Commuting - My bikes are constantly under ATTACK!
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08-21-03, 11:38 AM
I'm just sick of the whole situation. My junk commuting bikes are constantly under attack by crooks and vandals. Over the past 5 months, the morons have done the following to my junkers.
1. Unscrewed the bolts on the front wheel hoping I would fall on my face.
2. Cut a two inch hole on the rear wheel of my bike with a knife.
3. Destroyed my bell
4. Cut my cable lock which protects my seat from being stolen in two pieces. (They didn't steal the seat although!)
5. Damaged my chain wheel while trying to cut the U-lock.
6. Broke my front reflector twice.
7. Removed the chain off the sprocket while trying to steal the bike.
8. Scratched the bike all over with a sharp object.
I'm just sick of it. Seriously. There's no place to put a bike anymore without these zombies trying to damage it. I've tried moving it to different locations but the low lifes find my junkers anyway. These monsters have no consideration for other people's property.
I don't know how you guys do it. Is it just me? Are the same zombies that are destroying my bikes live in your neighborhood?
Originally posted by Dahon.Steve
...the morons have...Destroyed my bell....
That would have been my limit. Bronson would have blushed at how I would have responded to this. The streets would run red. And I would have claimed a complete blackout. No judge in his right mind would hold me accountable for my actions after someone destroyed my bell.:D ;) :D (humor is so hard to convey, I better put these in. Sorry:) )
08-21-03, 12:08 PM
No judge in his right mind would hold me accountable for my actions after someone destroyed my bell.
Leave it to a guy in Texas to come up with that.
Seriously, Dahon. Steve that sucks. I don't think I could deal with that kind of stuff happening to any bike i have. i wonder if you could find somebody that would let you put your bike inside somewhere for a small fee? It shouldn’t have to be that way but it sounds like it would be worth it. I guess you would probably already be doing this if you could.
Could you put it somewhere within sight of a window? Then get a webcam or video camera to constantly record everything that happens to you're bike and catch the scum who are doing it? Have a couple of them arrested will teach them.
08-21-03, 12:52 PM
My god--where in NJ do you live/keep your bike? I'm in Neptune NJ and work in Oceanport. I've never had a single problem with anyone attacking my bike during my daily commute or when I lock it up outside while shopping and running errands.
Is there any way to bring it in where you work?
08-21-03, 02:49 PM
I live in Bayonne, NJ which is not the bike crime capital of the world. I figured the neighborhood was better for bike commuting than the last one I lived in but it appears that's not the case.
I used to take the bike with me but it's a hassle getting it on crowded trains even though one's a folder. I prefer my system of junk bikes where I'll leave one by the train station and have another one when I arrive at my destination. It works great if I can find a place where these Vipers will just leave the bike alone.
I used to see another bike commuter park at the station with a Cannondale hybrid. After several attempts to steal his bike, he no longers brings it to the station. An older woman used to park her worthless MTB at the station and guess what? They stole her FRONT WHEEL! That bike is still at the station since she can't ride it home nor has the tools to fix it!
Folks. This is the reason why more people don't bike commute. You got to ride a 2 dollar junker with $200.00 dollars in locks!
Ok-now the picture gets a little clearer. You are leaving bikes unattended all day and overnight in a train station and they are being vandalized. Well, one cannot condone the lack of impulse control by vandals, but the circumstances make for ripe pickin's, don't they? Heck, if I left my bicycle unattended overnight in any public place, even if it was locked, I'd expect something to happen to it b4 I returned. I'd still be upset when it happened though. These people get pleasure from your pain. That is what their empty, angry lives are about.
Interesting, so your problem in in Bayonne. I had similar problems in Brentwood, NY (Long Island). I found that the LIRR station was not the place to leave a bike. I started locking up my cheap BMX bike at the nearby library by where the security guards smoke. That worked for a while. The most I got was a bit of paint on the bike. Eventually the library left a sign on the bike asking me not to lock it up there.
I never went the the extent you did to keep junker bikes in the city, no experience there
08-21-03, 04:38 PM
Are you sure you haven't upset someone?:D
08-21-03, 06:26 PM
Solution: Get an airticket to the Amazon Rainforest. Grab a few of those 'poision arrow' toads (dont forget to wear gloves :) ) Upon parking the bike at the aforementioned train station, rub the toads all over the frame, seat and newly fixed bell. Sit at work and giggle uncontrolably to yourself all day periodically blowwing snot bubbles out of your nose and rubbing you hands together.
