Copied from a post on ST.....love how he handled this!
Bike was stolen in NYC 5 years ago, found it last Thursday Quote | Reply
I ride everywhere in NYC and as a Tri coach and personal trainer I log alot of random commute miles. I don't lock up my sweet tri bike obviously (P2C) but instead get fairly cheap (but new) single gear bikes. After a few used beaters I finally got a new, silver Windsor "The Hour" online. Road it for months and locked it up everywhere with a Kryptonite NYC chain, super duty. Never had an issue. Till one summer ('07?) I made the mistake of leaving it on a street sign for a few days near my gym (I went out of town) and when I came back for it, it was gone along with the $100 chain. Bummer. I had previously registered it with the National Bike Registry so I reported it stolen and that was that.
Cut to 2 years ago, I was coming out of the subway in the exact same area and swore I saw it being ridden down the street (had a fender I jimmy-rigged with string which stood out) but was carrying my laptop in a backpack and couldn't give chase to find out. Bummer again.
Last Thursday, after teaching spin and coming back from a brick run, what do a spy, locked up across the street to a pole? There she was, beat to hell after years of use but still recognizable. I looked under the top tube for the NBR sticker and lo-and-behold, there it was. It was MY bike 2 blocks away 5 years later. Thinking quickly I took my new chain off my current bike (Vilano) and wrapped it around the old bike. I wrote a note stating:
"This is my bike. It was stolen 5 years ago 2 blocks away. I can prove it with the Reg sticker under the top tube. If you unlock your lock, I won't call the police"
After waiting for 10 min or so just in case I got lucky, I left and came back after 5 hours. His lock was undone. I unlocked my lock and road away.
"Want to get faster? Work harder, eat better, cut the crap. Instead of talking the talk, work the work"