Sunday, February 3, 2008

What follows is not only heartbreaking but is COMPLETE BULLSHIT AND MAKES MY FUCKING BLOOD BOIL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow this shit is seriously going to kill you. Not because it's really long, but because of the pure injustice of the whole situation. I was in the middle of painting my lady's room, which we'll be sharing shortly, when out of the blue I got a call from my good friend Phil who currently resides in London. Turns out that some ignorant fucking cunt vandalized his bike in a REALLY bad way:


Here's his original post and more photographs about his encounter:

*****

Hello all,

What follows is an extremely long, but not uninteresting account of a very shitty night out on Brick Lane. If you can't be bothered to read it, but have a desire to help, please skip to the bottom.

Tonight, much against my better judgement, I went to dinner with friends at a curry house on Brick Lane.
As my friends went into the restaurant, I asked the bloke out on the street who was trying to hustle people in to eat where I could leave my bike and he directed me down Woodseer St. There was a street sign with a bike locked to it and just opposite it on the building a basement window with an iron grating. As I was locking my bike up, someone was unlocking his bike from the street sign and this guy who had parked his car next to the pole was giving him shit for locking his bike so close to his car, so I left my bike chained to the basement window grating (the window was covered over with newspaper, so I didn't think anyone would mind) on Woodseer st with my kryptonite chain through the rear wheel and frame and a d-lock through the front wheel and the frame.
After half an hour, I popped up (we were eating downstairs at City Spice) to check on it, everything was fine.
About an hour later, I popped up again to check on it and something wasn't right. The bike was still there, but it was hanging away from the wall, definitely not how I'd left it. As I got closer, I could see that the saddle was missing. The strange thing was that when I got to the bike, the saddle rails were still attached and there was a little piece of foam/gel attached to one of the rails. I checked around on the street and saw my saddle lying next to some trash. I picked it up and ran inside, telling my friends that actually I was going home, someone had fucked with my bike and I didn't feel like going out. I left money for dinner and went out again.
As I was unlocking my bike, I noticed that the bars were bent, too. (At this point, I should explain that I have the purple and blue KHS with the curly seat tube, bullhorns, and black deepVs with conti 4000s - pictures to follow in the morning) They didn't seem damaged, just that the stem had been pushed (quite forcibly) to the side and was no longer aligned with the front wheel. That's when I noticed that the front tire was not just flat, it was completely deflated. I looked more closely and saw that the tire had been sliced clean through with a knife, and so had the rear tire.

That's when the window above where I'd left the bike opened.

"Hey, mate," a man says, "you should have asked permission before locking your bike under my window"

"What?"

"You should have asked permission. You can't just go locking your bike under someone's window."

"Excuse me?"

"Your lucky your bike is still here."

"Did you do this?"

"You should have asked permission"

"But did you do this?"

"I'm just saying, you should have asked"

While this was going on, a few guys who worked in the kitchen either of the restaurant at which I had eaten or one of the neighbouring restaurants walked by, looking both at my bike and the guy who was speaking from the window. Then the guy from earlier, who had given shit to the other cyclist for locking his bike next to his car, came by and echoed similar sentiments to the guy in the window.
I returned to the guy in the window.

"Did you do this?"

No straight answer.

"Did you see it happen?"

Same story. "You should have asked permission" etc etc.

"You knew I was in the restaurant, why didn't you just ask me to move it?" In my shock I was trying to reason with a madman who had quite probably vandalised my bike himself. "It's £40 for the saddle alone"

"Well, you're lucky the bike is still here. This is Brick Lane, my friend"

"And if I call the cops?"

"Then I will press charges against you for disturbing the peace" [No joke, he seriously said this to me.]

Finally, I gave up talking to him. Some dodgy looking characters were milling about and I didn't know what the situation was. I'm new to London and I was pretty shaken up. In fact, I'm still in shock, shaking with anger as I type this.

I unlocked my bike completely and noticed that the rims had not gone untouched. They had tried to kick the wheels in and several spokes were bent or broken. In two places my deepVs were bent, both front and rear. I noticed when I got home that the chain is bent and there is a dent in the (aero) downtube, as well as a few other dents that didn't use to be there. I went to the bloke outside the restaurant who had told me I could lock the bike there. All of his previous friendliness was gone. "No, I said you could park there [on the pole] not there [against the grating]." The vibe was getting really unfriendly and I still didn't know what to do. I walked north up Brick Lane, hoping to find some cops to see if there was anything I could do. I'm still not sure whether that guy in the window and the guys from the kitchen vandalised my bike themselves, or whether they just looked on as it happened. I don't know whether someone tried to wrench the bike off the grating and then, frustrated by the two locks, just had a go at beating the shit out of it, whether it was motivated by jealousy or anger or hooliganism. I just know that I feel as though I myself had been attacked.

