How to Identify a Bike Thief

01.13.2011 | 3:53 pm

How do you go about identifying a bike thief? It’s a simple question, really, and the answer is correspondingly simple. You look for a person with the following traits:

  • Shifty eyes
  • Gives off an air of evilness
  • Tends to buy bushels of apples and correspondingly large quantities of razor blades around Halloween
  • Foul odor. Worse than a many-years-old jersey.
  • Unpleasant smile, accompanied usually by a sinister cackle
  • Dull eyes
  • Trips old ladies who are trying to cross the street
  • Talks and texts during movies
  • Doesn’t recycle
  • Chews with mouth open
  • Picks nose
  • Tells you how the book you’re currently reading ends
  • Comments on blogs that the author has too much time on his / her hands
  • Is seen riding the following bike:


Hey, wait a second. I think I’ve seen that bike before, in a tweet (oh yes, I follow the Twitter nowadays. Can’t get enough of those tweets.):


This, of course, brings several very important questions to mind:

  • What is Gary going to do now that he doesn’t have a bike?
  • How does that black and white bag hove magically in the air like that?
  • Why no kickstand?
  • Is the saddle really tilted back at a seven-degree angle? And if so, why?
  • Has Gary checked the garages / basements / workplaces of everyone he knows who has access to his basement?
  • How could anyone possibly steal a bike from someone as adorable as this?


Seriously, he looks like he’s about to break into song. It breaks my heart to think that anyone would ever steal a bike from someone about to break into song on the streets of San Francisco.

Darn it, I want to help Gary get his bike back.

Help Me Help Gary Get His Bike Back

Because I — like pretty much everyone who has owned a bike — know the feeling of violation that comes with the theft of a bike, I have applied my considerable technical skills to the photo — taken just before the theft — of Gary’s bike.

Specifically, I opened Photoshop (Special Criminology Version with Voice Recognition Software) said, “Enhance. Enhance. Enhance.” Here is what I found:


Egad! Some nefarious person — I’m not sure who — was clearly staring at that bike, with what appears to be very sinister intent!

Now, I don’t know for sure that this guy stole the bike. It could have been someone else.

So Gary needs your help finding this bike and the alleged perpetrator, whether it’s this guy I found in the picture, or someone else.

Here are the distinguishing characteristics of Gary’s bike:

  • Blue Trek FX frame
  • Schwalbe cream color tire on the front
  • Bontrager cream color tire on the rear
  • Handmade hardwood top cap and valve caps
  • Tubus Fly minimal rear rack
  • Japanese Crane brass bell
  • MKS Touring Light “butterfly” pedals
  • Oury grips
  • White saddle
  • White and black bag hovering mysteriously near the rear wheel

If you see this bike, please post a pic and info to Twitter with @Gary_Fisher and hashtag #FindGarysBike, or post a pic to Trek’s Facebook page.

Big, Big Prizes

Of course, as a person who hates thievery, you need no reason to help Gary find his bike other than it’s the right thing to do.

But you know, a reward wouldn’t hurt.

So, if your tip or tweet or Facebookization turns out to be the piece of information that helps Gary get his bike back, well, Gary’s going to give you a brand new Trek FX of your own.

And then you could tell your friends, as you rode your new bike around town, how you singlehandedly helped Gary get his town bike with a levitating bag back, and how Gary — in gratitude — gave you this bike in thanks, as well as an autographed 8 x 10 of himself. Like this:


Okay, actually the autographed 8 x 10 is just something I made up, not actually part of the reward. But I bet Gary would give you one if you asked, because he’s that kind of guy.

And you’d have the satisfaction of knowing you helped put someone (not necessarily the person illustrated here, but perhaps someone who looks like him) behind bars:


And I think we’d all sleep a little better at night.


  1. Comment by Weiland | 01.13.2011 | 4:01 pm

    If only he would have put his name on it, that would help the police identify it.

  2. Comment by @ickygrosz | 01.13.2011 | 4:25 pm

    I believe P.W. Herman had a plan offering a reward for information pertaining to his stolen bike…

  3. Comment by Twin Six Brent | 01.13.2011 | 4:27 pm

    No Reward! I hate you bike thief…

  4. Comment by Clydesteve | 01.13.2011 | 4:43 pm

    ?…”Jail Division”?? Really?

