As I mentioned earlier, I don't leave my bike out overnight. In an unusual act of theft, my previous bike was stolen from the carport just a few feet from the back door. I don't know if it was taken by a criminally-minded cousin or some kids who wanted to buy it at my family's yard sale. I don't know if it was sold or pawned or if some punk kid is riding it around town now. Oh, stolen bike I hardly knew ye! I don't have a picture of my swiped bike--it was a 2002(?) Schwinn Suburban and I can't find images of it anywhere. I'm not sure that Schwinn made any more after that.
Like the old saying goes, "you don't miss the water 'til the well runs dry." I didn't get out my old bike very much--I didn't feel like I was much of a cyclist since I didn't ride fast and I was somewhat ashamed of my bike's big box store origins. According to many cycling blogs I'd perused my vehicle was mere a bike shaped object. Still, my Suburban never did me wrong--no sore back or joints to report. The saddle was uncomfortable so I bought a Schwinn gel seat cover. I also bought Schwinn lights. Now it's all gone, kit and kaboodle without so much as a proper breaking- in or naming.
I refuse to let that happen again. I keep Praline in the sewing room. It's kind of inconvenient to have to roll her through the den and a land-mine of occasional furniture to get outside, but I won't be a victim again if I can help it. My mom is trying to make room for her out in our storage house so when I want to ride we can just roll outside.
Uncannily enough, Praline is also a bike shaped object! The man who sold her to me said that he and his wife bought their bicycles from a Rich's department store (now Macy's). Honestly, I doubt people generally bought their bikes from bike shops before the idea of cycling as a sport was widely promulgated. No wonder it seemed perfectly reasonable then to wear "normal" clothes while riding one's bike--they were purchased from the same store. Even if there were plenty of bikes shops, I bet there was no pervasive attitude that the only decent bikes were to be found there. I know that elite cyclists need special equipment to shave seconds off of their time trials and whatnot, but I've never heard of an elite commuter. I doubt most people riding to shops are timing themselves.
Like I've said before, let's leave the consumerism and the brand status to those in the market for a car. As far as bikes go, the rider is the only one who has to be satisfied with it and if he/she likes it then it's a good bike. Apparently, the same goes for bike thieves.