An Open Letter to the Kid Who Stole My Bike

Editor’s note: Usually I try to keep these posts relatively PG-13, meaning, I suppose, a “f-bomb to other words” ratio of less than 1 to 10. Today, I didn’t bother, so if that’s the kind of thing that’s going to upset you, come back tomorrow. Okay, here goes…

Last known photo of my beautiful bike. :(

Last known photo of my beautiful bike. :(

To the Kid Who Stole My Bike:

First off, here are a few little things you should be aware of —

For starters, that saddle? It is going to DESTROY your balls. That’s because it’s designed for vaginas, not balls. Maybe the next time you steal a bike, you’ll think about that first. In the meantime, here’s hoping your ability to procreate and spread the dumbass gene has been severely limited.

Also, that little knob on the left side of the handlebars will make the seat post go up. This will be helpful the next time you’re sprinting away from the cops, or from crazy, barefoot, screaming lunatics. (By the way, that crazy, barefoot, screaming lunatic — that was me.)

Oh, and your riding will be greatly improved if you pull up your fucking pants. This is like mountain biking 101. You’re welcome.

Secondly, some thank yous are in order. Yes, you read that right.

Thanks for the little empowerment lesson. I’m serious. I never really realized I’d go flying off after a bad guy barefoot until I did it. I didn’t wait for my boyfriend. I didn’t wait for the cops. I wasn’t even remotely scared — there was no doubt in my mind that [if I could have found you], I could have handled the situation. And while I’m not a violent person, I’m pretty sure I could have persuaded you to let go of my bike one way or another. Maybe this is my naivety talking, I suppose you could have had a gun — but honestly, I got a look at you. You didn’t have a gun. You were scared of me. In fact, you were fucking petrified. Of a girl. And that girl? She wasn’t scared of you. I hope that bruises your ego, at least a little bit. So thanks for doing this right in front of me, instead of slinking around in the middle of the night. Thanks for letting me find out what I’m made of.

Thanks, also, for stealing my bike. Since you were obviously going to steal someone’s bike, I’m glad you chose mine, and not one that belonged to some high school kid who worked all summer to afford their first nice bike, who will never be able to replace it, who might have to quit riding bikes because of this. I have multiple bikes. I’m going for a ride today, in fact. This is not the first nice bike I’ve owned (although it is probably the most expensive, fuck you very much), and while I love my bikes, I don’t give them names. I’m sponsored (and *hopefully* insured) and I have a great team of people behind me who are going to help me keep this situation from affecting my race season. You stole my bike, not my soul. So I guess if this had to happen to someone, if it was me versus that kid, thanks for picking me.

Also, just so you know, you stole an extremely distinctive bike from an extremely well connected person. So, good luck unloading it.

And lastly, if by some crazy twist of fate you’re actually reading this — here’s what I want you to know.

I’m not going to say I forgive you, because, while I’m done wallowing in anger over here, I’ll leave the forgiveness to higher powers. That said, I do feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for the shit that has happened in your life that lead you to where you are now — that lead you to a place where nabbing someone’s bike in broad fucking daylight seemed like a reasonable life decision. I feel sorry for where your life is going because, no offense, you don’t exactly seem like a criminal mastermind and this shit is going to catch up to you, and if we’re being honest here, you’re going to get the short end of criminal justice stick. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but karma is a bitch.

I don’t forgive you, but I can almost understand you. I know what I must look like to you — some spoiled white kid with $20,000 of bikes hanging off the back of my car. I get that. I get that, from the outside, from the eyes of someone who is struggling, Sea Otter must look like this inane, ostentatious display of wealth and ludicrous, useless technology. It kind of is. And it is totally ridiculous, in the whole scheme of things, to have an $8,000 bicycle. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that you didn’t think you were hurting me, that to you this was just like nabbing a handful of gummy bears from the grocery store bulk section or stealing a cool looking spoon from a fancy restaurant — who is it really hurting? Or maybe, you just didn’t care that you were hurting me, because you hate me, sight unseen, because I have so much while you have so little? Maybe you hate me without even knowing me, which, I guess, makes two of us. Or maybe you’re just a little shithead who thinks he’s God and doesn’t realize other people have feelings and bills to pay.

Sadly, I’ll probably never have a chance to find out.

All I can say is this — I really, really hope you stole my bike for a reason. I really hope you have kids to feed or bills to pay. I really hope you’re not selling my bike to buy crack — or if you are, I hope that you have people who care for you, who get you into rehab and give you a second chance. I hope that if you’re reading this 10 years from now, that you have a family and a real job and that you’ve grown into a responsible adult. Mainly, I hope you’re a good person who did a bad thing — because I believe in good people and I don’t want to change that because of one dumb kid.

I don’t forgive you. I definitely don’t like you. And I hope you get caught. But honestly, I wish you the best.

xoxo (and a punch in the face),


Syd Schulz

Pro mountain biker.

Average human.

I write about bikes and life and trying to get better at both.

more here

17 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Kid Who Stole My Bike

  1. Syd you really say it well, I’m so sorry for your loss. Wouldn’t you love to understand what was going on in his head, is going on his head. Some shoes I don’t want to try on… But I am curious?!?

  2. Husband and I got our bikes stolen last weekend. This hits close to home! I know how you feel right now. Thanks for the post.

  3. I had four bikes stolen last year and to this day, it infuriates me. I cannot afford to purchase new ones so I will go without and hopefully see someone riding one around town and run them down. In the end, you are correct, the thieves must live a miserable life, but then, thats karma.

      • Oh man, this thread is heart breaking. When you’re in the market for a new bike, do let me know, I often know people selling used bikes for really reasonable prices.

        • Thank you so much. Im not much sure if ill be able to replace it though. I cant swing it financially with a cut back at work and stuff. I started mountain biking a few years ago with a hard tail and like everyone I got bit by the bug and the reign was part of a Christmas present with the hardtail as a trade in.
          Someone came up to my 2nd floor apartment and stole it. A few of us were leaving within a few hours for a ride that morning so it was heartbreaking for me. She was my pride n joy. I didn’t sleep for weeks after.

  4. Syd,

    i am feeling better already. They broke into our garage two different ways and lifted my Merlin and then my Lightspeed (Titanium shortage?)

    Your note is absolutely perfect.
    Rubber side down, smile side up

  5. Nice one Syd!

    We got our bikes stolen by people who sold them for crack. It stings. But, in perspective, if you can ride a mountain bike, you’re most likely not struggling in a way they are. Turned out they were our next door neighbors (it was an up and coming part of Denver, we were ahead of the curve). But, we shamed them pretty good, and they faithfully watched over our house for the following 4 years and scared off other would be predators. We also locked out bicycles securely in the basement. Your letter brought that all back. I hope he gets caught. Good luck, and good riding this year!

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  8. I upgraded to my current Auric1.5 from my 10 year old hardtail this year when I retired. The bike has revitalized my riding experience physically and emotionally in ways I can’t explain. Needless to say it is locked in the garage with cables when I’m not riding. Thieves are scum

  9. I know this is an old post, but, seriously, have you thought about what you’ll do later in life? Not to make you self conscious or anything (I probably am), but you are hysterically funny. And not just in this note, but in all your vids. Standup won’t be nearly as fun as mtb, but you have a talent. I was laughing reading this post as I’ve had a 3 bikes i was attached to needlessly sent to a chop shop somewhere. I would have gladly paid the asshole if he just rang my doorbell and said “I was going to steal your bike, but would you rather just pay me for what I would get for it?” I would thank him profusely for being so considerate, pay him, and send him on his merry way. OK, not really, but if it was the only other choice…

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