Stealing From Britain’s Bicyclist-in-Chief


Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
Stealing From Britain’s Bicyclist-in-Chief

By Mike Nizza

A lot of bicycles are stolen in London — nearly 19,000 a year, according to Reuters. But thieves who prefer to operate in the shadows have stumbled today into the top of Britain’s headlines.

Someone swiped the bike of the British opposition leader, David Cameron, who happens to be a national advocate for parking that gas-guzzling automobile and pedaling instead. Mr. Cameron, the Conservative party chief, regularly commutes to work at the House of Commons by bicycle.

As the story filled with humble details goes, he stopped at a supermarket on his way home, to pick up some items for dinner, and left his mountain bike locked to a bollard, a short and stout barrier whose main purpose is to block vehicle traffic while letting pedestrians pass. Mr. Cameron would regret the decision minutes later.

According to a witness quoted by The Evening Standard, “a couple of kids hanging around” quickly saw their opportunity. In a swift motion, they demonstrated how Mr. Cameron’s bike-locking skills fall far short of his political prowess. “They just picked it up and ran off,” the witness said, referring to the bike and the chain.

When Mr. Cameron emerged from the store, one witness told The Mirror, he was flabbergasted to find the bike gone. “He just kept on saying … ‘But I locked it.’ ” And the heartbreaking moments would not end there. In a public appeal to reporters, he was hopeful …

“If anyone has seen it I would very much like it back. To me it was absolutely priceless.”

… but also realistic about “losing an old friend” …

“I’m not expecting to get it back any time soon.”