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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-17-08, 10:07 AM   #1
ianjk
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How not to steal a bike.

So, I meet up with my buddies for Irish pub quiz at the local watering hole. After the quiz, people start heading out, we grab our usual booth (in front window, right next to our bikes) and have a few beers. I run out for a quick smoke and see a rather shady looking character pull up on a full suspension bike and stash it in an unused doorway right next to the bar entrance...(didn't look too close, thought it was just a cheap department store bike).

So... shady character walks into the bar, goes directly to the bathroom and starts doing lines off of the sink and offering coke to a regular. Guy is kicked out within a minute or two. He sees my buddy's Raleigh Olympian brakeless conversion (hoopty'd out with gold rattle-canned wheels, gold bar tape and cheap combo-chain lock that actually matches the whole ensemble).

In a moment of intense wisdom, he decides that he needs this bike. He puts his foot on the light pole and yanks as hard as he can, breaking the cheap combo lock. This is where the hilarity starts.

A running mount on a bike with a fixed wheel isn't too hard, provided you have ridden one for a couple days/weeks/months/years and are familiar with the basic concept of no freewheel.

Before I go any further, a little background... We live in a town of ~80,000 people, built on a hill with about 10-20 people who ride single-speeds for every day use, and even fewer running a fixed wheel... so your average bike-thief has no clue on how to ride, let alone do a running mount of a direct-drive bike...

He made it 15 feet.

He tried to do the sprint along left side of bike, put left foot on left pedal, swing right leg over seat and take off with your newly-stolen bike.

He failed, bad.

So far, he is about 5 seconds into his theft and face down on the ground. He had was probably trying to figure out what is happening when I reach him. Imagine lying face down on the ground after crashing some unrideable bike and having a 200 lb 6'2" ice climber/biker grab you by the hood and drag you down the street, away from the bar entrance, then pin you down and wait for backup....

This is where it gets even funnier, I dragged him down by the doorway where the thief had stashed the bike he rode in on... and start laughing my arse off....

My friend's conversion cost ~$100 for wheels, free frame, $5 for gold spraypaint and $10 for the fancy gold grip-tape. The bike thief had rolled in on a full-suspension Specialized Stumpjumper M4!

So the cops show up and we hand him over to them. We explain the whole thing, laughing the whole time. The cops couldn't believe how stupid the thief was and thanked us for stopping him and recovering the M4.

I'm still laughing, almost 12 hours later.

Last edited by ianjk; 11-17-08 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 11-17-08, 10:23 AM   #2
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Awesome.
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Old 11-17-08, 10:31 AM   #3
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Speaking of fixed gear thefts, I think it's funny when (at least where I live) you see someone riding a bike they SO CLEARLY stole ...

Typical scene ...

The bike: Fixed gear, nice but not too pimped out, nice, solid-color frame with matching Velocity rims and tires, bullhorns or straight bars, sometimes with a top tube pad.

The perpetrator: Some guy, swerving right or left constantly, no messenger bag, looks homeless, clothes completely dirty, faint fecal scent mixed with liquor in his wake.

I used to think, "Who the hell would wanna steal a bike that has been completely customized by the owner?" ... not anymore.
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Old 11-17-08, 10:32 AM   #4
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Funny. But seriously he broke a lock that easily?
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Old 11-17-08, 10:36 AM   #5
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Funny. But seriously he broke a lock that easily?



+ only 2 tumblers were turned from "open" position.
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Old 11-17-08, 12:06 PM   #6
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great story!
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Old 11-17-08, 12:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by devilshaircut View Post
The bike: Fixed gear, nice but not too pimped out, nice, solid-color frame with matching Velocity rims and tires, bullhorns or straight bars, sometimes with a top tube pad.

The perpetrator: Some guy, swerving right or left constantly, no messenger bag, looks homeless, clothes completely dirty, faint fecal scent mixed with liquor in his wake.
Except for the Velocities, you've described me to a 'T'. I assure you, my bikes are not stolen.
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Old 11-17-08, 01:55 PM   #8
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That's probably a good feeling for sure. +1 for climbing. I climb rocks, not ice, so that would indicate a whole other level of ballsyness in my opinion.

What's a friday night Irish pub quiz?

Quote:
The perpetrator: Some guy, swerving right or left constantly, no messenger bag, looks homeless, clothes completely dirty, faint fecal scent mixed with liquor in his wake.
You've described hipsters? Honestly, no mess bag indicates someone shouldn't be riding fixed? I mean I agree otherwise, but really?
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Old 11-17-08, 02:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by devilshaircut View Post
Speaking of fixed gear thefts, I think it's funny when (at least where I live) you see someone riding a bike they SO CLEARLY stole ...

Typical scene ...

The bike: Fixed gear, nice but not too pimped out, nice, solid-color frame with matching Velocity rims and tires, bullhorns or straight bars, sometimes with a top tube pad.

The perpetrator: Some guy, swerving right or left constantly, no messenger bag, looks homeless, clothes completely dirty, faint fecal scent mixed with liquor in his wake.

