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Old 01-29-07, 03:35 PM   #1
odl21
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bike security when camping / sleeping with your bike

i'm planning a 3 day cycle in france next month and i'm not sure how to protect my bike overnight.

initially i was thinking of using just a sleeping bag, bivvy sack and covering my bike in a waterproof stuff sack. now i'm a little worried about the bike being stolen.

so i'm thinking of using a light 2-man tent for two of us and our two bikes.

how do people normally deal with this issue?

thanks.
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Old 01-29-07, 04:40 PM   #2
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I usually put my tent and sleeping bag/pad on top of my rear rack so they are easier to get to,then I lock my bike with a good u-lock and cable thru the front wheel (U-lock always goes thru the rear) and another cable thru the trailer frame and wheel....If someone can lift this contraption and run away quietly enough to not wake me up or run with 150-160 Lbs. of stuff faster than I can they earned it!
So far I have never have had any thefts (Sans a light I fergot to take with me) In France, one is probuly (sp) less likely to have this problem than, oh, lets say Arizona,Cali, or New York. (Yes I spent a night stealth camping in Battery Park,and another in Central Park,Needless to say I did'nt get much sleep
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Old 01-29-07, 05:54 PM   #3
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A tent for the bikes seems more than a little too turbo.
A cable could be cut quietly but not a u-lock.
If you have nothing to lock them to, lock them together.
Don't be so near a road that a couple of guys could swoop down in a van or pickup.
Lock tent zippers together with a luggage lock when leaving tent unattended.
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Old 01-29-07, 06:58 PM   #4
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You can also use one of those mini alarms, if traveling with a big heavy lock is an issue (which of course it always is).
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Old 01-30-07, 12:02 AM   #5
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I did the PBP in 2003. That's a 1200K ride from Paris to Brest and back to Paris again. In my mental confusion on the third day, I handed my bicycle to a complete stranger on a street corner and wandered into a large store a little ways away. I returned after a bit, got my bicycle, and kept riding.

You are approaching touring in Europe as though it were the US. I suspect that your bicycle would be fine without a lock of any sort.

All I've used during my tours in Europe, Australia, and Canada is a small cable lock. Two bicycles is even better - simply lean them against each other so that they balance without any sort of other help, then string the cable lock through somewhere. If someone jostles the bicycles at all they will fall, and the noise should wake you.
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Old 01-30-07, 06:36 AM   #6
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I cycle/camp in France every year and have done so for over thity years. I've never had a problem with bike security during that time.
I merely cover the saddle with a cover and use a U lock, locking to an immovable object if possible, but if not then frame to front wheel. If I think I am at all at risk, then I use a length of light nylon fishing line to tie to my wheel and then to some pots or something noisy in my tent.

France is one of the safest places to camp with a bike, due in part I think, to the high regard in which cyclists are held by the public.
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Old 01-30-07, 07:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
I did the PBP in 2003. That's a 1200K ride from Paris to Brest and back to Paris again. In my mental confusion on the third day, I handed my bicycle to a complete stranger on a street corner and wandered into a large store a little ways away. I returned after a bit, got my bicycle, and kept riding.

You are approaching touring in Europe as though it were the US. I suspect that your bicycle would be fine without a lock of any sort.

All I've used during my tours in Europe, Australia, and Canada is a small cable lock. Two bicycles is even better - simply lean them against each other so that they balance without any sort of other help, then string the cable lock through somewhere. If someone jostles the bicycles at all they will fall, and the noise should wake you.
The netherlands (and Amsterdam in particular) is notorious for bike theft. I suspect if you tried that there you'd come back and find your ride missing.

