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Old 06-19-09, 03:13 PM   #1
jccaclimber
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Apparently they don't allow nice bikes at Purdue

Today started as a nice day off of work. I rode from my apartment off the south end of Lafayette, IN (I work in Indianapolis at the moment) to the Purdue campus to meet my girlfriend (Just starting her PhD) for lunch. Not seeing any signs on the doors about bikes, I put on my rubber cleat covers, shouldered my bike, and walked in. It turned out my girlfriend had given me the wrong room number, and as a result instead of ending up at her office (first time on campus since I looked at colleges 5-6 years ago) I ended up in a professor's office. Not sure where to wander next, and not wanting to carry my bike too much longer (It's clean, but I figured I'd carry it anyways) I asked if I could set it in the office, which I was told I could do. I managed to find her, and then moved my bike to her office. The other students there didn't think it was an issue as it was against her desk, and I went to lunch.
Now, there are bike racks outside this building however, I've also met one person, and heard from another who have had parts stolen from their bikes on those very bike racks in the middle of the day. My bike (carbon frame) also isn't the sort that you just lock up and come back for later, because it won't be there.
Lunch was ok, but when I got back I noticed that my bike was gone from the office (which had a closed door, and people in it). Apparently despite not being posted anywhere it is a campus wide policy (in a rule book my girlfriend apparently doesn't have yet) that you cannot have bikes in buildings. We tracked down the overweight building supervisor and I was told that I should be thankful.
Apparently the university policy upon finding bicycles in buildings is to call the police and turn them is as stolen/abandoned/whatever. I was also informed that had she been following the (not posted) rules that 1) I would no longer be the owner of my bike (not sure how that works) and 2) Have to attempt to purchase my bike back at the local police auction, before someone else did.

I asked where I might put my bike on future campus visits, and what my girlfriend should do as she planned to start biking to work the next week. I was informed that there was no option other than putting the bike in the bike racks, and that I should buy her a new bike at Walmart because her bike (based on a description) would get stolen very quickly if she tried biking in. It was also advised that she take an hour long bus ride in every day as an alternative. The person I was dealing with was courteous through the whole process (and I think I was as well), but no amount of I'm sorry, I agree but rules are rules and I only enforce them) is going to solve my problem.

She can
1) Buy a parking permit and drive to work, then bike some other time later in the day
2) Ride the bus which would likely cost more than just using her car and bike some other time of the day
3) Buy the cheapest ****tiest bike I can find, and have her ride it instead of her perfectly functional road bike, because there's no place on a campus with just over 40,000 students to safely and legally put a road bike.

Suggestions?
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Old 06-19-09, 07:58 PM   #2
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how long is her commute in? Is a road bike the best tool?
Get used to it tiger, not every company in a big city has pampered bike parking in a thermo-regulated oxygen chamber. You know what they do?
Commute on lesser bikes.

Also people don't know how to lock bikes. Get a combo ulock and a flexible rope lock and she'll be fine. Get a cheaper bike that's better suited for the commute anyways, it doesn't need to be "walmart" either.

Wow, your bike is made of that crazy carbon fiber stuff?
I'm sorry, I stand corrected. Feel free to carry elitest entitlements to your full ability.
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Old 06-19-09, 09:04 PM   #3
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To the OP:

There are ways to secure the parts of your bikes so that parking them on the rack shouldn't be a problem. You can glue ball bearings into the hex nuts, get locking skewers, and small cable locks for the saddle.

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how long is her commute in? Is a road bike the best tool?
Get used to it tiger, not every company in a big city has pampered bike parking in a thermo-regulated oxygen chamber. You know what they do?
Commute on lesser bikes.

Also people don't know how to lock bikes. Get a combo ulock and a flexible rope lock and she'll be fine. Get a cheaper bike that's better suited for the commute anyways, it doesn't need to be "walmart" either.

