Apparently over the last four years more than £12m worth of bikes have been stolen in Greater Manchester. Last night my poor old Dorothy joined them, being unceremoniously removed from some railings while I was at a choir rehearsal.
As you can see from the above, it took some fairly determined work on the part of the thieves to break the D-lock, I’m sure it was more hassle than it’s worth as the bike was worth practically peanuts.
It’s funny, I’d seriously thought about not going to choir last night. I’d had a sore throat for a few days and could barely speak, let alone sing, but I really really love time spent in the company of one of the friendliest bunches of people I’ve ever met. It also had the added benefit of reminding me every week why I’ve chosen the career I have. When you work in arts management, it’s as easy to get bogged down in budgets, spreadsheets and office politics as it is in any other job, and sometimes I forget that what brought me into the arts was a fundamental love of music and performance and the way it makes human life better in so many ways. We’re lucky enough to have a musical director who, I think, gets that too and does a grand job of communicating it – and giving us all a good laugh mixed in with the learning. So my little Tuesday evening sing has rapidly become a touchstone of the week which sets me back on track again.
I’ve parked my bike outside the venue with no trouble for over a year and am probably well-known as the one who always turned up slightly windswept and red-faced from the pedal to rehearsals and concerts. I’m sure a fair number of them think I’m nuts, especially in the depths of winter, but hey, I can live with that 😉
So it was a bit of a shock to emerge from rehearsal to find nothing left of Dorothy but a mangled lock. Someone commented ‘It’s a wonder we didn’t hear them bashing away at the lock”. Well, we’re not really known for rehearsing pianissimo – it’s not nearly as much fun as belting it out is it?
People couldn’t have been nicer, I was whisked off to the pub and plied with therapeutic alcohol while folks fought over who was going to drive me home – bless ’em! Praise also must go to Greater Manchester Police – who were surprisingly sympathetic. They genuinely gave me the impression they cared for anyone who’d had their property taken, and understand how it feels. I’m not naive enough to think they’ll get my Dorothy back though, I suspect she’s well on her way to a paint job and resale in some Salford scally’s back yard right now.
So, time to go shopping for a new bike then….
– You can spend a small fortune on a lock and some little sod will still find a way of breaking it
– Having a cheap bike doesn’t stop them having a go. Bike thieves are a bit thick.
– If you do fall victim, be sure to have lovely people on hand to feed you beer and prawn crackers as soon as possible.