Of course the OP was talking about France, but you can't make categorical statements about all of Europe like that.
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Old 01-30-07, 09:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
You are approaching touring in Europe as though it were the US. I suspect that your bicycle would be fine without a lock of any sort.
well i'm not - i may live in the US at the moment but i'm from england and i've had bikes stolen before there have no reason to believe france is any different.

i think i may forget the tent - just sleep in my bag and bivvy sack and keep the bike next to me, locked with its front wheel inside the bivvy sack (which is basically a sleeping bag so might not work...)
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Old 01-30-07, 10:54 AM   #9
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I haven't had that concern in France. But then my sturdy lock costs a third of what I paid for my bike, so I'd probably be better off anyway
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Old 01-30-07, 11:31 AM   #10
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Bike theft problems are mostly local. As a general rule, the closer you are to a big city, the greater risk you have of loosing your bike. This is not always true-- it's possible to stop in some small town for a soda and have your bike stolen, so I always, always, use a lock.

Some places in world....like NYC and Amsterdam, it's socially acceptable to buy a stolen bike. This is what really fuels bike theft.

I second getting one of those small motion detector alarms-- it would scare off 90% of all thieves before they could cut your lock.
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Old 01-30-07, 11:38 AM   #11
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I second getting one of those small motion detector alarms-- it would scare off 90% of all thieves before they could cut your lock.
any recomendations on an alarm?
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Old 01-30-07, 12:11 PM   #12
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I've never seen any of these bike alarms for sale in the USA... only in Germany.

I bought a *doorknob* alarm off EBAY--- it's a cheesy motion alarm meant to be hung on a hotel doorknob. Of course it fits on my top tube just fine. A thief could break it easy, but not before waking me up. It it already scared off some kids messing with my bike at mom and pop store, but I don't think it would stop professional bike thieves at all.
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Old 01-30-07, 03:15 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=odl21]well i'm not - i may live in the US at the moment but i'm from england and i've had bikes stolen before there have no reason to believe france is any different.

Can I ask how many times you have camped/cycled in France?
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Old 01-30-07, 03:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onbike 1939
Can I ask how many times you have camped/cycled in France?
not sure how this contributes to the thread, but since you asked, in france i have camped a few times and cycled a few times, never together though. this time will only be two nights though so i want to keep kit to a minimum.
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Old 01-30-07, 04:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
I did the PBP in 2003. That's a 1200K ride from Paris to Brest and back to Paris again. In my mental confusion on the third day, I handed my bicycle to a complete stranger on a street corner and wandered into a large store a little ways away. I returned after a bit, got my bicycle, and kept riding.

You are approaching touring in Europe as though it were the US. I suspect that your bicycle would be fine without a lock of any sort.

All I've used during my tours in Europe, Australia, and Canada is a small cable lock. Two bicycles is even better - simply lean them against each other so that they balance without any sort of other help, then string the cable lock through somewhere. If someone jostles the bicycles at all they will fall, and the noise should wake you.
My personal experience tells me crime is higher in Europe than in the U.S. While this isn't scientific by any means, I know more people (myself included) who have been ripped-off while traveling in Europe than in the U.S. The U.S. is more prone towards violent crime, but the overall rate is lower than many places you might imagine. Here are some interesting statistics from NationMaster.com. I'd encourage you to visit their site and make your own determination.

Of the nations with crime rate statistics listed at NationMaster.com, Dominica leads the world in total crime per capita, with 113.822 per 1,000 people. New Zealand is second with 105.881 per 1,000 people, and Finland is third, with 101.526 per 1,000 people. Yemen has the lowest, with 1.16109 per 1,000 people. The data comes from the Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 - 2000 (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention). They also note that, "Crime statistics are often better indicators of prevalence of law enforcement and willingness to report crime, than actual prevalence."

As to cyclists, European criminals might just like them better and prefer to leave them alone. I feel the safest in good ol' small town U.S.A.
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Old 01-30-07, 04:11 PM   #16
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I feel the safest in good ol' small town U.S.A.
I would not compare small town USA to big city Europe as far as crime goes. Its more telling to compare big city USA and big city Europe. I mean, just because you got ripped off as a tourist in rome or barcelona, but not at home as a resident doesn't really mean anything at all.
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Old 01-30-07, 04:33 PM   #17
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I would not compare small town USA to big city Europe as far as crime goes. Its more telling to compare big city USA and big city Europe. I mean, just because you got ripped off as a tourist in rome or barcelona, but not at home as a resident doesn't really mean anything at all.
I wouldn't compare small town USA to big city Europe either. Where did I say that? When comparing much of Europe to the US, the crime rates look very similar, some countries higher, some lower. As far as getting ripped-off, perhaps Americans are not cautious enough when they go into a big European city, especially if they are from small town USA. You may want to go here to see some of the statistics. >> http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cr...mes-per-capita

