Today I had something taken from me. Well really it was taken from my father as he purchased it for me many years ago. He was more wronged than I was.
I had a 2001 Honda XR80 in the back of my truck in the parking lot where I live. It’s a small bike. Much too small for my 215 lb self. I had brought it back to Iowa to fix up so my younger brother could enjoy it as I had when I was younger.
I remember the day my dad brought it home. I don’t remember the day exactly, but I was about 12 (2001-1989) and it was a Christmas present for my brother (a year younger than I) and myself. I remember there wasn’t to much snow on the ground yet so we were able to ride it in the field. We were throwing snow everywhere! Snow rooster tails!
Eventually we bought another older (1980’s vintage) XR80 off the internet so my brother and I could ride together. I am sure we rode around quite a bit but I only distinctly remember one time. We were both going through this field with tall grass. He was off to my right. The grass was pretty tall so we couldn’t really see what was in front of our tires. He ended up hitting a stump or piece of wood that happened to be in the middle of the field. I distinctly remember looking to my right and seeing him seated on the dirt bike in a normal position, except the bike had the wheels straight up and his head was near the ground. Don’t ask me how that happened but it was there. Of course shortly after that moment in time, everything unraveled rather quickly. The bike maintained more momentum as it was heavier and went farther, which was fine as luckily it didn’t land on him. He landed on the ground and we walked the bikes home. We even had a baseball game that night. I’m pretty sure he had some memory loss from that incident.
Over the years the bike had deteriorated. I had acquired a larger CR125 and enjoyed riding that with a friend who also had a 125cc dirt bike. They are much more powerful than an 80cc. I had brought it to Iowa one time and had tried to fix it up some so my much younger brother (14 ish years younger) could ride it. It was only semi successful. It at least ran but didn’t idle good and unfortunately he never got to ride it like we had as kids.
I was home for Easter weekend, 2015 (a few days ago as I write this) and had decided it was time again to fix up the bike for perhaps another attempt to have my younger brother a dirt bike to ride. I loaded it up and drove it back to Iowa with me. I live in an apartment complex on the North West side of Cedar Falls, by all accounts one of the best parts of the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area. I came home the night of 4-8-2015 and noticed that my dirt bike was not in the back of the truck where I had left it since returning Sunday (4-5-2015). It’d been there a total of 3 days and it had been stolen. I have even left my bigger dirt bike in the back of my truck over night before. Now I’d be pretty hesitant to do that!
This is honestly one of the first acts of crime that has been perpetrated against me. I can honestly say I was pretty confused. I called the police and told them something was stolen and I was calling them because “That’s what you do when you have something stolen.” They asked me my address and sent a guy out to look at the crime scene. We didn’t find much. They even left the pretty sweet tie down’s I have in the truck? Why? Idk.
Anyway, I’ve got pretty low expectations for getting that back. I’m not really the loser here as I never paid for the bike. I sure feel bad for my father who just wanted to buy something nice for his sons all those years ago and it was well appreciated, used and loved. But now the joy that was going to go to some future kid, maybe my brother, maybe some kids I have yet to meet that I was hoping to introduce to the joys of dirt bikes, will not be realized.
What will become of that bike? What was the motive of the person who stole it? I can only hope that they stole it for a “good” reason. Were they stealing it because they can’t afford a dirt bike for their own kids? If that’s the case I wish they would have asked if they could have borrowed it instead. I have read about 90% of the way through “Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth” as of today and one sentence really resonated with me.
“It is utterly clear to me that the highest priority need of world society at the present moment is a realistic economic accounting system which will rectify, for instance, such nonsense as the fact that a top toolmaker in India, the highest paid of all craftsmen, gets only as much per month for his work in India as he could earn per day for the same work if he were employed in Detroit, Michigan.” P112 Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth” R. Buckminster Fuller
Did the person who stole my dirt bike feel that he didn’t have any other option to get money than to steal my property? How can we rectify that?
I have yet to read this book “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think” by Peter H. diamandis and Steven Kotler but from what I’ve gleaned thus far from the back cover is that they are arguing that we have the capability to fulfill everyone in this world’s basic needs through application of current technology. I agree with that assessment completely.
How to address this issue of inequality is another problem. I make more money than the average household in the USA. Because of this I am able to save for retirement, give to charity and purchase unnecessary toys and take fun trips. How to help distribute my income so that everyone can live in peace is something I’ve been trying to understand for a while. One of the issues is that we as a society have made it shameful and hard to ask for help. We value independence over just about anything. We see it as a strength not to have to ask others for help. This is good in that it does make us stronger, but it is bad when at times we do need help we are unable to ask for it. Often when we ask people do look down on us or feel pity for us. Neither of those are helpful reactions. We should work to identify why someone is in a bad situation and help them out of it, not think lowly of them for it. We’re all in this together.
Ultimately I’m upset that my dirt bike was stolen, not because of the money, but because of what it meant to me. The love and joy my father had purchasing it and giving it to his sons who were equally or more joyful at having such a fun new toy, like nothing they had had before. I guess the people who stole it decided that they needed it more than me, and it’s sad our world is like that. Please help me make the world a place where no one feels the need to steal.