The best way to recover your stolen bicycle

Our pal Zach, who you may remember as the infamous seeker of holiday romance, recently had a run-in with some local bike thieves that ended in the BEST WAY POSSIBLE:


This whole situation was (most likely) avoidable and entirely my fault. But, y’all wanted a story, so here it is.


Do you know those once-every-three-years drunks where you do something incredibly stupid and out of character?

No? Just me? OK, well, this was one of those.

After a long day of riding and racing at Quake City Rumble, I figured I’d get my party on. Been working and training hard, plus organizing the finale race, so I felt I’d earned a good tear.

Long story short, after hopping around to a few spots I left my coworker’s birthday party sometime between 2 and 3am. (I sort-of-not-really remember leaving but apparently had promised to walk my bike home)

Now, even when I’m on autopilot, I’m pretty OCD. Phone, keys, wallet – I never lose my necessities. But when I woke up at home around 8 or 9am, and looked at the spot where I keep my bike, it was empty.

Not only did I just get this thing, I’m supposed to race it at the Wolfpack Hustle Finale Crit in Austin next weekend.

Commence freaking out.


But I can’t freak out, because today is the Mountain Lion, the biggest and baddest alleycat in San Francisco. And I won it last year, which means I’m organizing it this year. This keeps me mentally occupied from dwelling on my missing bike and hating myself too much. I post a picture of the bike describing my situation, and since bike people know all too well the pain of a missing machine, it becomes shared quickly across social media.


The Mountain Lion ends and we’re hanging out at Potrero Del Sol Park. It’s about 5pm and I’m ready to tuck into a burrito when I get a call from my buddy Demi. He says his friend Eli is pretty sure he spotted my bike downtown; I get his number and give him a call.

“Yeah, your bike’s on Market near New Montgomery.”
“Are you sure it’s mine?”
I don’t believe this is happening but Eli rattles off a part list and now I’m 100% sure; plus it’s one of only 3 Heavy Pedal Axiom frames in the Bay Area.

“There’s eyes on my bike near Market and New Montgomery!” I yell.

Sardine, who is in charge of organizing this weekend’s events and is also great at shouting, hears me. “Oh shit, for real?” He turns to the crowd of racers and chillers, “ANYBODY WANT TO HELP THIS MAN GET HIS STOLEN BIKE BACK, HE’S GOING DOWNTOWN NOW!”

I start pedaling. Adam Shapiro, Brian Dooley, Carlos Balam, Matt Vanaman and possibly some others (sorry if I forget) are in hot pursuit; especially impressive because I just threw a hard-as-fuck race that these guys all finished (to the tune of almost 50 miles and 5500 feet of climbing).

I have my phone on loud for updates, and sure enough, Eli rings me every couple of minutes. I don’t like dipping through traffic while yakking on the phone but it’s sort of a necessity in this situation. The target is riding my bike around Civic Center. OK, no, now he’s at 5th and Market. So at this point it’s Dooley and I tearing down Market street.

I’m scanning the crowds and I spot my bike being walked on the sidewalk. I see Eli getting off his phone (he’s been following the thief this whole time) and pointing to the guy with my bike. He’s a big, gnarly looking white dude covered in tattoos and I get the feeling he’s been to prison at least once.

Well, Mr. Thief hops off the sidewalk and is about to mount up. I immediately flip a u-turn and box him in to the curb from the front and side, with Dooley pulling up right alongside and behind him.

I don’t remember exactly what I yelled in the heat of the moment, but it was just something gruff and direct like “Off the bike, man. That’s my ride.”

The dude very quickly dismounts and hands the bike over to me, spinning some bullshit about buying it off Craigslist this morning. I tell him I don’t want to hear it and just like that we’re off with the bike in hand, just as Matt and Carlos show up. The whole thing is over in 15 seconds.

I ghost ride my recovered whip back to my house, and invite my posse in for some shots of good bourbon and some beers. I put the bike back in its spot, and we roll back to the park for the weekend’s award ceremony.

I’ve never been so depressed and mad at myself, then so elated in less than 24 hours. Bike people are the best people when it comes to looking out for each other. I got incredibly lucky here, but I am eternally thankful to everyone who was keeping an eye out, and who came to help, and especially Demi for the tip off from Eli, who followed the thief like a total crime dog.

Btw, winter is coming.  Do you have a holiday girlfriend/boyfriend yet???

Look at this great drawing of a crime being committed in the Mission

[via Mission Local]

If only more armed robbers would accidentally shoot themselves in the leg

Neighbor Blake E. wrote in this morning with quite a story:

I came out of my house on 23rd and Bartlett this morning to see police tape and a news van. The officer standing there said it was a robbery of a person (not a home) at 3am and there was a shooting. Except this time, he said, the suspect shot himself. Then the news crew mobbed me but I escaped.

Pretty wild, right? Wait’ll you hear some of these additional details sussed out by the CBS news crew:

Police are trying to sort out what happened during an armed robbery and shooting in San Francisco’s Mission District Thursday morning.

Police found a trail of blood near Bartlett and 23rd Streets. Officers say one of the suspects may have shot themselves as they tried to escape from police.

It started with an armed robbery at 3 a.m. At least two robbers pulled a gun on a man walking down the street. They took his wallet and cell phone and then ran off. The victim was not hurt.

