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Old 08-24-08, 05:08 PM   #1
TromboneAl
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Taking Lock on Solo Ride

Whenever I go on a long solo ride, I need to decide whether to take my moderately heavy U lock. I figure I would need it only if I needed a bathroom break in a populated area, or I was bonking and needed some food. Any other situations in which you'd unexpectedly need to lock your bike?

Do you take a lock?
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Old 08-24-08, 05:18 PM   #2
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No lock for me. If I stop for food (extremely rare since I always have 2 Hammer Gels) I take the bike inside with me. For a bathroom break I take the bike inside or stop behind a tree.
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Old 08-24-08, 05:24 PM   #3
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Have stopped many times, on both organized rides and solo. Generally, I try to stop at convenience stores at gas stations, take it in, or look for some person(s) of our similar ilk (50+) and ask if they'd mind watching my bike. Never had a problem (knock on the noggin').
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Old 08-24-08, 05:48 PM   #4
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I don't own a lock.
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Old 08-24-08, 06:00 PM   #5
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No lock for me either. I ride mostly rural areas with occasional small villages, where the need for a lock doesn't justify the hassle or extra weight. So far, so good.
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Old 08-24-08, 06:29 PM   #6
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I take my lock on my grocery bike and my bomb around the neighborhood Orange Crush mtb, because I will occasionally lock the bike and go inside somewhere, like at the Farmer's Market. For the road bike, no lock, and it's never out of my sight. Hasn't been a problem. I've taken it inside Starbucks, 7-11, and a couple of fast food joints and no one has said Boo! (or anything else, for that matter.)
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Old 08-24-08, 06:36 PM   #7
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Try this experiment:

Get in your car and drive someplace. Park the car, leave the keys in it, the engine running, and the windows down. Now go inside someplace and shop or go inside a restaurant and eat.

Feel nervous?

Now you see why I carry a lock with me all the time and lock my bike whenever and wherever I leave it.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:01 PM   #8
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I sometimes take a cheap combination, light weight (8mm), $3 cable lock. It wouldn't stop a thief for more than about 3 seconds. But I use it when I stop at restaurants for lunch or at an art gallery. Just something to keep someone from casually throwing it into a pickup or riding it away.

When I ride in Madison on a good bike, I take the U-bolt.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:14 PM   #9
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I sometimes take a cheap combination, light weight (8mm), $3 cable lock. It wouldn't stop a thief for more than about 3 seconds. But I use it when I stop at restaurants for lunch or at an art gallery. Just something to keep someone from casually throwing it into a pickup or riding it away.
I made a locking cable from a 6 ft. piece of boat trailer cable and plastic tubing. I used it in certain situations during my loaded touring days. I guess it would stop or delay a not too serious thief. It gathers dust now hanging in my basement.
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Old 08-24-08, 07:16 PM   #10
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I never take a lock when I ride. I usually just stop for water or at a fruitstand but a couple of times I have gone in stores and I took it in with me. At a large Bealls clothing store I pushed it up to the customer service desk and they let me park it behind the desk area where they keep the wheelchairs. On the rare occasion I go into a convenience store I park it where I can see it and keep my eye on it. I worry more about it if I have it on a car rack and go into a store. If I do that I chain it to the car with a large lock and a 3/8" link chain.
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Old 08-24-08, 08:39 PM   #11
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If I'm just going into a liquor store for a quick drink, or running into a rest room for a minute, I sometimes use this. It weighs next to nothing and is easy to carry in a jersey pocket. It won't stop the real criminals. But it keeps honest people honest.
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Old 08-24-08, 08:52 PM   #12
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Yes, I use a Kryptonite cable lock on my gofer bike, a 1987 Raleigh Record that I've invested a total of $50 in, including new chain and tires. I do that because I leave the gofer bike outside stores for quite a while.
On my $1800 dollar Giant OCR-C or the Specialized FSR-XC Comp with Fox fork (around $1800 total) I never use a lock. I also rarely let either out of my site unless I'm on a ride with a group.
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Old 08-24-08, 09:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Do you take a lock?
I've learned that there is a phrase that describes an unlocked bike... "Hey, Lookie Here! Free Bike!". I always carry a lock.
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Old 08-25-08, 08:57 AM   #14
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No general rules here, I think

For myself, I've had 3 bikes stolen. All from out of a locked garage in London. Seldom take a lock with me, even when touring.
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Old 08-25-08, 09:05 AM   #15
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No general rules here, I think

For myself, I've had 3 bikes stolen. All from out of a locked garage in London. Seldom take a lock with me, even when touring.