I used to think, "Who the hell would wanna steal a bike that has been completely customized by the owner?" ... not anymore.
Yes, I've seen that a lot: some guy in his late 30s, looking pretty rough, will approach on a fixed gear conversion that he doesn't feel comfortable going faster than a snail pace on (or maybe is even walking the bike) and says: "my friend gave me this. do you want to buy it?"
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Old 11-17-08, 02:35 PM   #10
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LMAO

That is an amusing anecdote.
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Old 11-17-08, 02:55 PM   #11
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That's probably a good feeling for sure. +1 for climbing. I climb rocks, not ice, so that would indicate a whole other level of ballsyness in my opinion.

What's a friday night Irish pub quiz?
I climb rock too, just not as much as I used too

Pub quiz is a team or individual event where you answer 25 tough/kinda tough questions. Winner(s) get funny/goofy prizes and entered into yearly drawing. We have some pretty good rivalries and it makes for good fun. Get a pretty good bike crowd for our town.
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Old 11-17-08, 03:05 PM   #12
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pub quiz sounds fun. I used to pretty much the same thing with my dad when I was in high school at the bar he and his friends drank at. the prizes usually involved pitchers of beer and chicken wings.
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Old 11-17-08, 04:01 PM   #13
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A while ago I was talking to this guy I had just met and a sort of similar story. I don't remember all the details, but it went like this:
Dude is drinking at a bar with some friends. The bar closes and they all leave except for him, because he's bumming a cigarette off of someone. While hes bumming the cig his back is turned to his now unlocked bike. Some guy comes up behind him, grabs the bike and takes off down a hill. Almost instantly the thief realizes that he's riding a bike that can't coast, doesn't have brakes and has a loose headset, and that he is riding down a hill toward a red light. He blows thru the light because he can't control the bike at all and gets nailed by a car, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. The thief died in the hospital later.
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Old 11-17-08, 05:25 PM   #14
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lol.
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Old 11-17-08, 05:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by pirate View Post
A while ago I was talking to this guy I had just met and a sort of similar story. I don't remember all the details, but it went like this:
Dude is drinking at a bar with some friends. The bar closes and they all leave except for him, because he's bumming a cigarette off of someone. While hes bumming the cig his back is turned to his now unlocked bike. Some guy comes up behind him, grabs the bike and takes off down a hill. Almost instantly the thief realizes that he's riding a bike that can't coast, doesn't have brakes and has a loose headset, and that he is riding down a hill toward a red light. He blows thru the light because he can't control the bike at all and gets nailed by a car, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. The thief died in the hospital later.
I could just imagine that happening.
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Old 11-17-08, 05:33 PM   #16
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A while ago I was talking to this guy I had just met and a sort of similar story. I don't remember all the details, but it went like this:
Dude is drinking at a bar with some friends. The bar closes and they all leave except for him, because he's bumming a cigarette off of someone. While hes bumming the cig his back is turned to his now unlocked bike. Some guy comes up behind him, grabs the bike and takes off down a hill. Almost instantly the thief realizes that he's riding a bike that can't coast, doesn't have brakes and has a loose headset, and that he is riding down a hill toward a red light. He blows thru the light because he can't control the bike at all and gets nailed by a car, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. The thief died in the hospital later.
I shouldn't lol...heh.
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Old 11-17-08, 05:54 PM   #17
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best instant-karma story yet.
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Old 11-17-08, 06:00 PM   #18
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Drinking-beatdown=fail
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Old 11-17-08, 06:01 PM   #19
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+1 for climbing! I always wanted to try ice climbing but I figure I'll get to it in 25 years when I turn 50 and start trad climbing. To me it seems fixed gears are like the bouldering of bike riding.

I'm just kidding, all climbing gets props.
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Old 11-17-08, 06:48 PM   #20
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A while ago I was talking to this guy I had just met and a sort of similar story. I don't remember all the details, but it went like this:
Dude is drinking at a bar with some friends. The bar closes and they all leave except for him, because he's bumming a cigarette off of someone. While hes bumming the cig his back is turned to his now unlocked bike. Some guy comes up behind him, grabs the bike and takes off down a hill. Almost instantly the thief realizes that he's riding a bike that can't coast, doesn't have brakes and has a loose headset, and that he is riding down a hill toward a red light. He blows thru the light because he can't control the bike at all and gets nailed by a car, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. The thief died in the hospital later.
Im hoping thats how the life of the ******* that stole my bike ended. I was riding a brakeless bmx through the city, so with any luck hes a goner
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Old 11-17-08, 07:02 PM   #21
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duluth mn?
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Old 11-17-08, 08:42 PM   #22
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Hurrah

drinks all around!!!
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Old 11-17-08, 08:52 PM   #23
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The bike thief died! HILARIOUS.
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Old 11-17-08, 08:58 PM   #24
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duluth mn?
yah.
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Old 11-17-08, 09:18 PM   #25
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The bike thief died! HILARIOUS.
you wouldn't steal the lone ranger's horse, would you?
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