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  1. #1
    Senior Member GhostSS's Avatar
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    Anyone had their bike held hostage by someone else's bike/lock?

    Today some punk parked his $50 beater leaning against my bike and locked them together. His pedals were passing through my spokes, cables looped through my brake levers, handlebars and wheels tangled together with mine. On top of it all he passed his cable and lock through my top tube.

    WTH?

    Luckily I work for a Engineering/Construction company and had plenty of tools handy from one of our crews that happened to be working in the building. I didn't maim/vandalize his bike, but I did what I needed to in order to free mine, which was not gentle to his bike (BTW it was a Big Box Walmart el-cheapo moutain/single track bike).

    Anybody have experience with being locked by someone else's lock or someone blatantly parking their bike touching yours to the point they get tangled together? What's the right/wrong course of action?

  2. #2
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostSS View Post
    What's the right/wrong course of action?
    I think that you did the right thing and even showed an amazing amount of restraint in minimizing damage to his bike.
    Disclaimer: It's just an opinion that I have. It works for me. I am not the forum "Police (Of Anything)". Others may disagree. And....YMMV.
    Don't use up any brain cells thinking that I care, you don't like anything anyway.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
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    I was reading how perhaps one strategy to steal a bike was to lock up the target bike using the theif's lock in addition to whatever lock the owner uses. Then the thief would hope the owner would be foolish enough to remove their own lock and leave the bike unattended, providing the thief an opportunity to come and unlock his own lock and then ride off.


    Does not sound like what you have described, but perhaps it was who knows. I would not be pleased to come to my bike tangled up in someone else's, lock included.

  4. #4
    Senior Member danadear's Avatar
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    WTH? That is odd. And I would be pi$$ed.

  5. #5
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    I have to say that ever since moving to Portland, the sheer number of bikes that have to share one locking thing at a time can be pretty daunting. I say to myself, yikes, I hope I don't lock someone else's bike to mine, and I work as carefully as I can to make sure that does not happen. I wonder sometimes if someone one day won't be as careful and will lock my bike to theirs. I have thought about what I would do in both scenarios. Neither scenario ever involved the slightest damage to the other persons, or my, bike. The LOCKS involved, maybe, but never the bikes themselves. That was pure peeve on the o.p.'s part. Vengeance. Some of us are very comfortable with vengeance. The o.p.'s story begins with outrage. The very idea of some punk's worthless Walmart POS touching their benighted steed. Assumptions were made about the age, class, maybe even race, of the miscreant and this justified anger well beyond the inconvenience of being unwillingly linked to someone else's timetable. Well since you asked o.p., if I had, toolswise, to work with what you obviously did, I would have gotten my bike free without any damage at all to the other bike, as I would expect them to have freed their bike without any damage to mine. I would have left my lock on their bike with contact information so they could get in touch and free it. I really would have done that. You asked.

    H

  6. #6
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Assumptions were made about the age, class, maybe even race, of the miscreant...
    Maybe in your head there were assumptions made, but I see nothing of the like in the OP.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Maybe in your head there were assumptions made, but I see nothing of the like in the OP.
    He called the person in question a punk and called his bike a beater without knowing a thing about the person. Heck, people call similar bikes to mine a beater and it was extremely expensive to me at $600. So, it could have been someone like me, a father trying to feed 3 others at median income with hardly any discretionary money who took some extra out of a tiny income tax refund and plunked an extraordinary amount of money to himself on something to use to help extend his life so that one day he can see his grandkids, even though in some snobs eyes a mere POS $600 bike is just a beater bike to them.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  8. #8
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    He called the person in question a punk and called his bike a beater without knowing a thing about the person. Heck, people call similar bikes to mine a beater and it was extremely expensive to me at $600. So, it could have been someone like me, a father trying to feed 3 others at median income with hardly any discretionary money who took some extra out of a tiny income tax refund and plunked an extraordinary amount of money to himself on something to use to help extend his life so that one day he can see his grandkids, even though in some snobs eyes a mere POS $600 bike is just a beater bike to them.
    They called them a punk for locking their bike to theirs. They called the bike a beater because it was an inexpensive Wal-Mart brand beater. There was no mention of the race, class, or age of the offender.