Wow, your bike is made of that crazy carbon fiber stuff?
I'm sorry, I stand corrected. Feel free to carry elitest entitlements to your full ability.
He's not the one sounding elitest and snobby. You are much more so in this case. Just calling them like I see them.
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Old 06-19-09, 11:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laryanshabaz View Post
how long is her commute in? Is a road bike the best tool?
It took me around 30 minutes when I biked in today. A road bike is a perfectly valid tool as she will be in the street 95% of the way there, and she already has a road bike she enjoys riding.
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Get used to it tiger, not every company in a big city has pampered bike parking in a thermo-regulated oxygen chamber. You know what they do?
Commute on lesser bikes.
What exactly did I do to you? Here I thought I was trying fairly hard not to insult everyone.
I'm not asking for a temperature and humidity regulated vault with a personal security guard. Some of the places I've worked in the past have had some opposition to bicycles and I've been able to solve the problem by 1)Drying it off if wet before walking past the door 2)Carrying it to keep the floors clean and 3) Putting it in my office (read: behind a door where nobody but me, my pet turtles, and visitors see it). Generally they are happy because it's one space closer to the door that they can park when I get in before them.
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Also people don't know how to lock bikes. Get a combo ulock and a flexible rope lock and she'll be fine.
I know how to lock a bike, as does she. She has a u-lock for the frame and rear wheel, and a nice steel cable for the front wheel. If it becomes absolutely required we can get a longer cable so that it can go through her seat as well, although the seat rails are very close to the seat bottom, so that may not work. However, I've talked to two people who have had theft issues. The first one had a cheap box store bike, and had their seat and seat post stolen. It was a bolt on clamp, the seat post was steel and starting to rust, and the seat, which wasn't much good to begin with had several tears. The second person had a $60 box store bike and had the rear derailer stolen some time between lunch and 5:00. Last time I checked the rear derailers on the bottom end box store bikes weren't worth much more than $5 in the local shops. If that sort of thing is being stolen in the middle of the day right off the sidewalk I'm pretty sure that a u-lock and cable isn't going to do the trick. There were also some broken cheap chain locks on the ground around the rack, and at least one cut cable lock so I'm not sure what the required deterrent level is.

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Get a cheaper bike that's better suited for the commute anyways, it doesn't need to be "walmart" either.
The road bike (forgive me for using a general term) is already set up for that. The tires are a bit wider than they would have been otherwise, I put a bit more thought into the brakes, and I'll get around to mounting the fender at some point. She's very comfortable on it both in handling and fit. What exactly are you proposing that is better suited?

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Originally Posted by laryanshabaz View Post
Wow, your bike is made of that crazy carbon fiber stuff?
I'm sorry, I stand corrected. Feel free to carry elitest entitlements to your full ability.
[/QUOTE]
Last time I had a kid walk up to me to ask me how to keep his bike from being stolen it turned out to be a 35 year old rusted pos that didn't shift or stop until after I put 5 hours of work into it. I figured that was a nice 1 word way to portray to readers that this was not my case. Does the simple fact that I got a great deal on a frame by working for a manufacturer a couple years ago make me elitist? I didn't go on about wheels, cost, anything else, I just tried to make things reasonably clear.

I suppose I should add that I do have a folding bike I'm getting back into running order. We're considering trying to make or buy a fabric bag for it then having her carry it in out of sight. This seems to have worked well some other places. However, the folding bike isn't exactly designed for bumps bigger than a quarter, and is way slower a ride than the road bike. It would be nice not to turn a 30 minute ride into a 45 minute ride just to keep the other bike from getting part stolen, but it seems like a good option at this point.

Last edited by jccaclimber; 06-20-09 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 06-20-09, 12:05 AM   #5
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To the OP:

There are ways to secure the parts of your bikes so that parking them on the rack shouldn't be a problem. You can glue ball bearings into the hex nuts, get locking skewers, and small cable locks for the saddle.
Ball bearings in the hex nuts actually sounds like a pretty good idea, although what do you do when you need to get the hex nuts off (I break these down for travel every couple months)? I don't trust locking skewers because I have not seen a pair that I can't get around in 15 seconds with a pair of cone wrenches (old enough fork that there are no lawyer lips). I wonder if putting a u-lock on the front wheel as well might be a safer solution, although that leaves her carrying 2 u-locks which is creeping up on her total weight.
A smaller cable for the seat sounds like a good idea. Seeing as you seem to have dealt with this before, what is the point (other than just being a donkey's rear) in stealing torn up seats from box store bikes? Every large college campus I've been on seems to have theft issues with derailers (front and rear) and seats. We're talking about the sort of seat that you can get a bike shop to sell you or $5, so the thieves can't be making money off of these, the brake levers would be worth more, and aren't much harder to take off.
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Old 06-20-09, 02:57 PM   #6
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jccaclimber

