The Adventurer was not lost in vain - I have learned over the past three days things that um, let's just say I wish I had known 2 weeks ago - or at least by last Friday. So for bike owners, who knows, maybe this will help you.
1. You can register your bike with the City of D.C. The link and info is here. I realize that bike theft is not exactly number one on the MPD's priority list - but it brings at least a bit of piece of mind - and if your bike is found and recovered, you can prove ownership. Check with your city's DMV and know your options. I didn't register, so there's no hope for me. **Correction 4/19/12 - Register your bike with the National Bike Registry. Link above is still accurate.
2. In order to register, you give a serial number to the bike that is only on the bike. Apparently this information will not be on any paperwork that came with your bike - so find your serial number, and write it down - especially if you choose not to register. I didn't flip my bike over to find the serial number. Again, little hope for me.
3. Check with your apartment or office building about whether they have a storage room for bikes and vespas. Much to my chagrin, the security guard at my office told me this morning that in the parking garage below our building, there is a free, well-secured room for tenants. There's a bike rack there that you can lock your bike to for double security. I wish I had known that last Friday morning. Despite the fact that I told Antonio (our security guard) two weeks ago that I didn't want to lock my bike up outside, he failed to mention that there was a free, very secure room downstairs. What the Heck, Antonio? I thought we were friends.
In short, the love affair between my bike and myself was short lived - a 2 week period of bliss where I could exercise, cut my work commute down to just 10 minutes, and feel like a real, pretentious DC person cutting off traffic and ruling the road on two wheels.
But your story can end differently! Maybe all of this is public knowledge, and is only news to me, but when I get some intel, I have to share it. And I hope you and your bike fare better than me and mine. With that, I leave you this sad photo, of a love cut off quicker than Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage's in City of Angels. And a bike was their undoing, as well.
Le sigh. Le tear. Le cry.