Regular readers of this blog will know that Bertha is the name I’ve given to my bike. Yesterday Bertha had an exciting day, starting with a bit of surgery to her wheels (new inner tube fitted) and then for the first time she was left in the stands at the railway station in Three Bridges.
These stands are jammed full of bikes. I slotted Bertha in between two metal stands, threaded the lock through my helmet in order to keep it safe and locked the lock. Then obviously dashed to the coffee stall for an essential coffee even though the train was due. Then I belted up to the platform, hot drink slopping all over the place and just caught the train.
I returned from my trip later that afternoon, approached the bike stands and couldn’t find Bertha. Walked up and down to check again, still no sign of her. I’m a ‘dab’ hand at losing bikes (as my mother would have said). I’ve lost 3 so far in 3 different countries. Bertha looked like being the 4th.
I was advised by the ticket collector to go to platform 2 to check the CCTV with the guard. Once there I explained that my bike had been pinched. ‘What did it look like?’ asked the guard. I described Bertha. He smiled and said that because she hadn’t been locked up properly (in my haste to get a coffee I’d locked her to herself rather than to the bike stand!) a couple of policemen had removed her for her own safety and locked her up in the storeroom on platform 3. Hurrah for vigilant policemen.
On platform 3 there was the nicest guard in the world who got Bertha out of the storeroom and carried her all the way down the stairs. The staff at Three Bridges train station are so helpful.
Morals of this story …a) must lock my bike to a bike stand, b) must not cut corners when locking up my bike even though I’m desperate for a coffee!