While driving I noticed an unattended bicycle lying on a public sidewalk. The cycle was discarded along the side of a busy public street. A well-worn black baseball hat hung from the handlebars and the dirty strap of a battered red water bottle languished on the bike’s universal bar.
This bike had a story.
My nursing instinct urged me to approach to see if the rider had fallen and was lying nearby on the pavement in need of help. But surely on a busy public street like this, someone would have already seen the injured biker and called 9-1-1.
Maybe no one was injured. Possibly the rider was tired and sitting nearby under a shade tree taking a quick rest before continuing their trip.
So, I looked around. No one was near the bike.
My next thought was that the bike was stolen and to avoid capture the perpetrator dropped the bicycle and ran away from the police – to be retrieved later.
Another possible option was that the out-of-town rider was taking an off-road biking trail, got lost in the city and needed directions since their cell phone battery lost charge.
Whatever was going on with this bike I decided to quickly drive around the block one more time to view the scene from a different angle which may offer an answer to my many questions. As I struggled to view the bicycle through my windshield I realized there was no bike in sight.
In the matter of a few minutes, someone retrieved the lonely cycle.
I wonder, should I have been quicker to respond?
I’ll never know the answer.