  5. Comment by 3d brian | 01.13.2011 | 5:44 pm

    Fatty, you have too much time on your hands.

  6. Comment by BikeCopMO | 01.13.2011 | 6:51 pm

    It was that guy…no wait…that guy…ok…maybe…that guy. Never mind.

  7. Comment by somerandonguy | 01.13.2011 | 7:14 pm

    For those of you not in the know, the mug shot is of none other than Eben Weiss, a/k/a BikeSnobNYC.

  8. Comment by Skip | 01.13.2011 | 7:21 pm

    Apparently Gary isn’t the only one who lost his bike… Mike seems to be pretty bent on his bike having gone missing. FYI – Don’t EVER take Mike’s bike.


    PS – Fatty, have you tried your Garmin? I am calling tomorrow!! ;)

  9. Comment by Mike Roadie | 01.13.2011 | 8:03 pm

    Someone about to break out in song in San Francisco?? With cream colored tires no less?? And a black and white purse??

  10. Comment by Fiona | 01.13.2011 | 8:59 pm

    Who wants the bike? I want that bag!!!!!!!

  11. Comment by roan | 01.13.2011 | 9:29 pm

    I fit 12 of the 14 characteristics…does that make me a bad person ? I will admit that I need to change the spelling on some of the listings…ex. eyes to ayes and I only trip the young whippersnappers that look like they are carrying a full load by stepping on untied shoelaces. And another slight change foul to fowl usually after a large holiday meal.
    Thanks to your list I have identified why I’m not allowed to be the capt. on a tandem (#2).
    Fatty you have far too much time on your hands and should be reading a book.
    ps; if you are reading a book please divulge the title and I’ll fill you in on what is written between the lines.
    pssssssss; haven’t seen the bike…but I hope it has 2 flats now and the perp takes it to a bike shop and goes back to walking around with a full load in his pants.

  12. Comment by Andrew | 01.13.2011 | 10:34 pm

    If I were Gary Fisher, I would be more worried about figuring out who murdered my bike company.
    He should hook up with Gary Klein and Greg Lemond, the destruction of their companies follows the same M.O.

  13. Comment by Skippy | 01.13.2011 | 10:38 pm

    Whilst you are interviewing Paul & Phil Lance will be on the twitter ride in Adelaide, perhaps you can 1/ hook up a and get him to describe the event or 2/ get the boys to do a running commentary for a podcast report for us ?
    Seems like your description of the bike thief fits the description of the person who broke into my car in Lisbon in the summer and took my size 11 ski boots ! Did you notice what was on his feet ?
    With the info given SF fineness should be able to solve this case quickly !

  14. Comment by JT | 01.13.2011 | 11:13 pm

    I have that same rack, it’s awesome! Weighs half a pound and can carry more than I’d ever want to on a bike, great for light touring and running errands around town.

    The feeling of having your bike stolen is awful, why do these things always seem to happen to the nicest people?

  15. Comment by Neil Warner | 01.14.2011 | 4:40 am

    The bag is a Basil Mirte pannier/shopper. Alos available in blue and white that would match the bike.

  16. Comment by theCanary | 01.14.2011 | 7:55 am

    Ooh Fatty, you had to go big time with the Photoshop (Special Criminology Version with Voice Recognition Software) and enhanced the photo.

    Perhaps I can help out with my GUI interface in visual basic.

    Oops, played the nerd card.

  17. Comment by owen | 01.14.2011 | 8:29 am

    Gary raced at Iceman Cometh this year, on his birtday, on a different bike than that so I think he has another ride..still not right though.

  18. Comment by MattC | 01.14.2011 | 8:45 am

    Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but thinking that Gary Fisher can probably score another bike pretty easily, even though he’s nowhere NEAR as popular as YOU are Fatty (getting your free schwag all the time, being the Most beloved blah blah blah blah celebrity bloger and all). I’d think he just MIGHT know someone or 2 in the industry. But hey, nobody likes getting ripped off. Hope the seat falls off and the evil-doer sits down on the moving rear tire (happend to a friend of mine on a Mt bike once…and let me tell you: it’s only something you only wish on your WORST enemies!). That would fix mr. Bike Thief’s wagon.

