by Whatsblem the Pro
The latest issue of The Jack Rabbit Speaks links to a survey about stolen bicycles:
“Runs With Scissors has a cool project:
“It happens frequently: in the worst situation, you may find yourself exhausted after a party in deep playa – and the bicycle you were planning to ride back on is no where to be found, but a mangled wreck with a broken chain has been left as a sorry replacement. There are stories of people who have bicycles taken from racks in the backs of their camps on the first day and there are stories of people lifting whole clumps of chained bicycles and putting them into trucks.
“The trouble is that I only have stories and I want real statistics. I want to build a map that tells me where the most likely place is for a bicycle to be lost. I want to know what the qualities are of a bicycle is that makes it more likely to disappear.
“If we have enough data points, we can learn when and where we need to protect ourselves and how to prevent this from happening to ourselves. If you have ever had a bicycle disappear, please take the time to fill out the quick survey below.”
What really interested me about this JRS item was the mention of “people lifting whole clumps of chained bicycles and putting them into trucks.”
While wandering in the deep playa this year, I happened upon two separate caches of perhaps a hundred to two hundred bicycles each. They were mostly high-end steeds, and they were all lying down and locked, some to each other. These big caches of locked bikes weren’t near anything whatsoever; they looked as though they were just waiting for a big rig to pull up and someone to load them in.
It’s undeniable that, after Exodus, a huge number of lost and abandoned bikes remains on the playa, deliberately ditched by departing attendees from far-flung corners of the Earth, or taken for an unauthorized joyride and abandoned, or simply lost and forgotten by their owners in the general frenzy. They’re not typically locked, though, and this wasn’t after Exodus; these caches of mystery bikes were there before the temple burned.
Three hundred used high-end bicycles sold at a cut rate of a hundred dollars each brings in thirty thousand dollars.
Is an organized bike theft ring operating in Black Rock City?