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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 02-18-05, 02:02 AM   #1
Anthony King
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Annoying, stupid thieves!

My new job is less than two miles from the train stop on one end, and I live about 10 blocks from the train on my end, so it isn't much of a ride. I have to leave my bike in the parking garage at work, or sometimes I might just leave it at the train station if I want to walk. For these reasons, I usually take my beater, which is an old Free Spirit 3-speed. Rusty chain, pretty rusty rack, first gear doesn't always work, but it's fine for the job and I figure it will keep thieves away. I was wrong.

This is my reconstruction of events from the facts of the crime scene. Thief comes upon my bike and decides my seat is better than his hard plastic seat. (The seat does appear plush, it looks sorta like a barstool, one consistent thickness all the way around, but cut in the shape of a bicycle seat, a good 6 inches across at it's widest--a real beast--but not nearly as comfortable as it looks to the untrained eye.) So he loosens the bolt to the seat, pops it off, and is ready to put it on his bike. While he's at it, my rusty rack/wire basket combo must have caught his eye, and he starts to loosen the first of six screws connecting the rack to the bike. At this point he must have been spooked and split, leaving his old seat in the basket on top of my rack, and one bolt loosened on the rack.

The kicker is that the guy must not have known bikes well enough to know that all seat posts aren't interchangable, because the post on the seat he left me was way too big. So he's now the proud owner of a $9.99 seat and a seatpost that is useless on his bike. Way to go buddy, I'd be mad at you if you weren't such a pathetic jerk-off.

I think the plastic seat he left me will work great on a beater fixie i plan to build.
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Old 02-18-05, 02:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony King
I think the plastic seat he left me will work great on a beater fixie i plan to build.
It was probably a fixie rider looking for cheap parts who was the perpetrator!!!

Bad luck on it all, but good to see you are a glass-half-full type of guy with that positive outlook at the end.
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Old 02-18-05, 02:46 AM   #3
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haha..that's sad.
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Old 02-18-05, 06:24 AM   #4
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Hahaha.. rofl that's too funny.
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Old 02-18-05, 09:20 AM   #5
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maybe the thief didn't know that the seatposts weren't interchangeable and tried to make himself feel a little less guilty, by not leaving you without a seat.
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Old 02-18-05, 09:39 AM   #6
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It don't matter what you ride, people will try to scavenge it! It's incredible!

It is a funny story, though!
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Old 02-18-05, 10:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony King
leaving his old seat in the basket on top of my rack, and one bolt loosened on the rack.
...I think the plastic seat he left me will work great on a beater fixie i plan to build.
Nice of him to try to leave you something to pedal home with. Bike theives are very "kind" but stupid. Doesn't he know he could get that same used seat probably for free down at the LBS? Why risk it?

The "kind" thief that jack'd my Trek 2200 carefully left the helmet, sunglasses and other stuff next to the parking spot ... and also his junk bike that he rode in on.
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Old 02-18-05, 10:26 AM   #8
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Check around in the next few days, he may try to "return it for another". You may find it somewhere near where you were parked that day.
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Old 02-18-05, 11:01 AM   #9
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A while back there was a thread where folks talked about finding "abandoned" bikes, and then taking them or parts of them to "re-cycle". From your description of your bike, some "do-gooder" may have thought it had be abandoned at the station twenty years ago, and was seeking to "rescue" some usable parts.

A university a couple miles from me has an "abandoned bike" problem every July. The campus only has a couple hundred students around, yet about a thousand rusty bikes are locked to the racks. The campus police know that some of those bikes were abandoned by graduating seniors, and that some belong to students who will return in September. But, "which are which"?
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Old 02-18-05, 12:55 PM   #10
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Sooooo, reach inside the thief's seatpost with a dremel and take the circumference down to the danger level. Leave the seatpost where you normally park. Maybe he wants it back. Ever break a seat post? It is quite memorable.
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Old 02-18-05, 01:32 PM   #11
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Sooooo, reach inside the thief's seatpost with a dremel and take the circumference down to the danger level. Leave the seatpost where you normally park. Maybe he wants it back. Ever break a seat post? It is quite memorable.
...and don't ferget to rig your web-cam for a some great close-up shots of sticky-fingers. Hey the cops aren't gonna fix it...so it's up to us!
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Old 02-18-05, 02:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by vrkelley
Nice of him to try to leave you something to pedal home with. Bike theives are very "kind" but stupid. Doesn't he know he could get that same used seat probably for free down at the LBS? Why risk it?

The "kind" thief that jack'd my Trek 2200 carefully left the helmet, sunglasses and other stuff next to the parking spot ... and also his junk bike that he rode in on.
You locked up a trek 2200 somewhere...?
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Old 02-18-05, 02:35 PM   #13
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Maybe this thread would be a good place to collect everyone's personal experiences with getting bikes stolen. Between all of us, as a group, we have probably seen every possible way to lose a bike.

I can't remember the last time I lost a bike, although I think I did lose one or two about forty years ago. But, many of my friends have lost bikes recently.

