Dec. 29, 2018, Big day today.
We're moving to a new apartment a few blocks away
tomorrow. There are boxes everywhere, but
otherwise this morning was not unlike the many that
had come before.
ICECAST Jazz radio
Around 8:30 Coral left to go to work and I wished
her an excellent day. As the door closed behind
her I was sipping from my mug and checking
in on our new sundog friends.
Without much delay, Coral returned to the door and
called me. "There is something wrong with the car!"
"Come and see, they took the wheels!"
Uninterested in bad jokes, but willing to participate,
I followed her to the carport.
She's a lot of things, but never one to make such
jokes. This morning was no different. When I arrived
at the carport, there she was:
The 1998 Toyota Rav4 up on blocks. Three wheels on some
broken up pieces of concrete and one on a round of
wood. Our new winter tires and wheels: absent. There
appeared to be some lugs scattered in the previous
nights snow as well as footprints around the
perimeter of the vehicle. We were robbed.
Normally, this is a challenging situation. Ours
brought the additional stress of having a move
scheduled for the next day.
Switching gears on my coffee and jazz morning, I phoned
the RCMP and not long after Officer Younguns arrived
and said that there is a lot of crime in the city.
That he would write a report which the insurance company
would use in their claims process. The officer did note
that the insurance on the vehicle had also expired on
the night before.
I bid him farewell and got to work. The nearest tire shop
is four blocks away and to I pedaled through the ice and
snow. On arrival, the deskman informed me that he could
not help until wednesday and that another shop five
blocks deeper into the city may be able to help.
Again I would share the road with automobiles on snow
covered death lanes. The bicycle would skid and slide
beneath me as the topography of the surface of the snow
changed with traffic patterns. Frequently my back wheel
would break free when peddling from a stop. Turning would
happen at walking pace and every hill frightened me.
Passing vehicles would from a distance of perhaps three
feet spray me with the dirty snow saturated by the warm
weather the noon-sun brought.
On arrival at the second tire shop then desk man greeted
me once again. Not after long was I aware that the
desk man would be sending away without what I came for,
but just as the last would send me further. To the
otherside of the city I traveled. Unlike the first two
chain tire shops I browsed, the third was a "mom and pop."
On arrival, I stood my bicycle up next to another bicycle
that was already there. One of the service men was enjoying
a cigarette outside and complimented my wheels when it
became clear that he was the owner of the other bicycle.
That he also endured the condition I did today on the open
road. I knew I was in good company. The smoking man, xander,
was his name, heard my story of the theft and directed me
to go inside and talk to Tony. This Tony would make
As soon as I was through the door a giant of a man stood
before me. Dark skinned with black hair he appeared eastern
in lineage. Jovially, he emitted a huge smile and asked
what he could do for me.
I explained my case and asked if he was Tony. Before the
giant could answer an older man emerged quickly from a
nearby office having overheard my tale.
"THIEVES!!! The police are good for nothing! If I ran
this country I would give them the whip!" the old man
Not sure if he meant the police of theives, I didn't
press for an answer because I agreed to an extent on
both counts. The old man introduced himself as the
owner of the shop and his employee, the giant, was
Tony quickly manuevered behind the counter to check
if he had what I needed in stock. Although he did not
have the rims in stock, the tires were available.
Another person, either friend, employee, or loiterer,
I could not discern suggested that Canadian Tire may
have the rims in stock. And that Tony may give them
a call to find out. Tony agreed this was a great
idea anough the years, even his recent
battle with cancer.
When the work was done Pop drove one of his teammembers
and myself to my home to install the wheels. As I
discovered, this techinician was also an avid cyclist.
Still in good company we chatted and laughed as we
worked together to install the wheels.
I drove the technician (Justin) and his tools back to
the shop and made business with Tony at the counter.
I typically enjoy Saturdays, but this one in
particular had a good chance of going poorly. Instead,
I met a group of friendly, warm, people and had a
hell of a bicycle ride.