Have you seen my Lightning Phantom II? I rode it from NYC to Nashville in 2012.
It’s not actually for sale. It was stolen!
Here it is as it was in November 2011; and in the summer of 2013, with me in front of the landmark 1904 McKim Mead and White generating station at 59th Street & 11th Avenue in Manhattan.
Two Friday afternoons ago, I gave a lift (by car) to a friend. Then I parked the car, grabbed the Lightning bicycle, and rode to 76th Street & Central Park West just in time for the start of a prayer service. I locked the Lightning outside the Fourth Unitarian Universalist Church and hurried inside.
When I emerged after 9 PM, one lock had been cut and left behind, the second lock was gone, and so was the Lightning.
The Lightning was my workhorse: for personal transport, grocery shopping, pickups/deliveries, and visiting incapacitated persons throughout NYC for the Vera Institute of Justice Guardianship Project.
For years, I have locked my bike in even the worst New York City neighborhoods without a problem. Perhaps potential thieves realized that I was there as a visiting nurse, as a legal guardian’s emissary, or for other constructive purposes. Evidently a bike locked outside a church, in dim light, in a fancy neighborhood, without context, was irresistible.
Popular prejudice limits the market for recumbent bicycles. A sensible thief would disassemble my bike and sell the parts – or maybe ship the bike out of the New York area to sell it intact. In the hope that someone looking online for a used Lightning will stumble across mine, here are the details.
Model: Lightning Phantom II, 27 speed, large frame, made in Taiwan for Lightning Cycle Dynamics in Lompoc, California.
Color: The large-frame Phantom comes only in yellow. If it is for sale in another color, it may have been painted by the thief.
Serial number: YL9F0010 – stamped on the frame’s left rear dropout.
Distinguishing marks: A few dings on the frame near the handlebar stem and on the right front fork were touched up with nail polish. The seat mesh has a red stripe painted on the back and a couple of small holes around which the fabric was reinforced with silicone glue.
Accessories: Fenders. Schwinn bike computer. Crane brass bell. Ray-O-Vac flashlight in Fenix handlebar bracket. Small Knog-style flashing lights front and rear. A rear light/reflector combo. Reelight no-battery lights on front and rear axles. Mirrcycle mirror. Yellow bottle cage under seat; black bottle cage on handlebar stem. Black rack on back, to which are bolted two 1-foot aluminum bars, atop which is fastened a cargo box fashioned from a green Rubbermaid container.
If you see my bike for sale, please post a comment on this blog.
The theft is not covered by insurance. Lightning Cycle Dynamics will not have more Phantoms until January 2014.
For now, I’m making do with the 1998 bikeE recumbent that I rode to Iowa in 2011. It’s a great machine. But for covering 35 city miles (56 kms) on a typical workday, it’s not the same.
See you on the road!