  19. Comment by Geo | 01.14.2011 | 9:53 am

    I’ll keep an eye out for a floating bag in the greater Houston area.

    I don’t think BSNY took the bike, but I would take a close look his helper monkey, Vito.

  20. Comment by bikemike | 01.14.2011 | 10:13 am

    i had no idea that picking my nose would lead to bike theft. should i turn myself in now?

  21. Comment by GenghisKhan | 01.14.2011 | 10:53 am

    From his basement? That’s weird.

  22. Comment by Matt | 01.14.2011 | 10:57 am

    Awwww….poor Gary. Let’s help the ole guy out!

  23. Comment by MattC | 01.14.2011 | 11:00 am

    Just a note to everybody on any of this years Team Fatty/LIVESTRONG: Order your LIVESTRONG wristbands now! They are FREE if you are participating in ANY of the events this year! If you don’t know how, goto this site and login with the user name and p/w you used to sign up:

    Select “Wristband Requests” and then fill in any missing info in the form and submit (note: the free wristbands only come in packs of 30 adult and 20 youth…you can get up to 4 packs, total of 200).

    Get yours now and start using them as you fundraise. We have a LOT of work to do before Davis!

  24. Comment by Fifth Column | 01.14.2011 | 11:38 am

    He should start by looking in the basement of the Alamo.

  25. Comment by Eben | 01.14.2011 | 12:54 pm

    Blood Libel.

  26. Comment by Eric L | 01.14.2011 | 1:01 pm

    Oh rats 5th Column you beat me to the joke.

    I work in downtown SF. I will be ultra vigilant as I go about my usual bicycle ogling. Wooden topcap will be a dead giveaway and something an evildoer probably wouldn’t have the brains to remove.

    Now if someone will check the Ashby BART Flea Market tomorrow, they’ll probably find Gary’s ride.

  27. Comment by Clancy | 01.14.2011 | 1:04 pm

    Comment by Eben | 01.14.2011 | 12:54 pm

    Blood Libel.

    Sure, deny, deny, deny!. The guilty always do that. This is exactly the type of hipster ride you’d be interested in…

  28. Comment by Scott R | 01.14.2011 | 1:49 pm

    Weiland – best first post in a long while :-) – if only his bike said Gary Fisher on it, it would be so easy to identify.

  29. Comment by Karen S | 01.14.2011 | 4:42 pm

    Ouch…just a day or two ago I posted that I thought Elden (and dug) had too much time on their hands…AND I live pretty close to the bay area…but I’m innocent, I’ll tell you… Just the same, I’ll keep my eyes open. Three and a half years MY bike was stolen, but recovered when the perps tried to to sell it to my LBS. I was lucky…Gary is certainly adorable, and, I hope, lucky as well.

  30. Comment by Mr French | 01.14.2011 | 11:51 pm

    Fatty- keep up the good work.

  31. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 01.15.2011 | 11:03 am

    Just found some video of Gary’s bike:
    Apparently it’s been taken out of state, and they are trying to relive Mr. Fisher’s Repack Days.
    Like EricL I to work in SF and will check out the crowd at Montgomery and Market.

  32. Comment by leroy | 01.15.2011 | 5:15 pm

    I can’t place the bike, but the face is familiar.

    If I’m not mistaken, the person in the mug shot recently confessed to scaring cattle while on vacation. (I didn’t even know cattle took vacations.)

    But frankly Fatty, people who have been convicted for molesting rocks on federal lands should not cast stones.

    Unless, of course, this is one of those “scared straight” interventions one hears about.

  33. Comment by lara | 01.16.2011 | 11:48 pm

    elden! it’s lara…kellene’s friend (ride the rockies…). i wanted to tell you about my cousin’s new company: check out the website…there’s awesome video. he’s in bellingham, wa, but they are going to be coming to utah/colorado this summer to promote the racks. pretty sweet. i’ve seen it for myself and it’s awesome.

  34. Comment by Mark Cunningham | 01.20.2011 | 4:27 pm

    Love the blog….. great read….. had my first bike, a green Flying “O” with a banana seat, probably wieghed 60 pounds stolen and rescued at age 9. Sucks man!


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