Sandra Morellato didn't think she'd need to lock her bike up as she was just popping into an apartment building on a quiet residential street in Saint-Lambert, on Montreal's South Shore.
"I just leaned it against this railing," said Morellato, who was doing a quick inspection of an apartment last Sunday as the tenant was moving out.
But it wasn't long before she noticed somebody milling around her bike. She watched as the man hopped on and started pedalling away.
"That's when I ran out after him," she said.
But chasing on foot was futile.
"At this point actually, the two cyclists came by and that's when I yelled at them that my bike had been stolen," she said.
One of those two cyclists, both women, happened to be a recently retired provincial police officer.
The two women declined to be interviewed, but in a Facebook post, the retired police officer tells her story of how their leisurely Sunday bike ride turned into a hair-raising adventure.
The pair of cyclists had only just started their trip when they heard the call for help near the corner of Upper Edison Street and Victoria Avenue. They discreetly followed the man for a bit as he headed east toward Boucherville.
They were going slow at first as the man seemed unaware that he was being tailed, but it wasn't long before he caught wind of the pursuit and kicked into high gear.
Suddenly the two women found themselves racing along a bike path that parallels the St. Lawrence River and Highway 132, hitting speeds of up to 29 kilometres per hour.
When they reached Marie-Victorin Boulevard, another cyclist joined the pursuit and called 911.
Longueuil police raced to the scene, catching up with the four bikers at the marina in Old Boucherville — 17 kilometres from where the chase began.
The alleged thief, likely exhausted from the ride, slammed into a police cruiser. He was quickly cuffed and hauled away by officers.
A short time later, Morellato found herself in Boucherville identifying her bike.
"It was incredible," she said. "When we got there, I saw them — my two heroines."
Morellato said she thanked the two women enormously for their brave act. And now she will be more careful in the future.
"Lesson learned," said Morellato. "Just lock your bike. Lock it up!"