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Old 08-17-07, 07:01 AM   #1
BSLeVan
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Thwarted theft of one of my bikes today.

I rode to the neighborhood grocery store to pick up a pound of coffee, we were out. I got to the store & relaized I had forgotten my lock. So, I could either ride home and get it, or keep my eye on the bike as I got the coffee. I figured I'd do the later since I could see the bike from the aisle where they kept the coffee and also while I was paying for it. Sure enough some kid comes by, grabs the bike and tries to start down over the curb with it. But, the front wheel drops out when he lifts it to take it over the curb...... because, I've gotten into the habit of releasing the front quick release on my bikes even when I lock them up. And the back wheel won't turn. I've also gotten into the habit of setting the brakes on the rear wheel so that when the quick release lever is in it's closed position, the brake pads are very tightly pressed against the rims. I started doing these things 30 years ago. These days, however, you have to file the lawyer tabs off the front fork dropouts. In any event, this slowed him down just enough for me to head out the front door of the store and confront him. Actually, he saw this old guy racing out of the store with a bicycle helmet in hand, and he just dropped the bike and ran.

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Old 08-17-07, 07:17 AM   #2
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Any chance you can identify him for the police. Kid crime gets worse every year and everyone feels sorry for them as they are obviously misadjusted.
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Old 08-17-07, 07:24 AM   #3
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Any chance you can identify him for the police. Kid crime gets worse every year and everyone feels sorry for them as they are obviously misadjusted.
Probably not. He was likely under 15 and at that age they all look alike to me.
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Old 08-17-07, 08:49 AM   #4
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Cool - good thinking. Not sure I'd recommend people do the quick release trick, you forget to tighten it again and you could have a nasty accident (I won't go into details of how a friend's face was re-arranged by forgetting this). That's a cool habit to have been doing for 30 years, I'm afraid I'd forget. The brake trick I like & I'd use if I rode more in a city.

Moral of the story - don't drink coffee!
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Old 08-17-07, 08:52 AM   #5
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Good job!
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Old 08-17-07, 09:01 AM   #6
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Stun gun.
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Old 08-17-07, 09:29 AM   #7
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Pepper spray....too bad there wasn't hidden pepper spray "alarm" ( part of the stem?) that would activate when the front wheel turned and send a spray up into the face of the rider...and sound a loud siren to alert you that it was time to go kick the groveling wouldbe thief on the butt as they lay writhing on the pavement...
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Old 08-17-07, 09:40 AM   #8
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Pepper spray....too bad there wasn't hidden pepper spray "alarm" ( part of the stem?) that would activate when the front wheel turned and send a spray up into the face of the rider...and sound a loud siren to alert you that it was time to go kick the groveling wouldbe thief on the butt as they lay writhing on the pavement...
The kid's mommy would probably sue for damages to her baby, then you'd have to sell your bikes to pay the lawyers' (plural) fee. Sigh.
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Old 08-17-07, 09:54 AM   #9
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It is pretty bad when you can't go to a neighborhood grocery store and leave a bike unlocked for 5 minutes.

In the rural areas I've been riding into in Wisconsin, I've been very pleased to encounter time after time, places where people don't lock any of the bikes. I saw 20-30 bikes leaning up against trees and fences in one town, all unlocked. On numerous occasions I've seen unlocked bikes in racks outside of cafes. I really like being around places like this. They are becoming too few and far between.
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Old 08-17-07, 10:05 AM   #10
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It is pretty bad when you can't go to a neighborhood grocery store and leave a bike unlocked for 5 minutes.
It's nothing new. I had a bike stolen in those circumstances in high school.

The Tao Te Ching also comments on it.

