If it’s not nailed down…

Dan Levine took a lot of heat for the introduction to his Avant Guide book on Prague, which stated in no uncertain terms that “Czechs steal.” Kind of like a Lonely Planet author opening up his tome on India by writing that “Indians stink.” Fundamentally boneheaded, but then, who but a bonehead buys a guide to the most “chic” restaurants and hotels in well-known European capitals – a book doomed to be out of date before it goes to press? Toy travelers and their petty gripes aside, there seems to be an unpleasant trend of bike theft in our glorious capital.

A friend recently had his Ellsworth stolen – the thieves broke the rear window of his car and dragged it out from the blanket under which it was covered. After speaking with the neighbors, he discovered that this is a common occurrence in the new constructions skirting Prague – gangs of thieves watch the cars coming and going and jump at any opportunity.  Given that there is exactly one Ellsworth Truth frame in the Czech Republic, chances are good we’ll find whoever stole it, or at least whatever chump bought an obviously stolen bike.

Last year about this time I had a suspiciously drunken old waster offer to sell me a bike that had a messenger sticker on it. I asked where he got it and he freaked out, saying he didn’t steal it, which sort of tipped me off. I grabbed the bike from him and walked it, along with my own, about 300 meters back up Narodni to the nearest bike courier. Sure enough, it was his buddies bike and had been stolen about an hour ago from the lobby of one of the douchy shopping/office plazas in the center.

Another friend reports a chain cutting at IP Pavlova last weekend, just after the Critical Mass ride. Two bikes were stolen. The silly thing about this is, the only place to sell these stolen bikes here is at a bazar or online. A simple registration system would completely discourage pawn shop owners from buying stolen bikes and an internet sale leads the owner directly to the thief. Seems like an easy fix. I’m sure the “Bike Friendly” city of Prague is all over that…

This, aside from the excremental driving skills, is one of my biggest pet peeves about this city. Movie theaters, shopping centers, public buildings – NONE of them have bike racks, much less a forward-thinking idea like a bike cage in the parking garage. Instead, neckless Adolf descends like a hawk on a pink, crippled field mouse if you dare take your bike anywhere near the hallowed halls of shopping wankery.

The lesson, however, is clear. Take your bike inside with you. The twats always complain about it, but I just shrug and tell them I left my lock at home. And how about a little beat-down action for those thieves, hey?

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~ by themicah on September 23, 2009.

One Response to “If it’s not nailed down…”

  1. in theory, such bike registration system already exists, run by municipal police: http://www.mppraha.cz/evidence-kol/
    no idea how useful it really is in practice.

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