disenchanted that someone would do such a thing–but that’s how crimes of opportunity work–they’re anonymous and emotionally detached. I’ve had this happen before when I was in my earlier 20s so this time I was a bit more prepared for the feeling and have decided to just move on with my life and take it as a sign to remember the good times I had.

Bradford D. Bike was a 2009 Specialized WSD road bike. The purchase of the bike was significant to me. In winter 2010, my long-term ex-boyfriend’s brother took his own life and left behind a fixed gear road bike. A snowy winter fell on Columbia, South Carolina the day after he died–and when it all thawed, when everyone close to him was finally ready to emerge from the shock, a very peculiar, colorful spring blossomed… and doing the only thing I knew how to do in the mending stage, I helped out with the bike. And then I bought my own to replace my commuter bike.

I lived next to a riverbank. I rode the 6-mile bike track every day, which ended at a dam. Before joining dA, I commuted to work on my bike. I have very fond memories of leaving work early on Friday afternoons, riding in summer rainstorms as Justice’s † played on my MP3 player.

I had SPD clipless pedals installed. I very, painfully slowly ate gravel more than a few times when I failed to clip out at traffic lights. I loved the way I sounded like a cowboy walking into a saloon every time I walked into the grocery store with those clanky metal shoes on. CLUNK. CLUNK. CLUNK. “Howdy ya’ll, just here to buy some protein shakes.”

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My bike followed me cross-country from South Carolina to Oregon.

I rode it, alongside 15,000 other people, in the World Naked Bike Ride. It saw me through a summer of wildness during Pedapalooza… dancing to Thriller in Lone Fir Cemetery at 11PM, riding 40 miles from 122nd Ave. NE after getting lost during Midnight Madness and the Rose Festival. It’s how I took out my energy during some very rough times near the end of last summer and into early fall. It took me up Terwilliger to OHSU. It took me to Sellwood. It’s the bike I could be silly enough to ride a Lucha Libre mask while riding. It’s the bike that filled my mouth with bugs every time I sped down the sharp downhill of Lincoln Street in southeast. It was a good bike.

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But, as with all things in life that you lose, you move on. And you make new memories with new things. Even though it’s now tainted by its stolen nature, I hope some naive, innocent person ends up with it, treasures it, and makes their own history with it.

Thanks for all the good times, Bradford D. Bike!

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