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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 08-29-05, 08:20 AM   #1
gpljr75
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How do you overcome worrying about theft?

I'm considering not replacing my Nissan in the event of a major breakdown. We would still have our Honda (my wife's car), but I would shift into a mostly car-free existence.

One question I have, though, pertains to dealing with worrying about theft. I bike to work almost everyday, and I run errands. Many times I'm left with no good way to lock up and I have panniers and a laptop on the back rack. I don't like having to lug all that off the just to stop by the supermarket on the way home from work.

Is stress over the possibility of theft just something you have to deal with? Or have you found other ways to adapt?

Thanks.
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Old 08-29-05, 08:31 AM   #2
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easily detachable panniers? i use a grocery pannier sometimes, it just hangs on, and my rack trunk keeps it from bouncing off.

i also use shoulder strap for my rack trunk, so when i go in a store it's just like a "box" type messenger bag

i'm sure there's more efficient ways but that's mine
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Old 08-29-05, 08:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesdenver
grocery pannier
That's my system. I have the grocery bag panniers from Nashbar. They detach quickly and have fabric loops at the top that serve as handles. When I'm carrying them around, they probably look like a fabric brief case to most people. I've also seen grocery bag panniers that have shoulder straps like jamesdenver's trunk bag.
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Old 08-29-05, 08:57 AM   #4
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I guess it's something you have to deal with. I second panniers that are easily detachable. If I have something that I really don't want to be stolen, I just have to carry it. A few times I've had two panniers. I just made sure that everything I really cared about was in the pannier I took in the store. I left the stuff I wasn't to worried about (spare tube, a few cheap tools) on the bike.

Also, I always know in my mind that things get stolen. Bikes get stolen. Cars get stolen. I make it as hard as possible for the thief to get it. But if they get it. There's not much I can do about it. At least with a bike it isn't so hard to get another one. I like my bikes, but I try not to get too attached to stuff. It can be gone quickly.
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Old 08-29-05, 09:50 AM   #5
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Check out these...
otivia.com

A lockable trunk mounted box that can fit a laptop.

Also, if you get a pair of metal pannier baskets and make wire tops you can padlock little stuff in it.

Otherwise yeah, worry about it a little bit. Usually carry stuff inside. Heavy at times but half the toughness of commuting comes from hauling a bag.
I used to carry one of the net/ mesh grocery bags for trips on the way home... The knid that expand to fit like 2 grocery bags and have little handles that i could use as backpack straps. Used to carry a ton in that thing, i could skip the gym for a few nights after a mile or two.
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Old 08-29-05, 10:21 AM   #6
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I use an older bike though while very functional is seriously in need of a paint job,new bar tape and showing hints of rust.In place of panniers I bungey a duffel to the rear rack that is easy for me to remove but complicated for someone else to figure out.I also attached a daypack above this in a similar manner that I sometimes detach and wear into the store or on dayhikes.About the only valuable I carry off the bike besides this is my pump but if I did carry a computer I would definitely carry it into the store in the daypack.

With all of this being very functional but not fashionable, I just lock the bike to a rack, sign post,tree or whatever and never worry about it while in stores etc.
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Old 08-29-05, 10:53 AM   #7
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Theft is not something I stress about since my beater was not very expensive to begin with. I would have lots of stress if the bike were locked on a rack next to some rusting Huffys and Roadbmasters. I get around this by hiding the bike in the back of the supermarket. Works all the time and the crooks don't go there.
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Old 08-29-05, 12:12 PM   #8
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Let me share with you the almost theft-free solution that I came up with since I live in a very high crime rate area and NO locks seem good enough-even for beaters. Here it is:

Folding bicycle+easy detachable accessories+never leaving it alone or locked up outside+cable lock and locked indoors in event I do=dependable bike that will be there when I need it.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 08-29-05 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 08-29-05, 04:10 PM   #9
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Insurance?
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Old 08-30-05, 10:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpljr75

Is stress over the possibility of theft just something you have to deal with? Or have you found other ways to adapt?

Thanks.
The stress will go away as you adopt new habits. Previous posts describe some of the habits. Always lock. Detachable carryalls. Insurance.
Its just like with a car. Some people go through a big ritual with those club
things and electronic devices, some people leave their cars unlocked with nothing in them. My new panniers, I take in the store with me but the old ones I leave on the bike unless there is something in them. When I make sequential visits to several stores and accumulate stuff, I take the stuff in and leave it at the office while I shop. Same thing if I stop at a store on the way home and have a lot of work stuff. The store managers seem to like it that way. Its a different habit from when I had a car and would leave things from one store in the car while I shop at the next store. A good thing about shopping with your panniers is that you can see if you have room for that impulse purchase because you can load your panniers as you go to see what fits.
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Old 09-04-05, 05:31 AM   #11
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I walk my bike right into Walmart and park it behind the shopping carts. Then I ask the lady near the carts who says "Welcome To Walmart" if she would keep an eye on it for a few minutes. They have always been agreeable, and I have never had a problem.
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Old 09-04-05, 06:22 AM   #12
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I use the Arkel hook system on my panniers which allows me to padlock the hook system to my rack. I keep my chain in a pannier that is always lock to the rack. No one has ever touched it.
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Old 09-04-05, 09:46 AM   #13
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I do the same as Ziemas. I padlock a grocery pannier to my rack but I also have the Arkel Bug backpack/pannier. The main thing that I have changed is just the way I look at my travel. If you think like you are driving a car then you won't get the full benefits of biking and it could bother you. You have to think like you're riding a bike. I just keep my lock, a coffee mug, a bungie net, and multitool in the bag I keep on my bike. My bike light and anything else that is worth much I keep in my backpack. Most people around where I live don't think that a bike could have anything worth stealing and if they know that bikes are expensive they are probably riders themselves and won't steal stuff. Last week even I forgot to lock my bike up on campus for 4 hours and it was still there when I got back. And it was right in the middle of campus in front of the library. Just think like a cyclist and you'll do fine and have a lot more fun.
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Old 09-04-05, 09:59 AM   #14
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kryptonite and messenger bag, problem solved
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