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Old 06-29-11, 06:30 AM   #1
atariwhizkid
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Need Toronto biking advice

I am taking a four day trip to Toronto next week with my girlfriend. The friend we're staying with suggested we bring bikes to get around town. I've been to Toronto several times but never with the bike. What are my chances of losing my ride to thieves while I'm there? My current locking strategy consists of a Krypto Evolution Mini and two cables to run through various components (saddle, wheels, etc.). Will I be safe with this or will my bike potentially get jacked? I live in Baltimore, Md., where the risk of bike theft is elevated but not as prevalent as it might be in Chicago or New York.
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Old 06-29-11, 08:02 AM   #2
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Will you be leaving the bike on the street overnight? If not, I'm sure you'll be fine. If you will be leaving it on the street overnight, I still think you'll be fine, but it might depend a bit on where you park.
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Old 06-29-11, 09:27 AM   #3
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What bike do you have?
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Old 06-29-11, 09:37 AM   #4
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Don't lock up like this guy and you'll be fine.
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Old 06-29-11, 06:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atariwhizkid View Post
I am taking a four day trip to Toronto next week with my girlfriend. The friend we're staying with suggested we bring bikes to get around town. I've been to Toronto several times but never with the bike. What are my chances of losing my ride to thieves while I'm there? My current locking strategy consists of a Krypto Evolution Mini and two cables to run through various components (saddle, wheels, etc.). Will I be safe with this or will my bike potentially get jacked? I live in Baltimore, Md., where the risk of bike theft is elevated but not as prevalent as it might be in Chicago or New York.
That's a damn sight more locking than most Toronto bikes. Unless your bike is hugely high end, they will probably go for other targets.

Still don't leave the bikes out overnight.
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Old 06-29-11, 07:47 PM   #6
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Might bring the old Schwinn Super LeTour 12.2 or Cannondale T500. Both of these bikes are fairly low end, but I do love riding them both and would rather not be forced to part with them.
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Old 07-02-11, 04:32 PM   #7
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You could try renting a bike - the Bixi's are mostly around the downtown core and costs start to grow after having the bike away from the stations for more than 1/2 hour at a time. Curbside Cycles rent bikes w/ helmet & lock with more reasonable day rates: http://www.curbside.on.ca/blog/rentals
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Old 07-02-11, 05:26 PM   #8
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re: Need Toronto biking advice -- be careful!

I live in oakville, which is a fair distance West of Toronto proper, but still considered part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). I thought things were pretty safe around here until i learned otherwise. Like another poster said: it all depends where you are. E.g., DEFINITELY don't leave it outside for the night. It you're going to be staying in someone's apartment (e.g.), bring the bikes right into the apartment itself.

If, on the other hand, you'll be staying in a Townhouse-condominium or those rare actual houses, then ...well there should be a garage, where I'd lock it up too. Considering any house in To. is worth at least 1 million dollars, on average I'd guess, there is a likehood of there being security lights (motion detectors) and potentially surveillance cameras, as well as house alarms.

When touring around in Toronto, try to find a spot to lock up bikes where there are other bikes, or a place well within view of lots of people. Bike thieves like to find bikes in some isolated alley or where nobody is milling about. That way they don't get caught so easily. If at all. But i know of a person who went into a bike store for 5 mintes in broad daylight to find his bike stolen. Unlikely, but possible.

Use your best judgement.

AND make sure you have an identifying serial number or such in a hidden location. You can use a soldering iron.

Personally, I can't wait until I can buy a kind of little chip which sends out a signal (like a flight recorder box) and can be tracked or located by a kind of receiver/smart phone/radar/satellite/scanner. So you could get online and use realtime maps to find the chip signal, plotted on a detailed map which says "I am HERE!" They put these into some cars nowadays. Pets often have a chip under the skin, which is only helpful if someone finds the animal and turns it into a vet or Humane Society, SPCA...where they can scan the critter and find out its identity.

It would be great to have a little metal disk like a lithium ion button battery (e.g. CR 2025=25 mm diameter, CR 2032=32 mm diameter) commonly used for watches, medical devices and wireless car unlockers, etc. And then slip it into an uninteresting looking plastic cover and then slip that somewhere inside the frame: handlebars, fork/headset, seat post--so that it stays strongly in place and can be traced from afar! Note: rare earth magnets would hold it well but also totally derange the thing's signal!

Soon enough, I imagine...
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Old 07-02-11, 08:09 PM   #9
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I wouldn't worry about it too much if you're leaving your bikes locked outside of pub or restaurant for a bit, but I wouldn't leave the bike outside overnight. Does your friend have a garage or balcony you could store your bikes?

Enjoy your visit! You may already have it, but here's a link to cycling map: http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/map/index.htm
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Old 07-04-11, 09:20 PM   #10
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There are tons of places in Toronto where I woudn't hesitate to leave my bike out overnight. If it's a quiet, dark, public area, I'd say it's more likely to get jacked. Of course people will steal whatever is convenient to steal, but if you have a bike that is not worth much, and it's locked up really well, you shouldn't have to worry too much.

Use your smarts and don't take risks you wouldn't take in Baltimore and you should be OK.

Of course there is no harm in bringing it inside if you have the chance. It's a great time to be in Toronto. I hope you have a great time.
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Old 07-12-11, 06:06 AM   #11
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Compared to Baltimore, Toronto was quite the biking city. Bikes parked everywhere, people riding them everywhere, and drivers that didn't seem half as angry as those where I live. It was a great time! I am jealous.

Thanks for the advice, everyone.
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