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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-03-09, 06:11 PM   #1
jtwilson
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Bike tampered with at work.

I'd read about it on this forum, but today it happened to me -- a co-worker let the air out of my rear tire.

This was the first day I commuted with my new Conti Grand Prix 4 Season tires as well. At first I thought I must have punctured it somehow on the way in, shortly before locking up at the bike rack. However, it wasn't totally flat, and hey, these are supposed to be tough tires right? The guy I work alongside gave me a ride home, and first thing I pumped it back up. OK, holding air it seemed. Grabbed my frame pump just in case and hit the grocery store. Got back home and the pressure still felt solid. Let out the air, removed tube, and did the water test. No bubbles. Co-worker theory is looking a lot more plausible now.

I work at a relatively small company and I know just about every employee. There's one guy who has a grudge on me, because I got too close to the lady he was trying to woo about a year ago. I'm not sure what to do now.

Suggestions?
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Old 03-03-09, 06:15 PM   #2
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I'm not going to suggest accidentally kicking the valve stem off one or so of his car tires. That might be mean.

Make sure it is this guy, first.
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Old 03-03-09, 06:15 PM   #3
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If you have building security, notify them. Don't name names, because you don't know who did it -- don't even go there with the grudge. Say that you don't expect them to do anything, but you want them to be aware of the problem. Then start parking it somewhere that has a security camera. You might consider leaving a note on it with an arrow and the words "smile for the camera!"
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Old 03-03-09, 06:18 PM   #4
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If you have building security, notify them. Don't name names, because you don't know who did it -- don't even go there with the grudge. Say that you don't expect them to do anything, but you want them to be aware of the problem. Then start parking it somewhere that has a security camera. You might consider leaving a note on it with an arrow and the words "smile for the camera!"
Much better idea, but I'd skip the note. That might warn him off.
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Old 03-03-09, 06:21 PM   #5
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At the root of every problem there's always a woman.

What can you do? Unless someone sees it or admits it everyone is suspect. Watch the bike more closely if you can in the hope of catching someone messing with it again.
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Old 03-03-09, 06:36 PM   #6
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I've had this problem a couple of times at my local grocery store, except they used a pin or something to let the air out rather than the valve.

The second time it happened I called the store and talked to the manager. I expect it will happen again anyway. About the only thing you can do is maintain a positive attitude.
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Old 03-03-09, 06:38 PM   #7
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If I had a dollar every time someone brought their bike in and said that they thought someone had messed with it and yet it turned out to be a small puncture I'd have several dollars. Of course, I have more than that 'cause I charge more than a dollar to fix it. But still, several dollars

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Old 03-03-09, 06:41 PM   #8
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psst. It was just a harmless prank. Get over it. You can easily air your tires up. Probably won't happen again. It's not as funny the second time.
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Old 03-03-09, 06:41 PM   #9
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I've had this problem a couple of times at my local grocery store
How long do you spend grocery shopping? Assuming you don't wear obvious bike clothing I'd park it, observe covertly from a distance and then beat the **** out of anyone who even touched your ride.
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Old 03-03-09, 06:42 PM   #10
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Yeah, totally worth getting violent over a $2 piece of rubber.
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Old 03-03-09, 06:49 PM   #11
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Assuming you don't wear obvious bike clothing...
There's the rub. I imagine the guy would look around enough to spot me in my hi-vis yellow jacket hiding behind a bush.
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Old 03-03-09, 06:56 PM   #12
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Just be glad they didn't slash it. I had a slashed tire last summer. There goes an otherwise perfectly good tire and tube.
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Old 03-03-09, 07:56 PM   #13
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I had it happen once to me, at work. While the suspect was close enough to hear, I let another co-worker know that if I ever caught someone letting the air out of my bike tires. I would get into the fun and start letting the air out of that persons car tires. Last time it ever happened.
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Old 03-03-09, 08:04 PM   #14
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If it becomes a repeat occurrence I would take a stand. Whatever that may be. Talking to your boss about the situation, parking your bike somewhere more secure or visible.

I wouldn't leave my water bottle unattended!
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Old 03-03-09, 08:17 PM   #15
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Capsaicin on the valve stem.
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Old 03-03-09, 09:17 PM   #16
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It's simple, just as the guy if he did it. You will know right way from his reaction if he did or not.
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Old 03-03-09, 09:26 PM   #17
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Previous job we could sit in the breakroom and see the parking lot. A co-worker who liked to play jokes went over like he was going to let the air out of my tires so I went out and started turning one of his bumper bolts with my leatherman ( he didn't know I couldn't turn it but I make it look like I was )
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Old 03-03-09, 09:53 PM   #18
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Others have given you good advice. Tell his superior.


I've come out of the grocery store to find my front QR loosened. That sucks BIG TIME.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:02 PM   #19
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At the root of every problem there's always a woman.
I really don't appreciate your sexist comment. It's one/two guys acting like jacktards. Not the woman! So behind this problem is one or two guy(s)! Now keep your misogynistic comments off the forums. Thank you.

That aside, I would definitely tell security. If you can, get a written report (for your records) because if something worse happens, like your brakes get cut and you land in the hospital or worse, they'll know it was tampering and can start investigating.

BTW, you should definitely park your bike where security can keep an eye on it and do a thorough safety check of your whole entire bike (wheels, breaks, cables, etc.) before riding your bike home.

Someone in your office dislikes you enough to go out of their way to screw with your vehicle. Can you say "hostile frenemy"? Might want to look into that.

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Old 03-03-09, 10:35 PM   #20
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I got ready to ride my bike last Monday, front tire was dead flat. I was going to get out the Campagnolo shop apron and get to work, but I decided to pump it up and see what happened. It's been fine since. Dunno if I left the valve open or if the thing that caused the flat is holding the air in, but it's been a week and a half with no problems.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:43 PM   #21
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At my workplace that kind of prank isn't well-tolerated by management. Escalating the situation with revenge could be career-limiting. Ask your direct supervision for guidance, HR if that isn't any help.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:58 PM   #22
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Hmmh, if only superglue didn't dry out so fast, that might be fun to leave on your valve cap next time.
Might be doable if you have an idea what time it happens...

Caught red handed no?
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Old 03-03-09, 11:23 PM   #23
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Can you say "slow leak at the valve stem?" It's happened to me. The act of checking and filling the tire clears the stem and you won't have the problem again. (Hopefully)

I had a tube where the valve didn't seal well with every use. I'd check and fill the tire, and everything's fine. Next week, check and fill, but this time the valve wouldn't seat just right, and the next morning the tire would be nearly flat. Never found a leak, but after a few times I decided to check the stem so I filled it and check... nothing. Let some air out, and filled it and check... nothing. Let some air out and filled it and check... BINGO! There's the problem. Didn't leak every time, but it was a leaker.

Of course, you could go nuts on a completely innocent person and escalate the whole thing into violence, termination, lawyers, incarceration, etc...
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Old 03-03-09, 11:32 PM   #24
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I really don't appreciate your sexist comment. It's one/two guys acting like jacktards. Not the woman! So behind this problem is one or two guy(s)! Now keep your misogynistic comments off the forums. Thank you.

Sure thing boss!
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Old 03-04-09, 12:08 AM   #25
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it always comes down to simple "documentation"
no emotion, no personal views, etc...
simply document the situation, and report it.

i like to carry a digi cam, and shoot some video.
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