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  1. #1
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Green Tikit Stolen @ UC Berkley



    From a post by Lynette Chiang on the Yak List:

    Hey folders on the dock of the Bay ...

    I feel even worse for poor Eric than for myself leaving my passport in a NY cab last week.... see attached rant below my rant. There's a shot of a green folded tikit at http://www.bikefriday.com/tikit

    Please don't hound poor Eric as to why he didn't wheel it inside, it will only make him feel worse and liable to jump off Grizzly Peak.... do please forward this to all your Bay area and beyond listserves. Velosport tell me a stolen SF bike was recovered on craigslist in Chicago recently ... (


    Text from Eric's email:

    "My *brand new* Bike Friday Tikit was stolen yesterday (12/26/07) on the UC Berkeley campus. It was locked with a U lock to the bike racks on the south side of the Valley Life Science Building. It is GREEN, and the serial number on the frame is 446. Attached is a picture of a green Tikit. Paul at Bike Friday said he’s pretty sure it is the only green Tikit in the Bay Area.

    I would be so appreciative if you could forward this information to any Bay Area Bike Friday folks, or cycling groups, or whatever you think would be useful. It is such a distinctive bike, that the chances of it being noticed would hopefully be better than 0.

    I was barely able to afford this bike, and purchased it for an upcoming international bike tour (and hopefully many more after that).

    My contact info is: Eric Berlow
    eberlow@ucmerced.edu
    ericberlow@gmail.com
    209-625-6700 (cell)

    Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

    Sincerely, Eric"
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  2. #2
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    Here's what happened.

    He was probably told by someone inside the school not to bring the bike inside. In his situation, he had two options. He could either cover the bike entirely and carry a + 25lb bag around campus. Not enjoyable at all. His second option was to leave the bike outside locked to a bike rack. A huge mistake as you would never park a bike worth more than $50.00 dollars on a bike rack.

    A much better option would have been to hide the bike. I left my folder hidden with a U-Lock and nothing ever happend. Only when my bikes were exposed to the public in front of eveyone's eyes, (ex. Bike rack) that they were attacked! My beater was hit last week with two cut inner tubes and a destroyed tire.

    Another option would be to get a beater and lock that to the bike rack and prey.

    He could also get a Strida or CarryME and just use that to roll around campus.

  3. #3
    Seņor Mambo
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    What a welcome to Cal.

    He seems either to have been visiting someone or taking a tour of the VLSB. The day after Christmas, you'd think campus would be a wasteland so I can see why he'd consider locking the bike outside (though south side is pretty close to the main campus exit/entry). The theft problem at UC Merced, I'll bet, is MUCH lower; he wasn't prepared for Berkeley. Truth be told though, he would have looked pretty dorky rolling his tikit around inside esp. if he had nowhere to stash it (i.e. in a grad friend's lab or office, etc.).

    There's also the issue of what time he was there and for how long. If he was there long enough, the thief might have spotted it earlier, and went to go get tools. Plus nowadays, it gets noticeably dark starting at 5pm. Nevertheless, I hope he gets it back. If I were him, I'd start scanning the flea markets this weekend and maybe check around People's Park right away. THEN there are the used bike shops, as well as the knuckleheads on fraternity row and dorm rats who didn't leave for Christmas vacation. Sigh.

  4. #4
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    Here's what happened.
    Since none of us were there I don't see the mileage in second guessing the situation. I posted this here on the off chance somebody here came across this bike being sold and could help reunite the owner with his lost ride.

    I'm not looking for tips on parking my folding bike at UC Berkley [I live in Canada...] and the owner isn't a BF member [that I know of].
    safe riding - Vik
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    Since none of us were there I don't see the mileage in second guessing the situation. I posted this here on the off chance somebody here came across this bike being sold and could help reunite the owner with his lost ride.

    I'm not looking for tips on parking my folding bike at UC Berkley [I live in Canada...] and the owner isn't a BF member [that I know of].
    Fair enough.

    I think there's an important lesson here. If you're going to an area that requires alot of walking in indoors, leave the folder at home. This is especially true if the your not sure they will allow folding bikes covered or uncovered. There's nothing worse than taking a folder inside a building and told no bicycles allowed. This has happend to me in malls and shopping centers which is why I now use a beater.

    The folder practically becomes a part of you and this is especially true if it costs over 1K. You can't just get up and go to the mens room without walking with this rather large package. Shopping, dining and all sorts of activity must be accompanied with a 25 pound package. This more than anything else, is the reason you don't see people with folders inside anywhere! The folding bike is marketed like a "go everywhere" deal but in reality, it's a beast of burden.

