Stolen Bike (3)
Then I remembered Natooke had replaced the bottom bracket for me (the bearing that the pedals attach to). They had put a specific part into the frame, one that would not come standard with any Giant bike. As luck would have it, Natooke had back records of everything, including the labor ticket and the exact part written on it. The shop provided me a copy. I figured that the purchase receipt, serial number, photos, and the installation receipt was proof enough the bike was mine. I just had to get my hands on it.
Miraculously, the seller messaged back to say he would be in Chengdu and would bring the bike. It was likely never in Mianyang, just that he’d see if he could get away with a quick sale and avoid any face-to-face.
So we made a plan to meet up lunchtime Monday. The seller suggested a hotel between Tianfu Square and Taisheng Road south subway station.
On the way to the hotel my mind was consumed with thoughts of what to do. Nearly there, I noticed that there were a dozens of shiny e-bikes lining the road. Behind them sat a row of small bike shops. Like Jiuyanqiao it seemed as though this area also had second-hand e-bike and bike shops.
That’s when I saw it! Right outside one of the shops was my green machine! Just standing there, clean and ready for the seller to take it to our rendezvous. I didn’t know what to do. I was alone, but I knew I needed to do something. I couldn’t risk losing it again.
I strutted up and checked the frame, “L”. I flipped it over to check the serial number. I immediately noticed that someone had tried to grind it off. This must be my bike!
I heard someone behind me, so I acted without thinking. I jumped on the bike and sprinted away. I knew there was a police station close by. Luckily I spotted the station and I rode straight into the reception area and locked the bike to a metal bench.
The police were furious! They were shouting and complaining for riding into the station with the bike. Shortly after, two people panting from running showed up and started shouting at me as well. They then began shouting at the police. In the middle of this 3-way shouting match my heart was thumping. I tried to calm everyone down. In broken Chinese I told them, “This bike is mine.” I got on the phone with friend who had planned to meet me at the hotel and asked her to speak to the police. Everyone started to calm down.