Sunday, June 13, 2010;
I used to work in a downtown Washington office building and had a second-floor office overlooking the sidewalk. When I needed to work on a Saturday, I would often bicycle in, rather than drive. One Saturday, I rode my bike downtown and parked it on the sidewalk, securing it with a sturdy u-lock to a sturdy street sign directly under my office window.
A few hours later, one of my colleagues arrived at the office having also bicycled to work. Unlike me, he rolled his (very costly) bike into the office. Amused, I asked why he hadn't parked it outside. He shook his head and said that he would never leave his bike out on a Washington street -- way too risky. I scoffed, teasing him about his expensive taste in bicycles and his overly cautious nature, saying it would be perfectly safe to leave his bike outside with mine, in broad daylight, right under my office window where I could see it at any time. To illustrate my point, I gestured out the window to where I had left my bike and, with panic starting to set in, saw that it was gone, stolen from under my not-so-watchful gaze.
Jim Blitz, Bethesda
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