When Karly Tardiff parked her bike before heading into work in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on August 13, she wasn’t expecting to do sprints until her CrossFit class later that afternoon. After all, the 28-year-old fundraising professional—who is the co-leader of a local Winnipeg running club called the Badass Lady Gang and trains for 5Ks and half marathons—was wearing a sundress and wedges, with her workout gear packed for later.
“I commute to work every day, and then I bike off to CrossFit,” she told Runner’s World.
Shortly after her lunch break, though, Tardiff’s normal routine was interrupted by a frantic maintenance man. He said he had witnessed a man stealing the back wheel from her bike—whose frame, but not rear wheel, was locked outside—but wasn’t quick enough to stop him.
“We went outside to take a look at my bike. Sure enough, it was one tire short of a pair,” Tardiff said. “I asked the maintenance man what direction the thief took off in, and we followed suit.”
When the pair approached a nearby alley, Tardiff’s companion spotted the thief, who had attached Tardiff’s tire to his own bike.
“I had to act fast or this punk would simply hop on the bike and speed off,” she said. “What ran across my mind was, ‘How am I going to get to CrossFit tonight? Guess I need to get my wheel back!’ I kicked off my shoes and took off towards the burglar.”
Tardiff, barefoot, unleashed a full-speed sprint towards the thief, who had surprisingly picked up the bike and started running with it rather than riding away.
“I’ve been focusing a lot more on speed and explosive movements at CrossFit and that definitely helped my takeoff,” she said.
At this point, the maintenance man had been joined by two other people, who were trailing behind to witness. Security cameras around the building captured footage of the chase, which Tardiff later shared on Instagram.
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I pity the fool who tries to steal from me…oh wait 🚴♀️🤣🤭 @officialipitythefool Hide yo keys, hide yo bikes because they stealin erything out hurrrr @antoine.dodson #Winnipeg #ywg #shecanandshedid #badassladygang #balg #byefelicia
A post shared by Karly (@karly_tardiff) on
“I was able to catch up to him after rounding the corner of the building, and told him to return my wheel to me,” Tardiff said. “He replied, ‘I need it!’ Obviously, I did too. The thief then said that the wheel didn’t fit his bike, and he gave it back to me. Then he ran away.”
Since Tardiff was able to retrieve her wheel, she didn’t report the incident to the police, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. While Tardiff was happy to have her bike intact, she said that in other circumstances, she wouldn’t have chased down the thief—and she strongly advises others to avoid getting involved in potentially dangerous situations.
“In the moment, I was most concerned about getting my wheel back. It was a bright day, on a well trafficked street, I was followed by a colleague and several other folks were gathered shortly after I caught the thief. I did not feel vulnerable,” she said. “If I had been alone, at night, in a less populated area, I wouldn’t have even thought about it.”
No matter how quick you are on your feet, all runners should remember that safety is your priority in instances like this. As Kathleen Shields Anderson, the director of operations and external affairs for the Division of Public Safety at the University of Pennsylvania, told Runner’s World earlier this year, “We would advise any witness to always put their own safety first, and contact local law enforcement with information to ensure apprehension of a suspect.”
The easiest way to avoid potential theft—whether it’s a bike wheel or something more valuable—is making sure to be proactive about protecting your stuff.
“Lock everything,” Tardiff said. “Although my frame was properly locked, my back wheel was not. I plan to take proper measures to ensure my belongings are secured from now on.”
From: Runner’s World US
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