I've actually done a couple of tours and short one in England and a longer one in South-East Asia and China and never had any problems but this time I'm going with my wife on our Tandem and she is a bit worried about theft. I should add that she is Japanese which is where we live now so the world outside Japan is sometimes looked at a bit nerviously. Anyway, basically what I'm looking for is some good press. Has anyone done any extensive touring in Europe. Had any problems? What precautions did you take etc.
Don't worry so much, on my first tour I carried one cable lock, I was a bit nervous for the first several days, but then forgot about it. But I never left my bike unattendent, and always asked someone to watch over it for a few min. Just by saying hello (with a smile) to someone sitting by you automaticaly have them looking out for your bike
Now that I tour with my wife I carry two cable locks, a shorter one for the two bikes and a longer one to tie everything around a tree or post. We use Magnum locks CL6-CL7because the cables are stiff, and when loose they streighten up (much easyer then the curly ones), they are reletively light, there is a weather cover for the key slot and they come with a set of five keys. All cable locks can be cut, I just comprimise on size (weight), ease of use and having two locks instead of one.
Tandems are probably less prone to casual theft attempts than single bikes. Still, I would take 1 x D-lock and 1 x cable + padlock - the combination of 2 locks, plus having a tandem, would make theft a pretty unlikely event.
The cables are pretty light and are useful for going around trees etc. but most are a little bulky due to the coiling of the cable. Guarded cables are not much better than the others, as most failures occur at the lock - combination cable locks tend to be really weak, I think the slight weight of a good padlock is worthwhile.
If you don't lock your bike, you'd better tell the police and the insurance company that it was locked if it does get stolen...
Thanks for the advice. We'll deffinately be bringing some good locks. Though now that I've done a bit more surfing theft doesn't actually seem that common an event. It always pays to be a bit careful though.