We spent an afternoon in Tangamanga park in San Luis Potosi, cycling around the park and taking time off reading, writing blog posts or manage photos. At around 15h30 we headed to Mega Soriano, a popular supermarket in Mexico. Like we did many times in the past, we brought an empty pannier to bring back our groceries. We locked our bikes 10 meters from the busy entrance on a tall metal post beside the parking lot which was looked after by a security guard on a motorbike. There was a second security guard walking around the entrance and 5 painters working on repainting the entrance hall. There was plenty of people around and was a very busy place. Security and busy places are always something we are looking for when locking our bikes in public areas.
It took roughly 45 minutes to do groceries. We walked out and I saw Tiphaine’s bike as missing. She thought I was doing a joke, but quickly realized I wasn’t. I joke a lot, but this is not a joke I would do. My heart sank. She started crying. I went around looking if the bike was around, but nothing. People didn’t respond to my reaction and questions. It was total collapse when we saw the lock had been cut. Our first thought was that the trip was over. We were going home. Both security guards came along and were as surprised as us. I went inside and told the lady assuring security at the entrance of Mega Soriano informing her we had a bike stolen. I told her to have a look at the security cameras and she made a phone call. She would get back to me in a few minutes.
Back outside, more security guards were surrounding Tiphaine who was in tears. One of the guard with the machine gun could talk a little English and was helpful, asking questions around but nobody seemed to have seen anything suspicious. Someone called the police who were on their way. A lady came off her car and saw the commotion. Adrianna has lived in Europe for the last 25 years and was fluent in English. She assumed translation and helped us by having the Mega Soriano’s manager trying to get a taxi or help us in any way but he was of absolutely no help at all. He was indifferent to our ordeal and didn’t care. The police arrived and asked me questions like “What is your name? How old are you?”. They didn’t question anyone around. In fact, both security guards looking after the store took off as soon as the police arrived. I asked them to go have a look at the camera feeds but all they did was going for a walk around the block to see if the bike was somewhere. Tiphaine told them I had a photo of the bike and both cops looked at each other, reacting like “Ho! That’s a pretty good idea!”. They were useless. It was beyond belief. The store manager asked one of the painters to come around so the police could ask some questions. He assured none of them saw anything because they were on the other side having a break or eating something.
Adrianna walked back from the store to inform us she had to go to a meeting but will come back to try to help us. The police went away, the guards minded their duties and the store manager went back inside without offering us excuses or anything in return. We sat there, speechless, not knowing what to do. Two hours passed since we walked out of the store. I told Tiphaine that we’re not ending our trip on such a negative note. No way on Earth. We’ll find a way to get a new bike over. Adrianna comeback and she offered to drive Tiphaine back to the hotel while I rode my bike back.
When I arrived at the hotel, I told Monica, the owner, what had happened. She could not believe it. She quickly wrote a post on facebook and I shared photos of the bike. It quickly got shared around social networks, but nobody had seen it. Hopes of getting Tiphaine’s bike were slim to inexistent, but we stayed positive and hoped for good news. We hardly slept that night, the scenes of the event continually flashing in our head. The next day we went to local bike stores but they all had either cheap commuting bikes, mountain bikes, and road bikes. None of the bikes had the necessary mounting holes in the frames to install racks to hold panniers. There was no other option but try to get a new bike delivered in San Luis Potosi. The good news was the support of a local newspaper who published an interview about our story. You can look at it here. By the look of things, we were stuck in this nice city for a while.
We also started a GoFundMe page to try to mitigate the costs of this unfortunate event. You can contribute by following this link: