Last night was my first night back from NAHBS in the shop. I spent much of the day trying to unpack the van, clean the shop and get back to the daily grind of Geekhouse. All was going really well and at about 9pm I started to pack up for the night. I checked in on Twitter to see what people were up to and I came across this ad on craiglist for Mike Flannigan’s stolen ANT via bikesnobnyc.

The ad definitely looked fishy, but if there was a chance of getting Mike’s bike back I thought I should try. My immediate response was to call the Richmond PD, when I talked with them they told me that “Mike F. needed to call and report the listing himself”. In the meantime I started e-mailing the potential bike thief trying to set up a meeting. I changed my email to just geekhouse@gmail and cut off my signature. The guy agreed to meet me at 11am in the morning. After I set that up I called a couple friends from Richmond and were seeing if we should meet up with the guy.

One of my friends immediately told me that stuff like this happens all the time in Richmond and that this was definitely a scam. “If you show up to meet the dude he’s going to mug you for the cash”. The story gets even better because later I realized that my signature was accidentally sent on one of the emails so now I’m thinking: there’s a thug in Richmond who’s going to know who I am, and he’s going to come shoot me in the face after the police arrest him for bike theft. So I back out of the deal on the e-mail side of things and just let my friends, who know the Richmond police, start emailing the guy. After I say I’m all set, the thief sends an email saying, “I can’t believe you fell for that”. I think nothing of it and just think the guy realized that I realized that this was a scam. So I went home and went to bed.

I awoke at 6am this morning and it all hit me. This is where is gets a little weird… the last email of the night from the bike thief said “I can’t believe you fell for that.” and suddenly I knew what had happened. This wasn’t some thug gangster from Richmond trying to mug someone for cash, this was somebody else through the Bikesnob twitter playing some kind of sick joke. I emailed Mike (boy is he pissed) and told him that I fucked up, and this was all a joke, and that I should have known better. He told me not to worry about it, and that he was going to remove the Bikesnob link from his blogroll. I e-mailed the thug back and told him that “he got me”. I’m still not sure if this was Bikesnob himself, or he just re-tweeted it for a chuckle. Either way, I felt I need to get back at Bikesnob a bit. I asked myself “What’s the one thing I could do to really mess with Bikesnob?” Then it came to me, I decided to de-mask him to the world; after all no one knows his true identity. So being a big computer geek; I hacked the Bikesnob website and found his IP address; with a little illegal code I found out his true identity. To my surprise it turns out this is not the first time Bikesnob has messed with Geekhouse….

Drum roll please….. The true identity of Bikesnob is Ben Schumin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You might remember the name Ben S. from our Geekhouse news. He’s actually the same Ben Schumin who deleted the Geekhouse Wiki a few months back. His profile even reveals subtle hints that he is in fact Bikesnob. Just look at his interests “Web design, public transportation, and protests!” Ipso facto- he’s into both creating websites, riding bicycles as transportation, and wreaking havoc by means of lambasting all of the cycling communities trending topics. Check and mate. To think, yesterday I was psyched to be called the “American Apparel of boutique bike builders.”

Seriously though, I’m just kidding. Bikesnob is actually this guy.

Anyway, the stolen ANT is still missing. If it wasn’t Bikesnob that created this ad then I apologize for involving Mike Flannigan and Bikesnob and I hope no one holds grudges. In spite of all this Mike doesn’t even want the real thief to be arrested, he just wants his bike back. If anybody does see this bike, please contact ANT direct. Thanks for listening!

-Marty

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