We’ve often spent a night discretely parked on a quiet city street. We’ve done it in places like Toronto, Montréal and Helena, Montana. We didn’t feel particularly uncomfortable when we picked a street in the Osborne Village area of Winnipeg. It’s an eclectic part of town that’s becoming trendy but still has some sketchy areas.
Around 1:30 am, something woke me up, something, a noise, that set off some alarm in my brain. A couple of seconds later Ken awoke too and immediately knew what was amiss. “Someone is stealing our bikes!”
Ken raised the curtain on the back window and sure enough there was someone there. Ken banged violently on the window. I looked out the street-side window and saw a guy ride off on his bike. Ken saw someone run down the sidewalk.
Ken decided to go out and check what damage had been done. He thought they might have been stealing components. Turns out they where going for his entire bike. Both wheels were out of the stirrups and they’d removed the hook that holds the bike in the rack. They had probably been trying to use the hook to pry the lock. The hook was nowhere to be found, but they had left behind a can of cold beer.
We decided to leave the area immediately in case they came back for the beer and the bikes. We drove to a WalMart, a haven of security to some extent.
The next morning, Ken assessed his bike. Except for an ugly scratch on the frame, the bike is fine. We drove back to the site of the attempted crime and found all the pieces they’d removed from the rack. Ken was able to reassemble the rack and our bikes are once again secure.
After a nearly sleepless night, our take-away is to be a bit more choosy when selecting a city street for the night. We were very fortunate that our bikes are fine and so are we. In the end, it was an inexpensive lesson.