Back in July 2020, Steve Farmer was on his way to work with his bike. Normally, he would have a security pass with him that would allow him to lock it up at work, but he forgot it that morning. With his son’s bike lock in his bag and not much time to spare, he chained the bike outside the train station and headed to work. When Farmer returned at 6 PM, the lock was cut and the bike was gone.
“I was gutted,” Farmer said. “I was annoyed that I had used a bad lock to lock it up with. I was resigned to the fact I would never see it again, but trudged back up to the station, thinking there was no point really in asking for the security cameras but wanted to try anyway.” Thankfully, Farmer met with rail worker Abdul El-Gayar.
Earlier, as El-Gayar was leaving work at 2 PM, he saw someone cutting off the lock of a bike with bolt cutters. “I heard the sound of a lock being snapped,” El-Gayar explained, ” and I didn't think twice. I said: ‘You're not taking that back.’ I couldn't let that happen.” The thief eventually gave up and left, and El-Gayar took the bike into safe storage. “City people finish work at about 5:30/6 PM—it came to 6 PM and I was wondering where the owner might be when a young man came through the station,” the rail worker said.
When Farmer asked where his bike was, El-Gayar asked the bike owner to type in the lock code to prove he was the owner. Once Farmer typed the correct code, the bike was returned, and the two were able to continue on with their day. Farmer shared the incredible act of kindness in a now-deleted Facebook post, which has been reshared on various social media since. Farmer stated, “…[El-Gayar] waited four hours after his shift finished to personally make sure I got my bike back. The world needs more [Abduls], he is a legend of a man and a credit to his employer.”
Recently, the post was re-shared on a Facebook page called “Sharing is Caring,” with many praising El-Gayar’s efforts and telling their own stories. A spokesperson for Southeastern Railway even commended the good samaritan: “We’re enormously proud of Abdul and his actions in reuniting our passenger with his bike. Our colleagues have been great throughout this pandemic, and we can’t thank them enough.”
El-Gayar stated, “He said he couldn’t thank me enough. I was only too happy to help—I couldn’t let a bike theft happen right in front of my eyes.” The rail worker understands the importance of transportation, especially in what was one of the peaks of the pandemic. He shared, “I have a bike and cycle to work—I know what value they have to people.”