Another interesting point made on my previous post was that these statistics are only as good as the crimes report data. Having lived in Mexico and been a victim of crime down there, I find it hard to believe they have such low statistics (just my opinion). But the authorities in Mexico are pretty lack about doing anything about it, so people just don't often even report it.
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Old 01-30-07, 04:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
I did the PBP in 2003. That's a 1200K ride from Paris to Brest and back to Paris again. In my mental confusion on the third day, I handed my bicycle to a complete stranger on a street corner and wandered into a large store a little ways away. I returned after a bit, got my bicycle, and kept riding.
You are approaching touring in Europe as though it were the US. I suspect that your bicycle would be fine without a lock of any sort.

All I've used during my tours in Europe, Australia, and Canada is a small cable lock.
Friends tell me certain cities you will have some what of a problem with theft. There is much less theft than the US, but, I would not leave it unattended, either. I tour in France with at least a thick cable. At night I lock my bike to a tree.
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Old 01-30-07, 04:56 PM   #19
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When comparing much of Europe to the US
i love it when 'americans' think of a europe as a single country...
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Old 01-30-07, 04:57 PM   #20
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Friends tell me certain cities you will have some what of a problem with theft. There is much less theft than the US, but, I would not leave it unattended, either. I tour in France with at least a thick cable. At night I lock my bike to a tree.
thanks. i think i'll use a cable lock and maybe an alarm, lock it to something fixed and sleep in my bag right next to it with my panniers in my bivvy and no tent. should be pretty safe and still light weight enough.
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Old 01-30-07, 05:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by odl21
i love it when 'americans' think of a europe as a single country...
Actually, with the formation of the EU, that perception is closer than you think! Granted, the nations of Europe are separate entities, but then again, so are the states in the US.
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Old 01-30-07, 05:08 PM   #22
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Actually, with the formation of the EU, that perception is closer than you think!
actually it isn't. the formation of the EU has had no effect whatsoever on the culture or people of europe.

having lived extensively in various places in both europe and the us and spending a lot of time travelling throughout both, i feel better qualified to judge this than you're average person.

its a bit like saying the US, chile and bahrain are very similar because they have bilateral trade agreements.
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Old 01-30-07, 05:27 PM   #23
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"You are approaching touring in Europe as though it were the US. I suspect that your bicycle would be fine without a lock of any sort."

Not true for all of Europe. 1 million bicycle thefts are reported in The Netherlands every year - this is a country that has 500,000 bicycles in total. Do the math - every bicycle gets stolen twice at any given year!
OP, I'd better be safe than sorry.
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Old 01-30-07, 05:35 PM   #24
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Well, I can add to the argument in saying that I can promise you a New Yorker and a Texan are completely different frome ache rother, even if they live in the same country.
And, having traveled extensively my whole life, and after living/visiting every part of this country, I feel pretty well qualified to say so.

But what does that have to do with cycling? Maybe we should get back to the subject and leave Americans, Europeans, and Bahrainians alone.

Anyway, better safe than sorry. Take a couple of locks, and attach your bike to a tree. An alarm sounds like a fantastic idea in the more sketchy areas.
You could also (and this is a little extreme) take a rope, and tie one end to your foot, and the other end to your bike. If someone tries to walk off with your bike, they'll get a person too!
As someone above said, pots and pans would make some good noise, at least enough to wake you up in time.

Good luck!
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Old 01-30-07, 05:42 PM   #25
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not taking any pots or pans but

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibimus
You could also (and this is a little extreme) take a rope, and tie one end to your foot, and the other end to your bike.
the rope idea sounds fun. especially if the thief puts my bike in a truck and drives off.
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