Last week, Victoria Bick found herself the victim of an everyday crime.
After participating in a volunteer training session at a west Hamilton church, the 25-year-old gardener ambled outside into the rain to unlock her bike for what promised to be a soggy ride home.
But her bike was gone, cleaved from the lamppost to which it had been locked.
Tears ran down her face, already wet from the rain. After all, her bike — a vintage red Raleigh, restored by Bick's own hands — was no ordinary ride.
"This one, I had gone and bought it from a friend of a friend and it fit. It was the perfect bike for me," she told CBC Hamilton. "It was my baby."
That night, she got a ride home from another volunteer, and then found herself home alone to grieve.
Teeming with "anger," Bick felt she needed to write down her feelings — both her rage at the thief and her wistfulness at the loss of the bike.
While figuring out how to report the incident, she typed up "An open letter to the deadbeat who stole my bike," which she later posted to the social media site Reddit. (It contains language that some may find offensive).
Composed over a couple of hours, the piece reads like a cutting cri de coeur for Hamiltonians whose bikes have been pinched.
But you, oh scum-of-the-earth, you're going to do what with it exactly? Sell it? Dump it in a ditch, or over the edge of our beautiful escarpment? Put it in a garage, repaint it? What exactly? Ride it for fun? I doubt it. Commute on it? Pshaw. Use it to get to your various volunteer gigs all over the city? As if. Imagine you contributing to society in some way!
Moreover, Bick's post is also a touching requiem for her "beloved" lost bike, what was for her a "shining beacon" on two wheels.
One of my favourite things was pulling my boyfriend along the paved rail trail. He would ride his long-board, and hold onto one end of my lock (the one you wrecked), and I would hold the other end and pedal us along. Stopping was an issue, but it was a lot of fun while it lasted.
Since it's Hamilton Bike Month, we ask you to tell us: What's your favourite bike that you loved, then lost? Let us know on Twitter (@cbchamilton) or on our Facebook page. We'll share some of the responses in the space below.