The bike that introduced Portland transportation director Leah Treat to pedal commuting can’t catch a break: It’s now been stolen once from each of the three cities where she’s worked.
Its most recent swipe came some time Thursday night, when Treat cable-locked her blue Breezer Greenway in the loggia outside day care entrance at the Portland Building, where she works.
“Because I had a ton of meetings that night at various places around town, I ended up leaving her overnight,” Treat, who joined the bureau in July, wrote in an email Monday. “I now know that wasn’t such a smart thing to do.”
The bike, which she’s named Beatrice, has a white seat, white grips, black fenders and a “LaSalle” parking permit on the front fender.
Fortunately for Treat (and hopefully for Beatrice), the Portland Building has outdoor cameras.
“The building security has the event captured on film and I think we’ll be turning over a face to [Police Bureau] soon, which is great news,” Treat wrote. “Whether that means I’ll get Beatrice back, I don’t know.”
Treat’s bike (which isn’t the only one her six-person family owns — she’s recently edited her Twitter bio from describing her spouse as a “bike fanatic” to merely a “cyclist”) was stolen from the family’s Washington DC garage, and then recovered, Treat wrote. It was later stolen and recovered in Chicago, where she worked until this year.
Treat said she’s baffled as to why her bike might be a theft magnet.
“I have no idea why someone would want Beatrice,” she wrote. “She is totally functional and a great ride, but she’s a hodgepodge of parts because she’s been nabbed twice before. Each time she was recovered parts were banged up or missing, so she wasn’t the prettiest thing. But she is the bike I started commuting on and [I] grew more attached to her because she’d been stolen and recovered twice.”
It’s obviously the thief, not Treat, who’s responsible for this crime. That said, Treat’s experience that a cable lock isn’t enough to prevent theft jibes with trends at Portland State University a few blocks to the south. PSU, the city’s ground zero for bike theft, doesn’t even offer cable locks for sale in its campus bike shop.
Let’s hope Treat is able to recover Beatrice one more time, and that a theft doesn’t deter her from getting around by bike when she wants to.
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.