A few months ago, Brian had his motorbike nicked from outside the flat. It came as a shock, but it was a very visible bike and it had sat there for ages. The police couldn’t find it. It most likely got shipped out of the country and south. It had a tracker in it, but he had switched it off because he wasn’t riding much and it drained the battery. At the time I was shocked and angry. Snatched so quickly from outside this supposedly safe home in Chelsea, and with me probably sleeping upstairs, while two guys loaded it into a van twenty foot from my head.
It was insured. He got a replacement. His Benelli Tornado. Only six of them on the road in the UK. Robin had it up in his workshop for ages. Stripped it down, got it tip top. Changed the exhaust. Tooled it up. Didn’t install a tracker. He knows every inch of it. Hell even I got my hands oily. Wire brushing the chain. Taking off the bloody air box. Last weekend Robin triumphantly rode it to London. Brian has been busy, and he didn’t insure it immediately as he wasn’t riding it. I expect he’d have phoned around on Saturday morning when he had breathing room and taken it for a spin. Meantime it was just there, in the bay, twenty foot from my head.
I bet it was the same guys that nicked it. I can’t quite get my head around how quickly it went. Brian had bought a 300 quid tracker. He was going to fit it on Saturday…
“That’s the end of motorbikes and me in this city,” says Brian and I don’t blame him. That’s a very expensive unique piece of kit currently being loaded into a container at Tilbury, and not something he could afford to lose just suddenly like that. The little fuckers.
Who can you blame? Years of austerity in an overpriced city driven by consumerism? Those little shits have found some way to justify it to themselves. But Brian works hard every day to make work for other people. He’s driven by it. Yeah in theory it’s a motorbike from some rich dick in Chelsea but in practice you’ve just stolen from the captain of Team Kind. I’m fucking livid with you.
It’s no way to make your living, taking things from other people. And seeing it happen like that, so quickly, on this big open street in Chelsea… It’s really shocking. I rarely wish ill on anyone. But you can have some, motorbike thief. I hope it’s the time you fuck it up. I hope you end up in prison and big Geoffrey drops the soap.
More than that though, I hope it shows up. Sometimes they just get used for a load of phone thefts and then get dumped. Some kids smashed a load of shop fronts last weekend in Chelsea on a stolen bike trying to grab what they could. One shop assistant, shocked, told me: “And they were kids. Like proper actual kids.” Kids are angry right now, and broke. You can justify all sorts of crap if you’re angry and broke. And they blame the sort of people that can afford nice motorbikes for bringing about this economic clusterfuck by voting hard for selfish.
If I was a superhero today I’d get the bike back using my amazing powers. But I’m just the sidekick.