Imagine that one Friday night you return to your humble abode after a pleasant night of meeting strangers – who are now your new friends of course – topped off by you and a pal drunkenly devouring an oh-so-delicious crispy chicken sandwich from Silvergreens. You’re still a little affected by the Jose as you stumble to your door and slowly try each key. After trying all five keys several times, you realize the door was unlocked in the first place. As you turn the knob, for some unexplainable reason, out of the corner of your eye you notice that your bike is not in the very familiar place that you had once parked it.
Where the $#@& is my damn bike? Way to ruin my buzz, damn it. So, like a naive little child looking for a pet snake or something – well, pet snakes aren’t going to come when you call them, are they? I guess it’s arguable, but I can’t think of an applicable analogy because I drank my brain cells away, so this will do – you circle your apartment several times, hoping that you had simply parked your beautiful blue cruiser with a silver basket that cost you $20 somewhere else, but of course you didn’t. What drunken moron is walking around with my U-Locked bike?
But this routine is all too familiar for me. In my almost three years of attending UCSB, I have only owned one bike for over a year, from the beginning of sophomore year until last night – the near end of winter quarter of junior year. Before that I went through three bikes. The first lost bike was my own fault – I’ll admit it – I was a trusting fool. I didn’t lock it and – poof! – it was gone. The second bike I had was a green mountain bike and it disappeared over a three-day weekend. This time, I locked my bike, but I used a flimsy chain-like lock. I’m positive that I have seen a homeless-like man riding around on it – oh well. My third bike was a beautiful black and red cruiser, and I loved it. Despite a U-Lock, it was stolen from me this past July. That one hurt me.
So, right now you’re reading this and you think I’m a moron and an idiot. Yeah, I should probably start locking my bike to something other than itself, then it wouldn’t get stolen. I am lazy, and it’s too much work to go to the bike rack behind my house as opposed to locking my bike to itself in front of my house. Obviously, I have not learned my lesson and I will continue to lose my bikes for the rest of my time here at UCSB. I will not change my ways.
I probably deserve to lose my bike because I am extremely stupid and stubborn. At the same time, I find myself asking these bike stealers, “What the $#@&?” I don’t understand why you would only steal my bike when there are seven perfectly good bikes parked next to mine on the lawn. Seriously, stop stealing my bikes – people who steal bikes are lame and they make me sad. One day, if you’re riding my bike and the tire pops and you go flying over the handlebars, you’ll know why – that’s karma, biatch.
The bike thieves have it out for me – especially since I have class every day at 8 a.m. Walking takes so long. Anyway, I have no right to complain – I accept that this is the way the world of Isla Vista works. Let this serve as a warning to anyone who loves his or her bike: One day, it might not be there and you will be forced to live on without its shiny presence in your life. It might hurt, and you might miss it, but you must keep going. After all, a bike’s purpose is to keep you moving – it would have wanted you to continue pedaling on without it, even if that means pedaling on a new bike.
Melanie Emmons is a junior English major.