When Amanda Needham’s bike was stolen, she put up a sign asking the thieves to return it – and accidentally started a whole movement.
Amanda Needham thought her bike was gone forever when she posted a sign outside her Brooklyn home.
“To the person who stole my bicycle: I hope you need it more than I do,” it read. “It was $200 used, and I need it to get to work. I can’t afford another one.”
“Next time, steal a hipster’s Peugeot. Or not steal! PS: Bring it back.”
Writing for The Washington Post, Needham says she “felt a little foolish” when she first wrote the sign – but she was unaware of the movement she was about to start.
“After all, if my husband and I had spent nearly as much time double securing my bicycle as I did writing the sign, I might not be in the situation,” she says. “But I knew other people’s bicycles had been stolen in the neighbourhood, and the least I could do was acknowledge what had happened.”
But, soon, things turned around for her.
After posting the sign on Sunday, Needham received a knock at the door on Wednesday evening. “Standing outside were two young men,” she writes. “One of them was carrying a blue mountain bike fit for a teen.”
The young men offered her the bike – and though reluctant to accept, Needham eventually took it, “touched by the humanity of the gesture”.
Later that week, a middle-aged woman rang her bell with a similar offer: “I don’t know much about bicycles but if I find one, I’ll bring it to you.”
Finally, another knock came on the door – this time, from a man asking Needham if he could “buy the sign off [her] for $200”.
“I’m an art dealer,” he explained, “and there’s definitely some craftsmanship in this sign.”
Needham is now spearheading a movement she’s calling #KarmaCycle, fixing up the child’s bike she was given and offering it up on Instagram for “someone who needs it”.
Needham hopes that her offer of the bike will inspire others to perform acts of kindness.
“Turns out, amazing things happen when you put yourself out there and have yellow paint to back you up,” Needham wrote on Instagram – and we couldn’t possibly imagine a better ending to her story.