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Little blighters

August 23, 2010

Discovering my bike had been rendered unusable by some local tinkers didn’t see me spout my usual string of curses.

Has reading the ‘Change Your Thinking’ book really transformed my life? Or is it that this being the third occasion my trusty bike has been vandalised somehow lessens the initial blow?

It’s possibly more to do with an unending fascination imagining the person (or people) who devoted what must have been some considerable time to sawing their way through the mount connecting the handlebars to the front wheel shaft.

Was it opportunism? Or had someone seen the bike on the station platform, nipped home for the necessary tools, come back and then done the deed?

What were they after? Did they need a front wheel for their own bike? Were they short of the necessary cash to purchase their own? Was thieving someone elses a more cost-effective alternative? If it was, they either gave up or were interrupted. If they hadn’t been interrupted the chances are they’d have spent a fortune getting it fitted to their own bike (I’m making the assumption that bike thieves probably don’t fit their own replacement parts).

So why bother? Was it just boredom? I can’t work it out.

They didn’t get to take the front wheel however. The handlebars hung pathetically at the side of the bike. If they’d cut the brakes they’d have got what they were after.

It must have been the brake stumped which stumped the little tike(s) – the realisation that merely removing the handlebar wouldn’t render the front wheel free at all. Did they give up when they realised they didn’t have the right tools for the job or were they interrupted?

Or maybe it wasn’t theft at all. Maybe it was just the desire to damage something. The need to achieve something by inconveniencing another human being. Quite what’s behind that motivation I’m not entirely clear – boredom mixed with brooding resentment, presumably.

Whatever the motivation for this attempted theft or this tiresome act of vandalism, I’d be more than happy if the barriers went up at the Hither Green station. It won’t necessarily eliminate platform crime, but it might make it a slightly less risky place to lock things up.

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