Just went on the Purdue website and found out that they have a Sustainability Council. Maybe work with them to arrange for some secure parking areas on campus?? They might be able to help you navigate the various "rules enforcers" on campus.
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Old 06-21-09, 09:35 PM   #7
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might want to check out the commuter forum for more ideas/suggestions.
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Old 06-22-09, 07:58 AM   #8
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Ball bearings in the hex nuts actually sounds like a pretty good idea, although what do you do when you need to get the hex nuts off (I break these down for travel every couple months)? I don't trust locking skewers because I have not seen a pair that I can't get around in 15 seconds with a pair of cone wrenches (old enough fork that there are no lawyer lips). I wonder if putting a u-lock on the front wheel as well might be a safer solution, although that leaves her carrying 2 u-locks which is creeping up on her total weight.
A smaller cable for the seat sounds like a good idea. Seeing as you seem to have dealt with this before, what is the point (other than just being a donkey's rear) in stealing torn up seats from box store bikes? Every large college campus I've been on seems to have theft issues with derailers (front and rear) and seats. We're talking about the sort of seat that you can get a bike shop to sell you or $5, so the thieves can't be making money off of these, the brake levers would be worth more, and aren't much harder to take off.
You can get them out with a poker and a few minutes, depending on what you put in there. You can go down as easily as wax up to epoxy.

As for the weight. It maybe the price payed. Though being a big guy, 3 pounds for a lock is nothing compared to the total of me and my bike.

As far as stealing. It's a matter of two factors: desperation and market. Desperation for a drug addict trying to steal something, anything, to sell for a quick fix. The second is market, if there are kids on the campus willing to buy an obviously stolen derailleur, even if for a few bucks, it will get stolen. It may also be that a few students there are just clepto for bikes and parts. Using them themselves after yoinking them.
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Old 06-22-09, 08:24 AM   #9
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The taking the bike part is a bit totalitarian but Purdue has a lot of parking issues, I have a ticket hanging on my cork board from purdue parking Nazi's. I would pursue what the rule really states, some people seem to have almost a phobia of bicycles in any building except the garage. There is a couple of pay garages I always park in up there (since the ticket) perhaps they would allow you to lock up her bike in view of the attendent. IUPUI has bike lockers maybe you could pressure Purdue to start using them too.
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Old 06-22-09, 03:37 PM   #10
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Thanks for the suggestions thus far (and keep them coming). Right now she's looking into student gov, and seeing if there is anything they can do. Bike lockers like IUPUI sound nice too. Maybe it's just me, but I'd gladly pay half the price of an annual parking pass to be able to lock my bike indoors in a not too huge or camera equipped room.
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Old 06-22-09, 07:49 PM   #11
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1 beat up used minivan + 1 parking permit = one nice personal storage facility. Just be sure to move the minivan from time to time.
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Old 06-22-09, 09:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by emperorcezar View Post
You can get them out with a poker and a few minutes, depending on what you put in there. You can go down as easily as wax up to epoxy.

As for the weight. It maybe the price payed. Though being a big guy, 3 pounds for a lock is nothing compared to the total of me and my bike.

As far as stealing. It's a matter of two factors: desperation and market. Desperation for a drug addict trying to steal something, anything, to sell for a quick fix. The second is market, if there are kids on the campus willing to buy an obviously stolen derailleur, even if for a few bucks, it will get stolen. It may also be that a few students there are just clepto for bikes and parts. Using them themselves after yoinking them.
From what I remember from when I was a student there most of the theft wasn't really stealing bikes for bikes sake rather theft in the name of drunkin vandalism sake.

I can't tell you how many times someone came rolling up to a party on a bike only to respond with "I don't know....I just found it" when asked where they got the bike.

Just remember....you're dealing with a butt-ton of farmer boys, and introverted engineering types who have finally been turned loose on the world and binge drink like it's the only real sport one can participate in....to be followed by immense amounts of sexual frustration over the poor male to female ratio....it usually results in late night drunkin vandalism.

...wait a minute....you came from good ol Rosey. You know all about poor male to female ratios and geek driven drunk abandon....
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Old 06-23-09, 07:14 AM   #13
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No good solution

As a Purdue graduate student who commutes to school, I have to agree that parking a bike in any of the general bike racks is a bad idea. Nice bikes get stolen with fair regularity. I keep my bike in my office. I know that my building manager is picky too, so I use a few locks to lock it to a cabinet, my desk, and some exposed pipes. Amazingly, if it takes more work to remove the bike than usual they just leave it. Also, my wife baked a couple of plates of cookies for the janitors over the period of a few months. Who said discrete bribery doesn't work? Lastly, maybe your girlfriend could take some time to get to know them so that they will feel guilty about making a hassle for her.