  6. #6
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Update from Eric [looks like his insurance will cover the cost of his stolen Tikit...=-)]:

    "Hi Lynette,

    A number of people have emailed me with the same question.
    I’m still a bit confused exactly how it happened.

    I locked the main frame of the bike (the thick cross bar) to a u-shaped bike rack with a Bull Dog U-Lock (the stubby model).
    <3hrs>
    There was no sign of a broken lock or anything.
    In fact, I kept staring at the spot wondering if I had indeed locked my bike there.

    It was a very quiet day on the UCB campus (26 December) – not many bikes in the parking area, not many people walking around.
    Quiet enough of a day that as I locked my bike, I thought, hmmm this bright green new bike sure does stand out here.
    I considered folding it and bringing it inside, but had recently been reprimanded for bringing a bike in the building, so I didn’t.

    I guess the lesson there is to always listen to the little voice in your head that says, “hmmm not a good idea.”

    Other news folks might be interested in:
    If you purchase your bike with a credit card, it is very likely that you have insurance on the card that will pay the deductible for your property insurance.
    In my case, my property insurance has $1000 deductible, and the Mastercard folks said they will likely pay all of that.


    Hope that helps.

    e. "
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  7. #7
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    Some credit cards will reimburse you for lost or damaged or stolen items that you used the card to buy, at least they used to. I know this because I once dropped overboard a new pair of very expensive binoculars from my kayak and they reimbursed me in full. All they wanted was a police report. That was years as years ago, though.

  8. #8
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by werewolf View Post
    Some credit cards will reimburse you for lost or damaged or stolen items that you used the card to buy, at least they used to. I know this because I once dropped overboard a new pair of very expensive binoculars from my kayak and they reimbursed me in full. All they wanted was a police report. That was years as years ago, though.
    My Visa card gives me a certain number of days of theft protection for anything I buy with the card and extends the warranty by a year or more - have to check on that.
    safe riding - Vik
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  9. #9
    Hauja
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    My condolences or Codolences if you like fish.

  10. #10
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    I just saw a green tikit show up on Craigslist! Could this be the stolen bike?

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/bik/523738962.html

  11. #11
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    That's an after market seat - might be an identifier.

    That's also an unrealistically low price!!!

    Should be interesting to get vik's take on it.

    Way to go SesameCrunch.

  12. #12
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foldable Two View Post
    That's an after market seat - might be an identifier.

    That's also an unrealistically low price!!!

    Should be interesting to get vik's take on it.

    Way to go SesameCrunch.
    I didn't have the ticket stolen, but I emailed Eric and let him know.
    safe riding - Vik
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  13. #13
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    There's always a question of proving ownership, but with Bike Friday it's a no-brainer because they keep a database of customers and which bikes they own. Just look for the serial number and that answers all the questions.

  14. #14
    Senior Member SingleSpeeDemon's Avatar
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    Just in case the listing gets deleted...

    Bike Friday!Travel,Folding Bicycle.Just The Tikit! *Photo - $550 (san leandro)

    Reply to: see below
    Date: 2007-12-30, 3:37PM PST

    This is a "Bike Friday"! It's a lightweight folding, travel bicycle. This bike is in darn near new condition. This model is called "Just the Tikit, Built to Order". It is an 8-speed and is a size small to medium (equivalent to a 21" normal bike). Go to bikefriday.com to see all the details and read about how great these are!
    If you know someone who would love to have this, please pass this ad along, thanks!
    Asking $550 or best offer (no reasonable offer refused!)
    Please call Bill at (510) 394-8008









    it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

    PostingID: 523738962
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  15. #15
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeeDemon View Post
    Just in case the listing gets deleted...

    Bike Friday!Travel,Folding Bicycle.Just The Tikit! *Photo - $550 (san leandro)

    Reply to: see below
    Date: 2007-12-30, 3:37PM PST

    This is a "Bike Friday"! It's a lightweight folding, travel bicycle. This bike is in darn near new condition. This model is called "Just the Tikit, Built to Order". It is an 8-speed and is a size small to medium (equivalent to a 21" normal bike). Go to bikefriday.com to see all the details and read about how great these are!
    If you know someone who would love to have this, please pass this ad along, thanks!
    Asking $550 or best offer (no reasonable offer refused!)
    Please call Bill at (510) 394-8008









    it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

    PostingID: 523738962
    Good idea - thanks! It would certainly put a smile on my face if we were able to help Eric get his bike back!.....
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  16. #16
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    I think it's unlikely that a bike thief would advertise on the internet. More likely to try to sell it on the street someplace.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by werewolf View Post
    I think it's unlikely that a bike thief would advertise on the internet. More likely to try to sell it on the street someplace.
    I really doubt there are too many Green tikits, period, let alone in the Bay area. The Serial Number should be the key - unless it's been "erased".... :>)

  18. #18
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    I find it completely believable that a thief, of bikes or anything, would advertise on craigslist.