    I am really getting sick of race-baiting. Every time I turn around I'm seeing it. It's getting to the point where if I complained about being cut off in traffic I'd probably be called a racist by someone even if the extent of my complaint was "Some jerk cut me off on the way to work."

  9. #9
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    @Leiseturm: I think you're reading way too into the OP's post. Someone locked a bike to his with no apparent care (pedals through the spokes, cable looped through brakes, etc.). I'd be stranded, as I don't carry tools for cutting through locks. That would make me pretty upset, and without any assumptions made about the other rider (other than that he/she is a selfish jerk).
    Last edited by spivonious; 07-25-14 at 01:46 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    They called them a punk for locking their bike to theirs. They called the bike a beater because it was an inexpensive Wal-Mart brand beater. There was no mention of the race, class, or age of the offender.

    I am really getting sick of race-baiting. Every time I turn around I'm seeing it. It's getting to the point where if I complained about being cut off in traffic I'd probably be called a racist by someone even if the extent of my complaint was "Some jerk cut me off on the way to work."
    I'm more tired of the term bike snob ... christ. To paraphrase a sticker, "Ride a freaking bike."

    Ride what you want ... I don't care. But don't call me a snob because my bike is better than yours.

    Oh ... and riding a "beater" or a Wal Mart special doesn't make anyone more honorable than a snob.

    I would have done the same thing the OP did, given the same circumstances. And yes, the OP practiced considerable restraint.

  11. #11
    Senior Member GhostSS's Avatar
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    As far as class/race arguments, please remember I live in Hawaii, the race and class dynamic here is very diverse and I would not even think in that mind set. I mentioned the type of bike because although my bike isn't expensive, it was certainly well taken care of and I take value it in as opposed to the person who locked his bike to mine, which was obviously a cheaper bike that was haphazardly pushed together with mine.

    It's like if someone driving a brand new Lotus Elise had someone in a 80's jallopy pick up truck parked next to it with the doors touching. It's inconsiderate. inconvenient, and causes damage to my property which he was not concerned about.

    Honestly the only reason why I didn't vandalize his bike or lock his bike up in return is because I'm a bicycle enthusiast whose primary transportation is cycling. I was inconvenienced, yes, but I didn't want to respond by incapacitating his transportation.
    Last edited by GhostSS; 07-25-14 at 02:11 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostSS View Post
    Honestly the only reason why I didn't vandalize his bike or lock his bike up in return is because I'm a bicycle enthusiast whose primary transportation is cycling. I was inconvenienced, yes, but I didn't want to respond by incapacitating his transportation.
    You left him without a lock though. I wouldn't have locked his bike up to teach him a lesson, I would lock his bike up because by freeing my bike I was now leaving someone else without security for their bike. I am an avid user of words. You used the word punk. You didn't say stupid and inconsiderate individual. Nor did that have to be true. I can easily see how this could happen and I envision the very thing happening to me if I stay in this city long enough. We just aren't tolerant enough of one anothers shortcomings as a society.

    H

  13. #13
    Let's Ride! RidingMatthew's Avatar
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    i think you handled it well but I do think that locking his/ her bike to the rack with another lock would have been pretty funny.
    You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. C. S. Lewis

  14. #14
    Senior Member GhostSS's Avatar
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    If I didn't have tools at my disposal I probably would have. Although there's a local saying here: "It's a small island". I'm generally paranoid of eventual retaliation.

