I just arrived home from a routine bike-ride, but it was not without the generous help of a special group in our community.
It all started with me simply chaining my bike to the Botanical Gardens bike rack and hopping on a train to Manhattan. Upon my return, still in broad daylight, I discovered that my lock, while still tightly fastened to my bike, was broken. It no longer allowed me to properly manipulate the numbers so that it can be opened.
Apparently, an unsuccessful theft attempt had occurred.
I knew I was lucky that my bike was still there, but I still had no way of getting home. Leaving my bike chained there and simply walking home was not an option, as this would have no doubt led to a second – this time probably successful – theft attempt.
I tried to flag down a police cruiser, but upon making eye contact with the officer inside, he conveniently turned on his sirens and took off. Still not knowing what to do, I tried once again to manipulate the lock, “perhaps if I try a bit harder it would work,” I thought. It didn’t.
So I moved on to plan B; I figured I will have to pay my way out of this mess. I called a locksmith and asked him if he can help me out. However, having “no one available at this time,” he could not be of assistance. But he advised me to call Shomorim.
“Shomrim? I should call Shomrim for my lock?” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied, “they might be able to help you.”
I did not want to call Shomrim for my small situation, so I called a few friends who I thought might have a pair of snippers and a few spare minutes. But again, no luck.
So I called Shomrim. I was sure that they would also not have anyone available for me. And why should they? This was no emergency. No one was in harm’s way, no one was at risk of suffering any significant loss; and more importantly, there was no perpetrator to confront. Hence my thinking: ‘their energy should be saved for the important incidents.’
But thankfully, I was wrong. Just a few minutes after I called, Shomrim volunteer Mendy Hershkop arrived (together with another volunteer whose name I did not catch [CHI EDIT: Gadi Hershkop was the second volunteer]) and successfully freed my bicycle and me.
As I was waiting for them to come, I decided that I will leave them a nice tip. However, they were gone before I even had a chance.
I just want to publically thank Mendy and his fellow volunteer for the kind and simple gesture, which may have seemed trivial to them – given the good work they do every day – but to me meant a great deal.