If all else fails claim that the bike is a 5000 dollar piece of lab equipment. Shoot, they would probably even maintenance the thing for you.

lets recap... bribes, lying, passive aggression, and friendliness. All you need is one of those to work.
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Old 06-23-09, 07:45 AM   #14
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Do they still have the parking limit enforcer with the chalk-bag-on-a-stick in the 3 wheeled golf cart?
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...farmer boys, ... introverted engineering types ... binge drink ... sexual frustration over the poor male to female ratio....
that sounds about right.
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Old 06-23-09, 09:22 AM   #15
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1 beat up used minivan + 1 parking permit = one nice personal storage facility. Just be sure to move the minivan from time to time.
I actually thought about that. Unfortunately the only way that's practical is to buy a junk yard quality vehicle (I'm ok with this part) and then insure (or not) it with the legal minimum. Otherwise it's cheaper to get a used trek 1000 and get it stolen once per year (which I also considered). Perhaps if I need to start renting bike spots to the other students</sarcasm>.

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From what I remember from when I was a student there most of the theft wasn't really stealing bikes for bikes sake rather theft in the name of drunkin vandalism sake.
I can't tell you how many times someone came rolling up to a party on a bike only to respond with "I don't know....I just found it" when asked where they got the bike.
Just remember....you're dealing with a butt-ton of farmer boys, and introverted engineering types who have finally been turned loose on the world and binge drink like it's the only real sport one can participate in....to be followed by immense amounts of sexual frustration over the poor male to female ratio....it usually results in late night drunkin vandalism.
...wait a minute....you came from good ol Rosey. You know all about poor male to female ratios and geek driven drunk abandon....
Yeah, found myself a nice girl at RHIT, and then promptly let her drag me to Purdue. Look at the terrible things girls make us do. I never had a hard time finding girls at RHIT, probably because all the other guys were to busy with their geek driven drunk abandon to occupy them.
Unlike what I've heard locally, you seem to be implying that the majority of bike crime occurs at night. If this is really the case it shouldn't be as much of an issue, for now at least, since she's only on campus during the day.

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As a Purdue graduate student who commutes to school, I have to agree that parking a bike in any of the general bike racks is a bad idea. Nice bikes get stolen with fair regularity. I keep my bike in my office. I know that my building manager is picky too, so I use a few locks to lock it to a cabinet, my desk, and some exposed pipes. Amazingly, if it takes more work to remove the bike than usual they just leave it. Also, my wife baked a couple of plates of cookies for the janitors over the period of a few months. Who said discrete bribery doesn't work? Lastly, maybe your girlfriend could take some time to get to know them so that they will feel guilty about making a hassle for her.
If all else fails claim that the bike is a 5000 dollar piece of lab equipment. Shoot, they would probably even maintenance the thing for you.
lets recap... bribes, lying, passive aggression, and friendliness. All you need is one of those to work.
Unfortunately in the MEMS buildings I think the bike price would need a couple more 00's on the end before it qualifies as lab equipment. One of the techs did offer to buy the bike from me for all of the money in his wallet though. Sadly he wanted to keep his credit cards and ID. I've tried the friendliness, perhaps the lying and passive aggression will have to do until the bribes come through. I actually figured it would be a "here are the rules, and here is what we actually enforce" sort of situation, but apparently not in this building.
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Do they still have the parking limit enforcer with the chalk-bag-on-a-stick in the 3 wheeled golf cart?
Not sure, but it sounds like the sort of vehicle that belongs on a roof somewhere.
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Old 06-23-09, 09:31 AM   #16
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From what I remember from when I was a student there most of the theft wasn't really stealing bikes for bikes sake rather theft in the name of drunkin vandalism sake.
That wouldn't surprise me. When I was there, I parked my Jeep in a lighted parking garage which cops patrolled on occasion.
It had a hood lock, so they couldn't get into the engine compartment, but I still found evidence of tampering on an average of once every two weeks. The stereo (a $50 JCPenny special), was stolen on one occasion, and the rear brake line was slashed on another.
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Old 06-23-09, 11:16 AM   #17
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Rear brake line seems like a bad one to lose. Here's an idea. The building she's in is a couple hundred feet from the police station. What do those of you who have been there think of her locking up her bike on the rack right behind the police building? My thoughts are that without a camera it won't really matter, but she seems to think that the police station will provide some sort of small safety bubble against vandalism. Thoughts?
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Old 06-23-09, 11:35 AM   #18
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1 beat up used minivan + 1 parking permit = one nice personal storage facility. Just be sure to move the minivan from time to time.
And split the cost with a second bike commuter if the van will hold 2 bikes.
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Old 06-23-09, 01:30 PM   #19
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They have a right to make and enforce whatever policies they want. The issue of ownership is a little sketchy, but yeah, they don't owe your fancy-schmancy bike an indoor parking spot. That's kind of like bringing your Porsche to campus and expecting them to provide a spot in a parking garage.