"The Sage, traveling all day, does not lose sight of his baggage." And that was written thousands of years ago.
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Old 08-17-07, 10:11 AM   #11
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Supposedly as recently as the 40s, women left their baby strollers outside (with baby in it) while they went inside to shop. I think I read a story about this still being done in Europe. It's inconceivable to me...... like putting a burning candle on a Christmas tree. How many houses had to burn down before someone finally caught on? Didn't at least one family member say "Uh, you're not going to put that burning candle on the tree, are you?"
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Old 08-17-07, 10:14 AM   #12
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This brings out my inner Rambo ... I knew a guy who took glass shards and glued them to the back and underside of his car stereo, right where a thief's fingers would grab to yank it out ...
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Old 08-17-07, 10:16 AM   #13
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for quick store trips, I just take my bike in and push it around with me. Never had a hassle - it's no bigger than most carts. Good job on recovering your ride.
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Old 08-17-07, 10:18 AM   #14
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for quick store trips, I just take my bike in and push it around with me. Never had a hassle - it's no bigger than most carts. Good job on recovering your ride.
I do that too. At least at convenience stores like 7-11 it seems to be okay. I "park" it inside near the door and no one has hassled me yet.
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Old 08-17-07, 10:20 AM   #15
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because, I've gotten into the habit of releasing the front quick release on my bikes even when I lock them up. And the back wheel won't turn. I've also gotten into the habit of setting the brakes on the rear wheel so that when the quick release lever is in it's closed position, the brake pads are very tightly pressed against the rims.
I gotta ask. How many times did you get yourself with this set-up before you got used to it? It would get me every time!

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Old 08-17-07, 10:30 AM   #16
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Supposedly as recently as the 40s, women left their baby strollers outside (with baby in it) while they went inside to shop. I think I read a story about this still being done in Europe.
This is still a common practice in Norway. We observed this as fact while I was stationed there from 1992 - 1998. Funny thing is, they took their dogs into the stores and left the babies outside all year long
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Old 08-17-07, 10:48 AM   #17
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In my neighborhood, just 9 miles outside of Madison, it is common practice for people to sell vegetables, fruits, and even conduct yard sales, on the honor system. That is, they place their goods, with price tags, out by the road along with a container into which one deposits payment. A couple of plays even put out fishing tackle boxes filled with change, both coins and $1 bills, so that buyers can make change. I know of at least 6 places that do this that are within 3-4 miles of my house.
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Old 08-17-07, 10:55 AM   #18
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Ahhh... it appears that you neglected to switch your bike to "stealth" mode before entering the store. With this new technology your entire bike becomes completely invisible except to the owner who is wearing special UV-filtering glasses (included with our special offer). The hapless kid would have tripped over your invisible bike, split his lip on the curb, and wondered "what the !@#$%"?
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Old 08-17-07, 11:10 AM   #19
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I gotta ask. How many times did you get yourself with this set-up before you got used to it? It would get me every time!

... Brad
Good question. Two or three times, and it was the rubbing rear brake the reminded me. So, I never had any problems with the front wheel. Once the rear brake rubs you go, "Oh, yeah got to get this ready to ride again."
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Old 08-17-07, 11:14 AM   #20
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If I am going in- I take the front wheel with me.
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Old 08-17-07, 11:20 AM   #21
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I bet the bike was screaming Help!! Help!!
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Old 08-17-07, 11:29 AM   #22
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In my neighborhood, just 9 miles outside of Madison, it is common practice for people to sell vegetables, fruits, and even conduct yard sales, on the honor system. That is, they place their goods, with price tags, out by the road along with a container into which one deposits payment. A couple of plays even put out fishing tackle boxes filled with change, both coins and $1 bills, so that buyers can make change. I know of at least 6 places that do this that are within 3-4 miles of my house.
We have a couple places along the Sunday morning breakfast route that do the same thing. They have a small money box and you just pay for the veggies you take. They've been doing this for several years so they must not have a problem with people taking items without paying.
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Old 08-17-07, 11:47 AM   #23
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I've gotten into the habit of releasing the front quick release on my bikes even when I lock them up. And the back wheel won't turn. I've also gotten into the habit of setting the brakes on the rear wheel so that when the quick release lever is in it's closed position, the brake pads are very tightly pressed against the rims. .
If you set your brakes so it locks the whels when the quick release is closed, does that mean that when are riding, your QR sits in the open or half-way open position?
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Old 08-17-07, 12:57 PM   #24
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Glad he didn't get your bike. Hopefully, some day he'll get what he has coming to him. He might just try to steal the wrong guy's bike, at some point.
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Old 08-17-07, 04:35 PM   #25
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If you set your brakes so it locks the whels when the quick release is closed, does that mean that when are riding, your QR sits in the open or half-way open position?
Yes, the brake's quick release that is. If I get a flat, just a few twists of the adjuster barrel and I can open the brakes far enough to get the wheel out.
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