I walked all the way up Brick Lane without seeing any police, then walked past Brick Lane Bikes, which was completely closed and deserted and decided to see if anyone was in at Fixed Gear London, if I could even remember which warehouse it was in (I'd only been once for the MASH preview). Before I got there, though, I got fed up with my frustration and just called 999. I spoke to someone who told me that I shouldn't have called 999, but who was very helpful nonetheless. He took all the details down, then directed me to go to Bethnal Green Police Station to make a formal statement. So I turned around and walked down Bethnal Green Road with my bike on my shoulder. I stayed 40 minutes, giving all the details all over again to an extremely friendly and helpful woman, but I know that nothing will come of it.
Maybe they will send someone to speak to the guy in the window, she said, but I could tell that even she was sceptical as she said it. They might review the CCTV footage, if there is any [I can't remember if there was a camera there]. Her best advice was "just don't go to Brick Lane". With that, I picked up my bike on my shoulder and walked the 3+ miles home, shaking with anger and frustration.

I suppose I'm lucky that the bike didn't get stolen outright and many of the parts are salvageable, but I really feel violated. I'm out of a job at the moment, looking for work, and I was considering trying to get a job as a courier for a few months just to get some cash coming in. But now my bike is fucked and I'm no mechanic. I imagine that the rims can be bent back into shape and I know that several people on here build wheels. I'm hoping I just need a few new spokes and some serious truing, but I don't really have the money right now to take the bike into a shop.

Here's where I need help: do you think a shop (BLB perhaps?) would give me a free reckoning of all the damage done and possibly an estimate of how much it would be to fix? (One of my concerns is not being able to spot an area that has been damaged and only discovering it when the bike disintegrates under me while riding it - not likely, I know, but I really am not very good with repairs) Or do you think if I bring it along to polo someone might be willing to have a look at it and let me know what needs doing? (And who might be willing to do it for beer?) Finally, does anyone have a cheap saddle that I could buy off them?

If you've read this far, thanks for taking the time. Please be careful with your bikes, especially at Brick Lane. And don't eat at City Spice, I'm sure that a few of those guys knew what was going down. Certainly the bloke outside could have told me not to leave my bike where I'd left it or could have come down to tell me to move it. But people don't really give a shit about a bike, I guess.

*****

Like I said. Fucking bullshit. The worst part of all this is that he's currently between jobs and was planning on messengering to cover his expenses...

For those of you living in London who frequent this blog please check out his original thread on the London Fixed Gear Forum. If there's anything you can do to help Phil out it would be much appreciated by him and all in the community there. To everyone else who would like to help with random parts they have lying around, please contact me via email: thetriplec@hotmail.com For those of you who like me, have something like $2.37 sitting in their Paypal accounts, send a small donation to the same email address above. I have personally decided to handle the cost of fixing the frame up by a professional builder and every cent counts. Also, if you know of any great builders in or around the London area, please let him or I know. Thanks A LOT to all of you that made it this far and for those who decide to lend a hand...

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5 comments:

kuranes said...

I don't live in London, or even the UK, but in the comments section of the original thread, it looks like someone has posted pics of the asshole's apartment. Maybe some slingshot justice is in order.

® said...

my heart's broken... what an ass-titude to treat another fellow human being.

Nuno said...

I just read your story, and it only remind me of my unfortunate episode at the same place a few months earlier.. not at the same restaurant, but at brick lane.
I was helping my friend HOMOPATICO selling t-shirts at the sunday market, with the street fucking packed of people, 3pm, sunday... my girlfriend came over and left her langster leaning against my bike, witch was locked... and i was standing, the bikes were putted btw me and the wall.. 2 kids came, ask "how much for the bikes?".."not for sale"... not 5 min past, one of them pushed me out of the crowd, and the other one just took the langster... ANYONE, EVERYONE could have stopped the guy.... all watched, no one moved out of the way for me.... it´s a tough city to own anything. if you´re friend in london is still interested i´m letting most of my actual frames go. total clearance.
Take care,
Nuno

stephen said...

i would have beaten somone if they touched my bike.

Ed Scoble said...

That hasn't been vandalised, they have been trying to steal the bike with little success, the cut on the tyres is their attempt of cutting off the wheel in order to get to the bike, the bend frame is when they twisted the D-lock as that's the best way of breaking the D-lock by using the frame as leveage to twist it off.

The saddle's obvious - they tried to pull it off, only to removed the soft part.

vandalism would implied they just did it for fun, which is not the case here.