Police happened to be in the area at the time and they arrested the men as they were running away.

One of those robbers accidentally shot himself in the leg at some point, according to police. He is now in the hospital.
Police found a Mac-10 Semi automatic gun nearby that someone tossed over a fence. [link]


When a stolen bicycle shows up again

Our pal Alicia takes us through it:

A year ago my bike was stolen. It was not the end of the word. Someone wonderful lent me an interim bike, eventually I bought a new bike at a very reasonable price and it had gears – and I had long needed gears. At other times on my life I would have felt that harder, I was greatful for that. Today I was walking across the street from the place where it was stolen from and there was my old bike frame- worse for the weather – and with new handlebars ex cetra but it was it. I went home, gathered the old paperwork- sure enough the numbers matched.

I did not want the old bike back. My apartment is small, the resale value would be low. It had been gifted to me in the first place and served me for 5 years. But bike theft is a big problem. Eventually-Reluctantly I called the police. …

Then it rider came down the stairs. Sweet Latino guy about my size. Construction worker with his fellow workers. Said he bought it at the flee market. They assured me he was an honest guy, I believe them. He offered it back. I told him to keep it.

Around the time that bike was stolen, I had a big flower pot of succulents stolen off the stoop. I’ve often thought how much I would like to see them again- not to have them back-but just to see if the poppies ever came up, and how they all grew and changed.

I was glad to see my bike again, glad to meet the guy who was riding it around, glad he wasn’t an asshole. Glad it was something that helped his life. This is all to say, don’t steal. Which means many things. Peace be with you dude. Peace be with you little bike. More peace guys. Spread the resources more evenly.

As Vic always likes to say, bicycles are a temporary loan from the universe, and as Alicia’s poignant artwork shows us, there’s a lot more important things out there for us to worry about.

Some dirt-bike cops fucking around on the steps in the park

Looks like fun I guess.

[via Matty]

Did gentrification cause a shooting on Potrero Hill?

Two men were shot the other day high atop Potrero Hill. Our pal @intheweedz, who was on the scene, had this to say:

The topic of discussion among the neighbors is that the increase in crime on the hill, is because gentrification is closing in on the projects.


Gone in 15 seconds

Watch this bike thief defeat what looks like two separate locks in probably less than 15 seconds:

Contact info is on the YouTube page if you happen to have any helpful info for the victim.

Bomb scare at 23nd and Bartlett

Police have currently blocked off Bartlett from 22nd to 24th Street.  23rd and 24th Street are also both taped off from Mission to Valencia.  Police are approaching the situation as if it’s a live bomb and have advised residents to stay inside, so be careful out there everyone.  Don’t be the guy who gets blasted because he was trying to get a cool photo.

We will update as we know more.

This incident comes right on the heels of Ariel’s encounter with the arsonist, and I really hope they’re not at all related.


Mission Local reports that the bomb was thankfully yet still alarmingly a hoax device:

Police reported at 11:30 p.m. Friday that the suspicious device found at  23rd and Bartlett looked like a bomb, but turned out to be a hoax.

“It appeared to be a legitimate active device with a timer and wires,” police reported but “After rendering the device safe it was found to be a hoax device.”

OAK smokes SFO in outrageous TSA finds

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)’s awesome Instagram account, which primarily shares photos of crazy items the TSA has found while screening airline passengers, is not new, but it did see significant new attention on the Internet this week. Whoever is running it has made an effort to include wild finds from many different airports across the U.S., including several from San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport. At SFO the TSA confiscated a brush dagger and a bullet-knife, child’s play compared to the novelty bomb belt, throwing star, seven pounds of weed, and 81 more pounds of weed (pictured) taken at OAK. Wow, you’d think that last one would’ve just slid right through, huh?

The TSA’s photos offer a fascinating look at human naiveté, stupidity and stubbornness. They expose some very weird parts of the black market. The TSA’s Instagram is great, but I can’t help but notice an alternate purpose that it serves: scaring us into liking and trusting the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security by giving us the impression that “threats” are much more frequent than they actually are. The Instagram gives the illusion that the TSA is constantly confiscating tons of weapons, many deviously disguised, in every airport. A few hundred or thousand weapons is certainly many weapons, but it’s not so many when one considers that the TSA screens 600-700 million passengers every year. That means the TSA finds ~3 firearms for every million people it screens. The TSA’s posts are entertaining, but whether they intend it or not, and whether we realize it or not, they serve another purpose too. Thoughts?

Plainclothes SFPD officers shoot and kill knife-wielding robbery suspect on 24th Street

CBS Local reports:

San Francisco police are investigating a Thursday night officer-involved shooting in the Mission District that left a robbery suspect dead.

Officers responded to the area of 24th and Folsom streets at about 9:45 p.m. in reference to call about a Hispanic man with a knife.

San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr told KCBS that two plainclothes officers came upon the scene and saw the suspect with a large knife chasing another man on Folsom Street.

“The officers drew their weapons, demanded for man to drop his knife–he refused. We have several witnesses that heard this,” he said.
The situation escalated, and the officers, who had their department issued stars visible on their clothes, fired six shots at the suspect, Suhr said.

The suspect, described as being his 20s, was shot and pronounced dead at the scene.

Read on.

[Photo by @gpechenik]