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  1. #1
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    Question about bike locking in DC (Georgetown)

    Hi All,
    I will be attending Georgetown U next fall and will be commuting about 10 min to campus via bike. I've been reading a lot of threads about bike security and how that even X amount of locks are sometimes not enough. I'm just paranoid that my bike isn't safe. I will be riding a relatively expensive FG (<$1K), and it will be locked outside (not sure of location or where it is in relation to foot traffic) for the majority of the day (i.e. 9am - past midnight).
    I'm planning on using a Kryptonite evo mini through the rear wheel/frame and a NY foughed.... chain through the front and frame. Even with this, I still feel uneasy. I called GU and they don't offer bike lockers.

    Basically, I'm just looking for any comments/testimonials about commuting in DC or any busy campus for that matter. I would really hate to walk outside and not find my bike .

    Ok, I sort of ranted.

    Thanks,

    Ryan
    Last edited by ryan.; 07-22-08 at 11:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Peddler Seamless's Avatar
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    It's disappointing to see that the school website has nothing about bikes other than

    http://publicsafety.georgetown.edu/p...ces/12867.html
    Bicycle Registration

    Effective June 1, 2008 bicycle registration is no longer required in the District of Columbia. DPS recommends the use of U-locks with steel cuffs and sells them in their office.

    To safely and effectively manage the number of bicycles, skates, scooters and skateboards on campus, the Office of Transportation Management and the Department of Public Safety share responsibility for bicycle parking regulations, bicycle traffic and equipment regulation enforcement as well as theft prevention, and investigation. Bicycles, skates, scooters and skateboards should be used only in designated areas on the Georgetown University campus.
    I rummaged around, thinking a student activity office or club might have some reference, or perhaps the off-campus housing office, but nothing. The above unhelpful quote suggests the Public Safety or Transport office has some massively-detailed regulations about riding on campus, but they seem to assume people will only use outdoor bike racks that are not likely monitored (nor the best place in bad weather). Until you work out something better, consider taking the bike with you from building to building during the day, including meal breaks.

    I didn't see any reference to bikes at the recreation/field house website, where I suspect some commuters head for a quick shower after a commute during warm weather. Other than contacting off-campus housing, or the student affairs and/or student government offices, you might see what GU cycling club members do with their bikes.

    http://studentorgs.georgetown.edu/cyclingteam/

    One final thought might be to network with other commuters (including teaching and support staff) or off-campus students (there's probably an orientation or social event scheduled soon). The school's private commuter bus system includes routes to nearby Metro stations which do have bike lockers, but that might be a much longer combined trip time than is reasonable.

    If you end up working on campus, chances are fair that the department or office would be helpful in locating unused space inside (e.g., students working in dorm offices might park bikes in locked interior courtyards, or inside the office).

    Good luck, in any event. Hope you start off the year able to enjoy the experience.
    `,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,
    2005 Cannondale Road Warrior 800

  3. #3
    Peddler Seamless's Avatar
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    A couple more references, marginally helpful:

    From the Off Campus Housing web pages
    http://www1.georgetown.edu/admin/aux...inout/parking/

    Bicycles - Many off-campus students find that biking is a quick and convenient way to get to back and forth from campus. Bicycle racks are located near each major academic building and residence hall; bikes that are unsecured or secured to structures other than bike racks will be impounded. Registration aids in locating the owner of a bike that has been lost, stolen or impounded. Bikes may be registered at the Department of Public Safety, located at 116, Village C. The fee for this service $2.
    and a caution, with interesting reference to "other spaces or areas":
    http://otm.georgetown.edu/index.cfm?fuse=alternatives

    Bicycles ridden on campus must be registered with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) located in Room 116, Village C. Bicycles must be parked in bicycle racks or other spaces or areas designated for their use and must be parked clear of sidewalks, ramps, building entrances and handrails/fences. Bicycles can only be operated along designated "Bike Path" areas. Any bicycle parked in violation of the regulations governing bicycles on the campus will be cited and impounded. A copy of the full set of regulations may be obtained from OTM, located in the P-4 mezzanine mevel [sic] of the Southwest Garage.
    The law center provides exactly what you need: enclosed, secured indoor bike parking (even for resident students). Somebody at the institution figured that part out, maybe off-campus student life office can help replicate facilities for the main campus.
    `,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,`,
    2005 Cannondale Road Warrior 800

  4. #4
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    Bike theft in DC isn't as much of a problem as people make it out to be, I don't think.

