A drunk student who stole a bike ‘by accident’ reunited it with its owner through a Gumtree advert - and became firm friends with her.
Michael Piggott, 20, was out in Melbourne last Friday when he decided to hitch a lift home on a women’s bike he found in the street.
“I was pretty hammered so without thinking, I just picked it up and rode it home, which would have looked pretty ridiculous,” he told the Herald Sun.
“In the clarity of the morning, I realised what I’d done and felt so bad ... I decided I just had to find the owner and return it.”
The commerce student at the University of Melbourne, who hopes to become an accountant, decided to assuage his guilt by posting up a Gumtree ad entitled “Did I steal your bike?!?”
I went out drinking last night at a pub in Kensington, Melbourne. Long story short I got super hammered and lost my wallet. With no friends near by and no disernable way home, I stole a bike from outside and rode it home.
Now, in the clarity of the morning after, I have realised that its actually a pretty nice bike and I'm sure someone is looking for it. So if you know someone who had their bike taken on Friday the 18th of March. Please contact me so they can get it back.
It is a beige women's bike with gears. It is not a high performance bike but more one for riding to and from the shops.
After a number of bad leads, Michael eventually had a text message from the bike’s real owner, Nga Nguyen, who gave him the correct code for the lock she had placed around the saddle.
Nga, a University of Melbourne PhD student and cancer researcher, took the news of his drunken thievery rather well.
“I’ve only been in Melbourne for a year and when the bike was stolen, I was upset and thought maybe this is a bad city,” she said.
“But meeting Michael and getting the bike back, it’s very strange, but so, so funny.”
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.