As for your gf, I suggest she find something from the 80s or 90s on Craigslist and ride that to campus.
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Old 07-02-09, 07:53 AM   #20
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Plenty of good ideas on this thread!

I leave a heat-treated chain and Masterlock (R) on the rack where I park my bicycle at work; I don't have to carry that weight.

When I was teenager, some ****head threw my bicycle and several others over the wall at McCutcheon Hall. There were not enough spaces in "the dormitory rack", so I had just locked the rear wheel to the frame.

Purdue is a very statist/fall-in-line/conformist sort of place. That policy about them confiscating your bicycle is typical Purdue****. I quit that place and transferred to a school in Ohio where I was much happier. Peace, brother.
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Old 07-02-09, 08:15 AM   #21
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[QUOTE=Doohickie;9152912]They have a right to make and enforce whatever policies they want. The issue of ownership is a little sketchy, but yeah, they don't owe your fancy-schmancy bike an indoor parking spot. That's kind of like bringing your Porsche to campus and expecting them to provide a spot in a parking garage.

As for your gf, I suggest she find something from the 80s or 90s on Craigslist and ride that to campus.[/
QUOTE]

There's a lot of reasons why bicycles aren't allowed inside - liability, insurance, fire codes, cleanliness, etc. We can't say a bicycle is a vehicle and deserve the same rights as cars on one hand and then think it's acceptable to bring them inside with perhaps greasy chains to stain furniture and peoples clothes.
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Old 07-02-09, 08:19 AM   #22
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[quote=StanSeven;9206772]
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
They have a right to make and enforce whatever policies they want. The issue of ownership is a little sketchy, but yeah, they don't owe your fancy-schmancy bike an indoor parking spot. That's kind of like bringing your Porsche to campus and expecting them to provide a spot in a parking garage.

As for your gf, I suggest she find something from the 80s or 90s on Craigslist and ride that to campus.[/
QUOTE]

There's a lot of reasons why bicycles aren't allowed inside - liability, insurance, fire codes, cleanliness, etc. We can't say a bicycle is a vehicle and deserve the same rights as cars on one hand and then think it's acceptable to bring them inside with perhaps greasy chains to stain furniture and peoples clothes.
A bicycle causes less disruption than a wheel chair. I think the problem is some people's Mom would never let them bring their bike in the house. I have never got my chain on furniture or clothes at work.
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Old 07-02-09, 08:35 AM   #23
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Rear brake line seems like a bad one to lose. Here's an idea. The building she's in is a couple hundred feet from the police station. What do those of you who have been there think of her locking up her bike on the rack right behind the police building? My thoughts are that without a camera it won't really matter, but she seems to think that the police station will provide some sort of small safety bubble against vandalism. Thoughts?
Nope. The police station used to be the late night toilet of choice.
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Old 07-04-09, 01:47 AM   #24
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nope. Purdon't is the big ten's toilet of choice.
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Old 07-08-09, 11:13 AM   #25
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Here I thought this one had reached its end.
For the time the 198x Schwinn box store quality bike formerly ridden by her mother has been called back in to service from Michigan. I've cleaned it up and fixed the brakes so at least it stops now.
As for bicycles being vehicles and coming indoors, to a certain extent I agree. However, if vandalism and theft were half as common with cars as it is with bicycles, I'm pretty sure something would be done about it. As for bicycles being less of a problem than wheelchairs, that doesn't help too much. The only reason places make any effort at all to allow wheel chair access is the law telling them to, and even then many places don't exactly follow code until they get sued.
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