    Georgetown is one of the nicer and safer areas of the District. I think with an Evo Mini and a Fuggeddaboutit Chain, any potential theives are going to look for an easier target.

    If you're really going to be that uneasy, and your ride is in the ten-minute range, consider plunking down $100 on a beater! It could be a small price to pay for the peace of mind gained from leaving your $1k+ bike at home rather than worrying about it all day.

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    I agree with novacommuter, with one addition. If your seatpost has a quick release either get used to carrying seat and seatpost around with you or replace it with a allen bolt so that your seatpost is not an easy target. Otherwise your plan should deter all by the best equipped thief with plenty of time to work.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  6. #6
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    I lived in DC for years and worked in Georgetown, and locked my bike up several times. Basically, it's not a terribly dangerous area, but general theft is the one crime that is a big problem. I would never have left my bike locked up past dark. During the day, it's fine because there are so many people, but at night it empties out of all areas besides the main M st. strip. Maybe you can find a friend in a local store or the bike store up at M and 35th that will let you lock your bike up in their back parking area.

  7. #7
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    The chain and mini U will be fine. Put a ball bearing in your headset cap and seatpost bolt and you'll be good.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  8. #8
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    DC "requires" bikes to be registered--costs $1 and can be done at any police station.....supposedly it's to help them find stolen/lost bikes.......i've always registered mine (presently $3K+ Klein and $400 Trek) but mine are stored indoors and rarely away from me when outside....altho this is the law, i doubt it's enforced......you do need your sales receipt to prove that it's yours.

  9. #9
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    Fellas,
    Thanks for all the help. The library at GU is pretty big, and I'm going to see if I can bring it indoors with me when I study at night. I'll also look into the cycling org and see what other cyclists do.

    Again, thanks.

    Ryan

  10. #10
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    Some great advice here. I would also suggest that your parents check with their insurance agent to see if theft of your bicycle would be covered by their homeowners policy. If you live off campus then you need to get your own renters policy to cover the contents of your apartment... these will usually cover bicycle theft as well, even if the bicycle is locked up somewhere else when it is stolen. Of course you'll probably have a $500 deductible, so it would still hurt to get your bike stolen... but at least not as much.

    I lived in DC from 1997 to 2007 and locked my bike up all over town. Choose your location and anchor wisely. I saw many bicycles lifted up and over street signs after the top of the sign had been cut off. This even happened to an old beater bike of mine. I knew it was stupid to lock it up to a sign, but I thought I was just going to run into my NW DC apartment for 15 minutes. I ended up staying in and forgot that I'd left the bike locked to a street sign outside. It was gone the next day. Other than that the only problems I had were people taking stuff off the bike. Someone stole my spare tube and a couple of wrenches while my bike was locked up near the Tenley Town metro. Another time I left a frame pump attached and that disappeared. So don't leave anything on the bike when you lock it up.

    DC is a great place to ride a bike, except for the bad air quality (which is mainly an issue in the Summer, and if you're asthmatic like me). Sure bikes get messed with and even stolen, but that can happen anywhere... especially in cities.

    Enjoy your first semester!

  11. #11
    HOV
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    Locking skewers for wheels and seat
    Kryptonite NY Fuggetaboutit lock
    Plus some common sense in where you lock it up

    Should keep it fairly safe
    "I'd rather be a murderer than to be a murder victim"

  12. #12
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    Thanks, I'm feeling a lot better about locking up now. I went to undergrad at UMD and had no problems at all with locking my bike up - then again I was only on campus during the daytime. I will be starting med school, and I plan to be in the library with most of my free time. Hopefully, my bike will be left alone .

    Ryan

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    You might call Big Wheel Bikes in Georgetown. Maybe they have some insight about bike parking on campus?

