Well. The brand-name ho's and LBS shills may not like the Motobecane Gran Turismo, but the NYC thieves sure do.

Gone like a fifth of gin. It stood up to the streets of NYC. The Dura Ace brifters/XT Rapid Rise rear shifted like a dream. Front derailleur/crankset left a bit to be desired, but I was gonna upgrade to something more suited.

I loved that bike. It's my own damned fault for leaving it on a Brooklyn street with nothing more than a Kryptonite cable lock. *Snip.* It was gone.

OK, no worries, I thought. I'll buy another one just like the other one and be out roughly the same amount for two Gran Turismos as for one LHT or Saga. (Yes, the LHT and Saga have some quality features that the Gran Turismo did not. But really: *Double* the cost? Really?!)

I got onto BikesDirect.com to order another GT, and there was not one in my size. The BD folks confirmed that they've discontinued the "marque." Damn, I thought. Surly/SOMA, here I come.

Then I found a slightly blemished copy in my size on BikeIsland and ordered it immediately -- for $200 less than what I'd given BikesDirect for the first copy.

Apparently that was the last one at BikeIsland. When you search their site now -- no Gran Turismos.

The $200 "factory second" discount will go a long way toward replacing the Brooks Team Pro and Shimano M324s that got away with the bike.

Also gonna invest in a five-pound chain. (Though a buddy of mine tells me he can get through one of those in 15 seconds with his portable oxy-acetylene setup.)

If you've been thinking about buying this bike, though, now is the time to move. Once they're gone, they're gone for good. And you ain't going to be buying a used copy from me. (Though you may be buying a used copy from the thief who stole mine.)