Rather than spend my morning tied to my 17″ window to the world, I decided early to ride my bike to Rainbow and meet a friend at the Rainbow Oaks Restaurant for breakfast. Breakfast was unexciting, though we had a nice chat and enjoyed catching up. On my departure from the restaurant, I notice something unusual about my bike – it wasn’t there.
Having had a few bikes stolen, this didn’t stun me. I was very matter of fact about the whole thing, since I had locked it. I had locked it to a post under a sign which read Biker Parking Only. I’m sharp enough to know the sign was intended for motorcycles, but with the profile of my bike being smaller than the motorized version, I felt it would be safe.
Before I called the police, I went back inside the restaurant and inquired if perhaps they had seen it taken, or had seen fit to remove it. The owner of the restaurant greeted me with a bit of hesitation saying…
“Oh, that was yours….?” He looked caught off guard.
Yes, I explained. He told me he wasn’t sure where they put it, and excused himself, saying he would be right back. I waited about 10 minutes with no contact from him – just being stared at by restaurant employees who looked like they had seen this before.
Just as I was about to walk back and find out where he went, he met me out front with my bike and the lock he had cut off. He offered no apology and no explanation of why he had my bike removed. I began to question him. He explained that my bike was in the way and decided to have it removed so people could get in and out.
I then asked him why he didn’t come through the restaurant and ask who the bike belonged to. He hesitated before he told me that he had. That’s not true. There was no attempt, at all, inside the restaurant to inquire about the owner of the bike – none.
I suggested he was out of line and told him I was thinking about calling the police. He explained to me, and this was witnessed, that I could go ahead and call them – that the all knew him and liked him. Okay then.
Look, I get it. I’m a disgruntled customer treated poorly, and I should let it go and invest my time in other pursuits. My friend suggested I dispute the charges on my debit card based on poor customer service. In the end, I didn’t even want to do that. I was going to let the whole thing go – until I got home.
It seems that Duke, the restaurant’s owner, not only had my bike removed, but had it thrown in the dumpster – that’s what took him so long to retrieve it. It wasn’t until I got home that I noticed the grease, ketchup and maple syrup that was stuck the frame and the rims.
I have since disputed the charges with my bank. We’ll see how far that goes. I will file a police report later today, based on the fact that my bike was removed, and no attempt was made to contact anyone inside the restaurant. That, and that my bike had obvious signs of time spent inside the restaurant’s dumpster. Even if police do nothing, and I suspect they won’t, I have this blog – a message in a bottle and a written record for whom this might happen to in the future.
I have never used this blog as a platform for getting even, or speaking negatively about a person or a business. I doubt I will ever do it again. However, Duke at the Rainbow Oaks Restaurant cut the lock off my bike and threw it in a dumpster, having made no attempt to connect with the owner first. That may or may not have been unlawful, but it was gutless. And honestly, Duke just looks gutless… Jhciacb