    $550 or best offer is HIGHLY suspicious for my profile of someone who would possess a Bike Friday, and such a new model, by legit means.

  19. #19
    Senior Member SingleSpeeDemon's Avatar
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    I concur. ^^^ Maybe if the poster listed the original selling price and a valid reason for selling, but even then $550 is INSANE for that bike. The bike should easily bring 2x that, even used. The Tikit in the Craig's List ad appears to be pristine.
    My Current Bikes:

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  20. #20
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Well Bike Friday contacted the seller on behalf of Eric [he is away at the moment out of contact] and the guy from Craig's List says he got it at a flea market, but acknowledges it may be stolen so he is going to hold don to it for Eric's return and work something out with him.

    I guess owning a fairly unique bike has some advantages.

    Thanks to Sesame Crunch for posting the ad from Craig's List and to Bike Friday for taking some action on behalf of a customer. Bike Forums CSI got some results - good work team...
    Last edited by vik; 12-31-07 at 08:16 AM.
    safe riding - Vik
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  21. #21
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    I love it when a plan comes together.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by makingmark View Post
    I find it completely believable that a thief, of bikes or anything, would advertise on craigslist.

    $550 or best offer is HIGHLY suspicious for my profile of someone who would possess a Bike Friday, and such a new model, by legit means.


    I don't know anything about these bikes. For all I knew they may all be green. Don't know much about Craigslist either, tho I did hear it was being used for some illegal activity. Yeah, this is pretty amazing cooperative detective work here! Has the victim made a positive id on the bike yet? If so, better notify the police in case it's the actual thief and the contact info is some sort of transient thing, or in case the thief wants the victim to show up with cash so he can rob him. Hopefully the police will take an interest instead of just filling out a form. Also, the seller is in the vicinity of the crime, yes? But again, I'm not familiar with that part of the country. Better hurry, though. If it is the thief, he may be long gone by now.

  23. #23
    Seņor Mambo
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    ...and the guy from Craig's List says he got it at a flea market, but acknowledges it may be stolen so he is going to hold don to it for Eric's return and work something out with him.


    That's what keeps people stealing bikes. The dude who bought it should be prosecuted. The bike needs to be turned into a police station NOW.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Also, that's what a thief will say. Where did you get the stolen bike? I bought if from some dude on the street/flea market.
    Last edited by werewolf; 12-31-07 at 01:39 PM.

  25. #25
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post


    From a post by Lynette Chiang on the Yak List:

    Hey folders on the dock of the Bay ...

    I feel even worse for poor Eric than for myself leaving my passport in a NY cab last week.... see attached rant below my rant. There's a shot of a green folded tikit at http://www.bikefriday.com/tikit

    Please don't hound poor Eric as to why he didn't wheel it inside, it will only make him feel worse and liable to jump off Grizzly Peak....(


    Text from Eric's email:

    "My *brand new* Bike Friday Tikit was stolen yesterday (12/26/07) on the UC Berkeley campus. It was locked with a U lock to the bike racks on the south side of the Valley Life Science Building.....
    It is such a distinctive bike, that the chances of it being noticed would hopefully be better than 0.

    I was barely able to afford this bike...).

    My contact info is: Eric Berlow
    eberlow@ucmerced.edu
    ericberlow@gmail.com
    209-625-6700 (cell)

    Sincerely, Eric"
    Poor guy. He just made a bad judgement based on "locking that thing outside" brainwashing of other's expectations instead of treating it like the expensive beautiful valuable item of machinery and technology it was and taking it with you at all times or leaving it at home or "safe house" as I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    Here's what happened.

    He was probably told by someone inside the school not to bring the bike inside. In his situation, he had two options. He could either cover the bike entirely and carry a + 25lb bag around campus. Not enjoyable at all. His second option was to leave the bike outside locked to a bike rack. A huge mistake as you would never park a bike worth more than $50.00 dollars on a bike rack.

