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Bike pump

Years back, when the People's Ride was alive and flourishing, one morning I went around the corner to 10th and Ash to wait for my friends R and E to finish getting ready. I stepped inside their house, and left the Jolly Roger just outside. A minute or two later, I casually opened the door to double-check on my bike, just in case, and saw a guy on the verge of getting onto the Jolly Roger to ride off. He was perhaps slowed by the fact that I had put clipless pedals on the Jolly Roger at the time. When he realized he'd been discovered, he stuttered, "I was just looking for a...pump. A bike pump."

He had been on a bike, which was lying further away, on the sidewalk - an old, crappy bike that indeed had low tire pressure and looked to be barely functioning. But we'd all collectively learned that one of the strategies employed by bike thieves in the area was to ride around on a beater bike, looking for easy opportunities, then to ditch the beater bike and ride off on whatever nicer bike they found. So the three of us all went outside to watch, arms folded, as he pumped up his crappy tire and rode off. And I never left my bike unattended like that, ever again, while in Tempe.

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The first year that I moved out to Tempe for grad school, I lived on 1st St, between Hardy and Beck, in a small condo complex. Our next-door neighbors had a barking puppy, and we were right under the airport flight path. Over time, I also learned that there had been multiple meth houses on the same block and surrounding blocks, and there were multiple occasions where there was heavy police activity in our area and we were encouraged to stay indoors.

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I now bike north on Hardy to get out to the lake when I go rowing. It's a nice connecting road to reach the bike-ped bridge to the north side of the lake. Thursday morning, as I rode along at 5 am, another bicyclist chased up behind me to ask if I had a bike pump. I also had someone ask about a pump during a previous week while I was locking up my bike at the boatyard.

On both occasions, it's 5 am, dark, and I'm by myself. I hate having to do this, but I tell them I don't have a pump. In the latter case, I could at least redirect the person to the closest gas station that had one, but still. It's highly likely these are people who don't have a lot of means, just trying to get to work at 5 am.

I haven't missed the kinds of crimes that happen out here on a regular basis.

Inspecting the interactive crime map, we have good reason to continue being very careful about burglary risks. (the map won't show you my neighborhood specifically, but is a good resource to know about in general)

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1213590.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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