Another Hazard of Bike Ownership in Taipei

No place to sit
Not what I wanted to see this morning.

This morning (okay, afternoon) when I went downstairs for breakfast I noticed something missing from my bicycle: someone had made off with the seat. Now, if this were Toronto, the rest of the bicycle would have gone with it—but this is Taiwan, a place where bicycle theft isn’t very common. People hardly even bother to lock up their bikes and, in fact, I usually do no more than lock the front wheel to the frame and leave it on the street. I don’t own the nicest bicycle on the block but it would vanish in 15 minutes flat back home.

So what’s this all about then? Some petulant jackass probably had a temper tantrum about where I’ve been parking and, unversed in the fine art of writing passive aggressive notes, simply offed my seat and threw it somewhere to send me a message. Well, fuck you too! Don’t like where I’m parking? Pick up my bicycle and move it somewhere! That’s half the point of not locking it to anything, after all1. At worst, let the air out of my tires and I’ll figure out something’s wrong. (That’s happened before too.)

The bicycle shop next to Da’an Forest Park
The bicycle shop next to Da’an Forest Park fixed me up in no time.
Better than new
Back to normal, just about.

At any rate, this being Sunday I had to ride around for a while (seatless, yes) to find an open bicycle shop. The first three I tried were all closed so I made the trek up to the shop at the northeast corner of Da’an Forest Park 大安森林公園. This is the same shop where I bought my first bicycle in Taiwan (has it been so long?) and I often find reason to stop there for parts and supplies so I think they might know me. 10 minutes and 700 NT later I was back on the streets with a new seat, oiled chain, pumped up tires, and not a care in the world about whatever small-minded person saw a burning need to disrupt my day.

  1. I would actually prefer locking up to something on the sidewalk but had my bicycle impounded not so long ago for doing just that. This is Taipei, not the rest of Taiwan, and there are rules here in Tiānlóngguó 天龍國 (loosely: “sky dragon country”, a sardonic reference to the gilded status of the nation’s capital).