Sorry :) Your situ stinks. If it Pi**ed me off that much I would wait with a length of timber all day or night and stove in their skulls whe the hyenas turned up.
08-22-03, 03:04 AM
In my city, the police take advantage of the fact that bikes locked up on the steet are magnets for all the local gutter-scum. Its really hard to predict where and when a crime will take place, but a bike provides a convenient bait. Since the same few repeat criminals are responsble for the vast majority of petty crime, it makes alot of sense to catch them. The local cops rigged up a cheap MTB to get stolen, then tracked it to the house of a local thief, and were able to recover ots of other stolen property from house burglaries. They were able to solve a lot of usually unsolvable crime, which looks good on the monthly crime statistics, and the cops involved improved their arrest and conviction rates, which doesnt hurt promotion.
Get friendly with a local cop, and ask if he would be willing to help with a sting operation.
08-22-03, 08:18 AM
Sounds to me like your bike is much too visible at the train station.
You want to get the bike away from these dirtbags with time on their hands. They probably engage in this useless vandalism to occupy themselves while waiting for a train.
Try to get the bike out of sight, even if you have to walk a couple of blocks. Possibly a local business owner would let you park the bike behind their business. Find a few of these spots and vary your routine, never leaving the bike in the same place two days in a row.
08-22-03, 02:09 PM
During my first two weeks of commuting (12 yrs. or so ago) I parked my beater bike in a high visibility area with wheels and frame secured by cables and a U-lock ... someone swipped my seat and post !
Since then, I've made arrangements with a parking garage (24 hr. ticket attendants) and have had zero problems. If it's raining heavily or snowing, I leave the bike, take the bus, and pick up on the routine commute the following day.
My commuter mtb is a dull gray brushed (not particularly pretty) titanium frame and so far I've had the good fortune / pleasure to not have vandalism and can enjoy riding a nice machine vis-a-vis, junk.
I'd look around for a business or parking garage or friend's work site that can get your bike out of public view.
08-22-03, 03:27 PM
My beef with these stings is that the cops usually use some cheap bike (wal-mart Mongoose, or worse) for bait. No intelligant theif would touch such a piece of junk, so all they do is bust another crack-head, while the big thieves remain active.
Once, I happened to encounter such a sting-the cops had an awful Roadmaster they must've just got from K-mart, leaning against the wall, with a not-too-hidden police officer sitting drinking coffee a few feet away. I went up to the officer and suggested they use better bait if they really want to get the big fish...
The other day there was a repeat of Cops on TV, and the Mesa, AZ police were doing a bike sting. They were using an overpriced poseur bike (Mercedes-Benz boutique bike, if I remember) with a retail price high enough to qualify for felony theft status. Yikes!
I am actually very fortunate to be able to park my bike inside the building right next to my work area. Even if I had to leave it outside I work in an industrial area with no resident bums or young punks. Criminals and low-lifes do, however, occasionally come around to look for cars to steal.
A couple of years ago I visited Washington DC and I saw many fairly decent bikes (Schwinns, Giants, etc.) parked outside the Metro station in surburban Maryland. Nobody ever bothered them despite the fact there was no security guards around (I was checking them out while waiting for the bus). This was before the Sept 11th attacks.
Damm, I commute to Wayne, NJ but its a bit more residential than Bayonne. Plus, I have the best parking space in the company.. My cubicle. Of course I share a cube with somebody else so there's like no room for me to stand but I'm a computer drone so I'm sitting at my PC anyway. Who needs a desk??? :D
09-01-03, 09:50 AM
I like this thread. Real-life problems and real-life solutions. Different situations bring informative posts.
Steve, I just can't bring myself to lock my bike at the station. If I use the train, I bring the bike on. It's a terminal station, so when I get on, the train is very empty. Occasionally, I have a problem getting off where I want, though, due to people packing me in.
The train only saves me a few minutes, though, so I like riding all the way to work. When I get to work, I can park in a secure location, under guard.
When I lock my bike in public, it's usually under these circumstances:
1) Quick trip. I won't be there long.
2) High-visbility. If you want to steal it, you'll need balls.
3) Element of suprise. If thieves don't know I'll be there, it's harder to plan an attack. Shopping is a good example of this. Commuting Monday through Friday and parking in the same spot gives thieves the initiative.
4) Dual locks. Makes the job slower for the thief.
5) Junk bikes. I hear this works for many. For me, it defeats the purpose of having a nice bike, but if I had to, I would use one(and I have.)
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