One recent experience: a guy decides to get a beer late on Saturday night. There is a "No Parking Sign" outside the front door of the bar, so he locks his bike to the sign, and used another lock to secure the front wheel to the frame.

When he comes out of the bar, the "No Parking Sign" is laying on the ground. It had been installed on a grass lawn, and someone just pulled out the sign and walked off with his bike.

His friends looked around the neighborhood for his bike. They found it under a freeway overpass about three blocks from the bar. Judging from the damage to the lock and front wheel, the thief had been using broken blocks of concrete to try to break the lock on the front wheel. When the lock did not break, he gave up and just left the bike.

So: Lesson One: don't lock your bike to poles installed in dirt or grass.

As a group, we could probably get this thread up to about "Lesson Seventy-Five".
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Old 02-18-05, 02:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Maybe this thread would be a good place to collect everyone's personal experiences with getting bikes stolen. Between all of us, as a group, we have probably seen every possible way to lose a bike.
I've had 2 bikes stolen in my lifetime. the first was a bmx bike that I paid for myself when I was in 6th grade. I had left it laying on the front lawn of my house overnight, stupid mistake. The next one was my first year of college. Technically I didn't get it stolen, my sister had borrowed it and it was stolen while she was borrowing it.

I'm lucky because I don't have to leave my bike outside for extended periods of time. I bring my bike in my office during the day and they live inside at night. The only times I leave them outside is when I run errands, and I always lock well and leave in a high-traffic area. I've been fortunate to be able to keep a close eye on my bikes.
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Old 02-18-05, 02:54 PM   #15
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You locked up a trek 2200 somewhere...?
Yes it was locked alright. But that probably didn't even slow him down. All should have been on the parking lot camera. Oh if only they had film in that fake camera!
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Old 02-18-05, 02:58 PM   #16
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I lost one off the second floor balcony of a traditional Boston three-decker (in Somerville, actually, but close enough). Someone climbed up using the ground floor patio, the 2nd floor railings, etc, right on the street and took my bike back over. Right on the damn street!!

Lesson learned: never leave a bike unlocked outside. I bought a new bike.

Eventually we moved from that place to the current place. How convenient, it had a front hallway and the door was always locked. The neighbors were nice enough, so in goes the bike next to everyone else's.

Well one day not too long after moving in, the wife and I step out to go around the corner to grab a slice of pizza. We were literally gone for like 10 minutes. We come back to discover that the neighbors, while nice, had a habit of leaving their door and the front door open after letting their dog out. She's a marvelously well behaved mutt and apart from eating everything should could dig out of the trash she would just run around back in our little enclave and be generally awesome.

Anyhow, in that short time, someone rolled my replacement bike (now a couple of years old) out the front door. In broad daylight. Even the people two doors down sitting on their steps claimed to have seen nothing. "Lots of people ride bikes." Thanks, ass lips.

Lesson learned: don't leave the bike unlocked inside.

I've since replaced that bike and added several more to the stable. That front hallway features no fewer than 3 of my bikes now. At no time does any of them go unlocked. Generally the "nicer" (hey, it's all relative, right) ones are not just free locked, but locked to a security cable looped to an old radiator in there.

Any time I go anywhere, even if I bring my bike inside, it's locked. Locked, locked, locked.

I suppose one day lesson three will be "never leave a bike free locked inside."
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Old 02-18-05, 06:59 PM   #17
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Rode a bike across the Nullarbor, ended up back at home in Tasmania. I stayed at a place with a carport and I religiously locked my bike to one of the posts every night. Got up one morning, then noticed the bike was gone. I had forgotten once to lock it up. My replacement bike went into a shed around the back where a rather large and noisy dog roamed. I didn't really miss the bike that was stolen. It was a low-end steel job, but it got me into cycle touring.
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Old 02-18-05, 08:20 PM   #18
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I used to leave my spare lock key in my desk drawer in college. My roomate new it was there and had permssion to borrow my bike after his got smashed with a hammer by some vandels. But he left it on main campus in front of his building for about a week and when I finally went to get it it was gone. He'd already moved out for the semester so I never did get him to replace it for me.
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Old 02-18-05, 10:35 PM   #19
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This girl who works for my brother told me the best story. When she was in high school her bike got stolen from her house,its like three miles from school. Any way she had to walk to school , like a week later she went to school in the morning and there was her bike in the hallway. She got on it and rode it home, no idea who took or returned it.
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Old 02-19-05, 11:44 AM   #20
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Getting your bike ripped off is a total bummer, but it happens. Things I've learned the hard way are.....

90% of the time it's homeless drunks or junkies who steal bikes-- they will smash your bike trying to steal it if they can't get the lock off, so a really tough lock won't always save you.

10% of thieves are other cyclists-- punks who build bikes by ripping off parts. Never own anything Campy or Dura Ace. Some little bastard will take it for a free upgrade.

I think taking the seat of a bike will stop maybe 50% of all thieves. No pawnshop will pay for bike without a seat and it's all about getting $40 bucks for rock or tar in an hour or less.

It just makes me so $#*(!@$#%^^* mad!!
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