    Big Wheel Bikes‎
    (202) 337-0254

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    As of June, the DC registration bike law has been rescinded, though the DC police do suggest signing up with the National Bike Registry:

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/getth...ike_regis.html

    Quote Originally Posted by homebody146 View Post
    DC "requires" bikes to be registered--costs $1 and can be done at any police station.....supposedly it's to help them find stolen/lost bikes.......i've always registered mine (presently $3K+ Klein and $400 Trek) but mine are stored indoors and rarely away from me when outside....altho this is the law, i doubt it's enforced......you do need your sales receipt to prove that it's yours.

  15. #15
    Who farted? Ka_Jun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by novacommuter View Post
    Bike theft in DC isn't as much of a problem as people make it out to be, I don't think.

    Georgetown is one of the nicer and safer areas of the District. I think with an Evo Mini and a Fuggeddaboutit Chain, any potential theives are going to look for an easier target.

    If you're really going to be that uneasy, and your ride is in the ten-minute range, consider plunking down $100 on a beater! It could be a small price to pay for the peace of mind gained from leaving your $1k+ bike at home rather than worrying about it all day.
    +1, buy a beater. If you've made the committment to commute and leave your rig outside for a period of time, somewhere deep inside you've already come to terms with the fact that one day, you may return to where you locked up and she's not there. Buy a beater, like in the bike version of Bushido, if in your mind, it's already gone, you won't worry about it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ka_Jun View Post
    +1, buy a beater. If you've made the committment to commute and leave your rig outside for a period of time, somewhere deep inside you've already come to terms with the fact that one day, you may return to where you locked up and she's not there. Buy a beater, like in the bike version of Bushido, if in your mind, it's already gone, you won't worry about it.
    Really, I just don't see the point in riding a $1000+ bike for ten minutes each way, only to leave it outside and exposed to the elements and theives unless you're just a d-bag who wants to impress people by showing up to class on a nice bike.

  17. #17
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    I don't really like the idea of having a beater bike. I ride my bike to enjoy it and I certainly don't ride it to impress people. Besides, it's pretty low key, and I've covered up the brand name with tape. I also go on rides on paved trails, and I'm excited to see what the DC trails have to offer. One bike is all I need.

    Ryan

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan. View Post
    I don't really like the idea of having a beater bike. I ride my bike to enjoy it and I certainly don't ride it to impress people. Besides, it's pretty low key, and I've covered up the brand name with tape. I also go on rides on paved trails, and I'm excited to see what the DC trails have to offer. One bike is all I need.

    Ryan
    What do you find objectionable about having a beater bike?

    There's no reason you can't enjoy riding your beater. Besides, how much time are you actually going to have to enjoy your bike when you're only commuting 10 minutes? There are certainly a number of great paved trails in and around DC that you can enjoy on your good bike, but that shouldn't preclude you from saving that bike from wear, tear, and the elements (that can get pretty harsh through the winter) and potential theft, so that when the time comes to REALLY enjoy your bike, it's (first and foremost) right where you last left if and (second) in good working order because you didn't leave it chained outside during the last rainstorm, or ride it through the salt slush in the winter.

    Hell, the money spent on an Evo Mini and a FGABI Chain could easily exceed that for which you could get a respectable older bike that won't be a crime-magnet.

  19. #19
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    georgetown u is probably the safest place in dc. remember that you need to lock to something that's as strong as your lock and is securely fixed to the ground, or those expensive locks are a waste. sign posts are not secure, nor is scaffolding, trees etc.

    try and get out of georgetown from time to time. it's an awesome city, and georgetown isn't really representative of the rest of it. you'll understand what i mean when you get here. welcome!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

  20. #20
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wludavid View Post
    You might call Big Wheel Bikes in Georgetown. Maybe they have some insight about bike parking on campus?

    Big Wheel Bikes‎
    (202) 337-0254

    Or you might call GU,or check for a GU message board,or check with WABA(http://waba.org/). All are better ideas than the sketchiest shop in G'town. And as for bike shops,I'd highly recommend Bike Pro on M St near the Key Bridge(http://www.bicycleproshop.com/location.html),or Bike Rack at 14th & Q(http://www.bikerackdc.com/).

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

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