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If You Scratch My Back...

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Like many college students at USC's campus, my main mode of transportation is a bicycle. For the summer I got myself a nice Trek for $400 and started riding upwards of 15 miles a day.

This morning, I rode to campus at 6:30AM to work sound for a show. I locked my bike (via back tire) to a rack, went inside, set up the mics and lights, and went outside to get some breakfast. Except my bike wasn't there. Stolen.

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Let's not kid ourselves: there's a lot of bike theft on USC's campus, mostly caused by people not locking them to a solid object or at all. But who the hell lurks around campus at 7:00AM with bolt cutters?

In the Netherlands, over 5,000 bikes are stolen per day. But the citizens don't get angry: it's understood that if your ride is ganked you can go ahead and steal one from someone else. It's a very novel concept: the citizens don't care if it's their bike. They just want a bike. So am I now morally entitled to a ride? Should I go ahead and steal one for myself, assuming my victim will go out and take one just as I did?

With any luck, i'll just catch the idiot riding it around campus and won't have to answer such deep moral quandaries.

Photo by caribb via Flickr