    A much better option would have been to hide the bike. I left my folder hidden with a U-Lock and nothing ever happend. Only when my bikes were exposed to the public in front of eveyone's eyes, (ex. Bike rack) that they were attacked! My beater was hit last week with two cut inner tubes and a destroyed tire.

    Another option would be to get a beater and lock that to the bike rack and prey.

    He could also get a Strida or CarryME and just use that to roll around campus.
    From what I seen of the tikit, you can roll it around. Perhaps being so new to the bike, Eric was not aware of that feature. I always thought your method of hiding it locked up is interesting Dahon Steve, but not practical everywhere. Here in gangland where I live, people constantly watch you for a momentary weakness and pounce on that opportunity. "Hiding the bike" is a ticket for a theft here as it simply makes it easier for the thieves to work in peace.

    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    Since none of us were there I don't see the mileage in second guessing the situation. I posted this here on the off chance somebody here came across this bike being sold and could help reunite the owner with his lost ride.

    I'm not looking for tips on parking my folding bike at UC Berkley [I live in Canada...] and the owner isn't a BF member [that I know of].
    I hope the poor man is reunited with his bike, I really do. But if you see someone on a green tikit (assuming that it is not repainted in a homemade fashion, stripped for parts or driven to another county), what do you do? Call the police? Fat chance they will respond, much less get involve with "just a bike". Strong arm the suspect? Even if you can, perhaps the bike really does belong to the person in question. I once saw a Bike Friday outside a big box home improvement store in gangland a few years back. It was locked with a cheap cable lock and it was about to rain (a sad way of treating a beautiful bike). What can one do in gangland-or anywhere else for that matter? Folding bikes only work here when they are folded up and taken with you, not treated like a regular bike. Otherwise it's gone-probably forever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    Fair enough.

    I think there's an important lesson here. If you're going to an area that requires alot of walking in indoors, leave the folder at home. This is especially true if the your not sure they will allow folding bikes covered or uncovered. There's nothing worse than taking a folder inside a building and told no bicycles allowed. This has happend to me in malls and shopping centers which is why I now use a beater.

    The folder practically becomes a part of you and this is especially true if it costs over 1K. You can't just get up and go to the mens room without walking with this rather large package. Shopping, dining and all sorts of activity must be accompanied with a 25 pound package. This more than anything else, is the reason you don't see people with folders inside anywhere! The folding bike is marketed like a "go everywhere" deal but in reality, it's a beast of burden.
    I cover my bike and only take it with me in limited situations. Otherwise the bikes are at home. I do and have done all sorts of activities with the bike in it's nice cover and otherwise discreetly tucked in underneath tables (see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/265102648/in/set-72157594325178229/ ) or rolled about on it's own luggage cart. I have taken my bike with me in the Ladies room when necessary. I don't know if the Men's room have this option, but I use the wheelchair stall where it is much wider for wheelchairs (and the folding bike fits even unfolded there just nicely). This has worked for me as you can see in my Flickr photos.

    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    Update from Eric [looks like his insurance will cover the cost of his stolen Tikit...=-)]:

    "Hi Lynette,

    A number of people have emailed me with the same question.
    I’m still a bit confused exactly how it happened.

    I locked the main frame of the bike (the thick cross bar) to a u-shaped bike rack with a Bull Dog U-Lock (the stubby model).
    <3hrs>
    There was no sign of a broken lock or anything.
    In fact, I kept staring at the spot wondering if I had indeed locked my bike there.

    It was a very quiet day on the UCB campus (26 December) – not many bikes in the parking area, not many people walking around.
    Quiet enough of a day that as I locked my bike, I thought, hmmm this bright green new bike sure does stand out here.
    I considered folding it and bringing it inside, but had recently been reprimanded for bringing a bike in the building, so I didn’t.

    I guess the lesson there is to always listen to the little voice in your head that says, “hmmm not a good idea.”Other news folks might be interested in:
    If you purchase your bike with a credit card, it is very likely that you have insurance on the card that will pay the deductible for your property insurance.
    In my case, my property insurance has $1000 deductible, and the Mastercard folks said they will likely pay all of that.

    Hope that helps.

    e. "
    If my bike is not welcomed and I have been previously warned about taking it there, it stays home. Some credit cards have this option, but I am not interested in finding out if I have it or if they will reimbused me for the loss. But for me 100% of the time, I carry the most simple little bag in the world that prevents the bike from being identified as a bike-offered free on Flickr....http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/988690181/in/set-72157601331380862/
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 12-31-07 at 12:05 PM.

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