I'm a bit sceptical about locks. I once locked my keys on the car at a motorway service station - pressed down the door lock plunger and slammed the door with the keys still in the ignition. Asked the next Ford into the car park - different year, different model - if I could try his key. Worked first time!
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Old 08-25-08, 09:40 AM   #16
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On solo rides, I plan the route so that I don't have to leave it anywhere unattended. That means I carry a backpack and have sliced fruit in a plastic bag, among other things to eat. For bath facilities, I find public baths that allow me to take the bike in.

Solo rides means more responsibility in a sense when it comes to bike theft. More planning, more knowledge of the convenience stores along the way meaning getting to know them.
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Old 08-25-08, 01:04 PM   #17
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I always carry a small lock/cable ... good for a coffee stop.
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Old 08-25-08, 01:39 PM   #18
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No lock for me. All that money I paid for my fancy, lightweight bike, isn't going to be offset by a lock. My bike doesn't leave my sight.

Sometimes, though, I'll be just enough of a distance away from my bike that someone could, theoretically, jump on it and ride off before I could do anything about it. That's when I release the skewers, and put the chain into the highest gear, as well as release the brakes.
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Old 08-25-08, 01:53 PM   #19
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Hand or butt on the saddle at all times. Stop for a coffee- Drink it outside- Have to go into a shop- Take the bike with you-desperate situation and you have to leave the bike- Take the front wheel with you but still keep the bike in sight. Never use a lock- except for in the bike shed where I have a Kryptonite lock and 10ft hawser to lock up the more expensive bikes.- And the others are well insured- have a couple of rubbish bikes in front of them and in a shed with 2 alarms- one for the door and a separate motion sensor linked to a 130db alarm. Any thief that wants them will be easily identifiable- He will be laid out with a big headache and dodgy eardrums.

But if people want your bike- they will get it.
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Old 08-25-08, 02:40 PM   #20
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I leave a couple of heavy locks on the bike rack at work to lock my commuter.

I almost never have a lock on my "recreational" rides - I keep the bike in my sitght.

However, a few times a year I have a recreational ride where I suspect I might need to have the bike out of my sight for a couple of minutes (e.g, taking a ferry ride). I have a very small, very light "cafe lock" for that. Weighs nothing, would likely slow a thief down for about 30 seconds.
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Old 08-25-08, 02:53 PM   #21
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Never take a lock with me. On the week-end pie rides, we lean the bikes against the wall, drop the helmets and gloves on the ground, walk inside sit for a bit with the pie, coffe, and company and walk back out to where the bikes always are still there. However, I would not do that in a more urban area.
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Old 08-25-08, 03:04 PM   #22
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Hand or butt on the saddle at all times.
I keep my hand AND butt on the saddle at all times.
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Old 08-25-08, 03:06 PM   #23
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If I'm just going into a liquor store for a quick drink, or running into a rest room for a minute, I sometimes use this. It weighs next to nothing and is easy to carry in a jersey pocket. It won't stop the real criminals. But it keeps honest people honest.
Extremely honest people, maybe.

A good, sharp pull on these, in the right direction, pulls the cable right out of the housing. No wire cutter to cut the cable or hammer to smash the housing is required.
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Old 08-25-08, 03:17 PM   #24
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I use a lightweight cable lock for my road bike, just to prevent a grab and ride.

On my utility bikes, I have heavier-duty cables - since I ride with panniers on both bikes, they fit in nicely. Again, to prevent a grab and ride. Generally, this is if I am shopping or having lunch inside.

A friend of mine lost his bike near here - took his eyes off for just a second. My son had his bike stolen at a music store.

Just makes sense to me.
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Old 08-25-08, 05:16 PM   #25
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Hand or butt on the saddle at all times. ...But if people want your bike- they will get it.
I second that. I've even had a bike stolen while my butt was on the saddle.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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