  15. #15
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    You left him without a lock though. I wouldn't have locked his bike up to teach him a lesson, I would lock his bike up because by freeing my bike I was now leaving someone else without security for their bike. I am an avid user of words. You used the word punk. You didn't say stupid and inconsiderate individual. Nor did that have to be true. I can easily see how this could happen and I envision the very thing happening to me if I stay in this city long enough. We just aren't tolerant enough of one anothers shortcomings as a society.

    H


    Punk must have some strange connotation for you that I'm unfamiliar with.

    Are you saying you would have locked their bike up with your lock leaving them with an inaccessible bike, and thus stranded? Or, are you saying that you would have waited around for them to come back, potentially for many hours, so as not to leave them with an unlocked bike, even though they were at fault.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Are you saying you would have locked their bike up with your lock leaving them with an inaccessible bike, and thus stranded? Or, are you saying that you would have waited around for them to come back, potentially for many hours, so as not to leave them with an unlocked bike, even though they were at fault.
    I once saw a really expensive sportbike with the keys in the ignition as I got off the SI Ferry in lower Manhattan. I took the keys out and left my office number taped to the gas tank. I worked at Chambers and Broadway. I thought I would get a phone call around 4:00pm since the bike had already been in town before I got off the boat. I got off at 5. The guy never called to find out what happened to his keys until after 6. A co-worker waited with me and the guy eventually got to my office around 6:30. I got $20 in 1995 dollars for my trouble. We do have cell phones now. Having ones bike imobilized with a way of getting it free would not be the worst consequence for being so careless as to lock your bike to someone elses. I don't think anyone would be that put out. OTOH if, as a result of someone leaving their bike unsecured in a high theft area... ... anyway... I've made my point I think. Have a nice weekend.

    H

  17. #17
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    Ride what you want ... I don't care. But don't call me a snob because my bike is better than yours.
    Sounds kind of "snobby" to me; what makes your bike "better" than somebody's pride and joy? Is it the brand name on it, the price you paid for it, or its LBS provenance?

  18. #18
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Have a nice weekend.
    Don't tell me what to do!

  19. #19
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Never happened to me yet, probably because i'm one of the very few that live car free here & where i go & leave it locked up, bikes are a rare sight aside from teens on their ill-fitting bmx's.

    As far as locking up & stranding.... Duct taping the lock's key on the top tube is always an option? I try to carry duct tape with me wherever i go. I have a victorinox rescue tool, but to free my bike i'd need at the very least a multi-tool.

    Around here, a simple call to FD would have them come cut the lock off most likely, but in some areas i can definitely see that not being likely.

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  20. #20
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Sounds kind of "snobby" to me; what makes your bike "better" than somebody's pride and joy? Is it the brand name on it, the price you paid for it, or its LBS provenance?
    Sorry ... should have clarified: "Don't call me a snob because you perceive my bike as being better than yours, or because you have an inferiority complex about the bike you ride."


    My bikes are relatively pedestrian ... I harbor no delusions that they're more than that.

  21. #21
    Grillparzer Grillparzer's Avatar
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    It's a common things thieves will do, lock up a cheap bike to an expensive one then come back later when there is time to work and nobody around, cut off the locks and steal the expensive one.
    People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    I have, but on the U of M(N) campus - where the security guards will cut the offending lock and re-lock it with theirs, with a number on it to call to get it freed.

  23. #23
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Could well have been a theft attempt, as noted above. At minimum, it was a thoughtless and obnoxious act. I'd have cut his lock off, and left his bike unlocked. If it gets stolen, tough titty. Next time maybe he'll take more care.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    I would have done something gentle, like cutting the frame of the offending bike to free my bike. Only requires a simple hacksaw. Easier than cutting a lock, which can be dealt with when you get home with proper tools.

  25. #25
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Why not just duct-tape the cut cable back so that it looks to be locked on casual inspection?

    Putting a lock on someone else's property, the offender has no right to be upset if it's cut no matter what else he had locked up with it. But still, at least arrange the cable so that it's not obviously unlocked. 2 or 3 loops around the top tube, or something like that.

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