After having his beloved Raleigh hybrid lifted by a thief from right outside his apartment in the pre-noon hours of August 21st, Quentin Matheson resigned himself to never seeing the 13-year-old bike again.
But the god of street justice apparently had different plans, because not three days later Matheson's pal and bike mechanic Gordon Robb spotted the stolen bicycle on Bloor St. in Toronto and phoned Matheson up to let him know.
After confirming "100 per cent" that the bike was Matheson's, Robb, who had an emotional connection with the bike having spent the last five years working on it, threw a chain lock around it and the two men met up to discuss their next move.
The following day, after securing the bike with a few more locks "for good measure," Matheson, Robb, and a few other friends launched operation "Take Back the Bike."
First, they cut away the thief's U-lock with a buzzsaw; then, they replaced it with a less practical cardboard cutout of a bike and "locked it up" with the now-broken U-lock; last, they attached a note letting the perp know the score:
Dear Bike Thief, You rascal! You took my bike earlier this week but forgot to tell me where you'd leave it! It took a stroke of great luck that my friend, who's also my bike mechanic, happened to spot it right here! Isn't that crazy?
Anyway, I kinda need my bike so I'm taking it back. Please accept this substitute until you can afford your own.
"I always have the approach to tackle things with humour," Matheson, an improv comedian by hobby, told The Globe and Mail. "You fantasize that [the thief] would be coming back for the bike and it would be nice to leave [him or her] a message."
Coincidentally, around the same time Matheson was having his bike taken from him, another awesome Canadian was in the process of getting hers back.
In Kayla Smith's case, however, she did get a good look at the thief's dumbfounded face — as she was riding away on her reclaimed bike.