A panoramic photograph of Malham Cove in North Yorkshire.

Where do you take my bike lights?

Dear Bike-light thieves of Leeds,

Where do you take my bike lights?

I know that you have them, for I do not.

And when I left my bike,

Outside the station - opposite Wetherspoons,

At the entrance to the church when I was at the karaoke,

Outside Majestyk before it burned down,

Near the library in Hyde Park,

Outside the reliance,

At the University,

All over the University,

So many times at the University.


Each time you took them.

I wondered the same thing...


Where do you take my bike lights?


Do you have red and white strobe-lit parties at home?

Do you attach the weather-corroded run-down batteries end to end to create a high enough voltage to shock your friends?

Or enemies?

Do you sell them to the bike repair man at the market?


I don't think so.

I asked him for bike lights once and his were in a plastic packet.

Maybe I look like an undercover policeman.


They're not expensive the bike lights you steal,

Once I bought a good light, but you stole it,

I get them on eBay now - Made in China I suppose,

Jobs our city might have had in the past when bike lights were expensive and probably worth stealing,

Not any more,

Times have changed,

The invention and improvement of LED lighting combined with the onward march of efficiency-seeking globalisation have changed the world of bike-lighting,

Though the chemistry of batteries is largely the same,


Perhaps the relative decline in the value of bike lights explains in part why crime is lower overall?

It could be a lot worse.


If I could ask one thing, it would be this…

Where do you take my lights?


Do you redistribute them to the poor?

Or the poorly-lit?

Can you sense somehow that I have a University education of some saleable value?

Do you extract that value through the theft of bike lights for the benefit of others less fortunate?

Perhaps it is that,

Perhaps your theft is a reasonable expression of rebellion against a society that has preferred growth over equality in a proportion beyond that which you feel democratically mandated,

That might be honourable,

More honourable than what I fear is the fate of my lights…

Thrown in a bin, to landfill, only hours after they are stolen.

Of no real use to you after the fleeting thrill of their theft.


I'd really like to know where my bike lights are,

Because since you have them,

And I am again walking home in the dark,

It's a situation you can probably shed more light on than me.