To the best of my knowledge, I've only had two things stolen from me: a Cannondale mountain bike, and as of last Friday, an Orbea road bike. The world's thieves apparently have it out for my bikes.
The loss of the Orbea is particularly devastating. For one, it was an incredibly expensive bike that I intended to ride forever. It was a one-time purchase, the pinnacle of quality. But the bike also meant so much to me as well. It wasn't just a thing.
Cycling will always hold this special place in my heart. I went to college weighing 240 pounds and approaching a size 40 waist. After a summer of cycling I dropped to 175 pounds and a size 32 waist. I rode 6000 miles my sophomore year, often spending upwards of 15 hours on my bike after class and on the weekends. Most Saturdays and Sundays I met 10 others in front of the bike shop to ride 50-75 miles, or drive out into the countryside to tackle harder challenges like Oklahoma's Mount Scott.
The bike was the first big thing I bought entirely with my own money. I worked hard in college and had a good job. In the spring of my senior year I bought the Orbea to celebrate my graduation and hard work both in the classroom and on the road.
I never rode much in San Francisco. It's always cold, the hills are beyond reasonable, and cars are everywhere. Instead of riding in the endless countryside of Oklahoma, I found myself dodging erratic and irresponsible motorists. Cycling was an escape in Oklahoma, here it feels more like exercise. But even still, the few times I have ridden with friends I've utterly stomped them.
Granted, this is a cheap shot; I rode practically daily in college and they did not. But, like Italy, my modern victories are few and far between and I must cling tightly to glories of the past.
It is unreasonable for me to spend so much money to replace my bike. I will not ride it every day, let alone every week. They money is better spent elsewhere.
But. If there is a lovely day and I want to ride to work, I want that option. If my friend calls me up to ride in Napa, I want that option.