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Old 09-27-07, 12:41 PM   #1
mijome07
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losing items and being robbed while on tour...

Anyone ever lost any items or fall victim to theft? I know some bike commuters have had stuff thrown at them, spit on and yelled at. Does this happen to people on bike tours?
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Old 09-27-07, 01:14 PM   #2
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Where do you live?

I tour in relatively civilized places where theft is uncommon. In many countries armed robbery is unlikely, but sneak thieves may thrive. Locking your bike when you leave it is always a good idea, but carrying a gun would be inadvisable.

I stealth camp, so I tend to stay out of sight and keep low key.
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Old 09-27-07, 02:09 PM   #3
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I haven't toured as much as some others, but I've never had a problem. I usually lock up my bike when going to a store or at a campsite, and carry the really critical stuff (wallet, cell phone) with me, including restrooms.
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Old 09-27-07, 04:09 PM   #4
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I had something stolen from my panniers in Spain, and from my handlebar bag in Israel. I had a bike stolen by an airline before a trip even began. Lots of stuff was thrown at me by boys in Tunisia. It got pretty annoying. There were also 2 attempts to knock me off my bike while I was riding it in Tunisia, both committed by local boys who were riding bikes themselves! The scariest situation I even had while touring took place in Switzerland. Yes, Switzerland.
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Old 09-27-07, 04:52 PM   #5
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So far I haven't had a problem with losing stuff (I don't bring much stuff, so it is pretty easy to keep track of it all) or having anything stolen. I do make a point, however, of keeping my eye on my bicycle and everything, and I always carry anything that really matters to me with me.

As for acts of aggression toward cyclists ... once in England, and once in Australia I had people throw glass bottles at me. The first time (in England) the bottle hit the rear fender of the person I was cycling with and shattered ... and I had to pick my way through broken glass. The second time they missed all together. It happens. We did have a little altercation in Dover toward the end of our recent European tour, however ... Let's just say some parents needed to employ better parenting skills when their kids were much younger. But three incidents in all the kms I've done touring isn't bad at all.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:10 PM   #6
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I had my seat bag stolen off my bike while it was in the bike car on the train somewhere between Budapest and Salzburg. My bike wasn't locked in the car, so I feel somewhat relieved that they didn't just take my whole bike. Not sure why they went to all the trouble of detaching the bag, though. It wasn't fancy, and there was nothing interesting in it, other than a tube, patch kit, and irons.

Oh well.
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Old 09-27-07, 07:01 PM   #7
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I'm sure I have lost small items, but nothing important enough to remember.

I have never had anything stolen on a tour. The worst experiences that I recall -- it usually happens at least once per trip -- is being honked at, screamed at, or swerved toward by yahoo motorists.
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Old 09-27-07, 08:52 PM   #8
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Pair of shoes in Malaysia.

My only shoes.

And Stinky.
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Old 09-27-07, 10:57 PM   #9
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Not a theft, exactly. Someone stuffed a dollar with "took a patch, thanks" scribbled on it in the peanut butter jar that is my tool and tire kit, it's clear and in my bottle cage most of the time. Sure enough, one patch was missing. It left me paranoid enough to search our bags but nothing else looked touched, let alone missing.

I also once came out of a rest stop to find someone using the towel strapped to my rack to dry. He looked mortified to be caught. There must be something about my bike that screams, "make yourself at home!"
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Old 09-28-07, 12:07 AM   #10
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There was a guy traveling from Ohio to Cali last year that had his bike stolen in my home town in Arizona. Had it locked outside of Safeway with a chain lock.

This is the same town that I always parked my bike in front of the stores with NO lock at all. *shakes his head* Times sure do change.

He picked up a used bike at a thrift shop and kept riding.

Big Nose Whippers bike got stolen on tour

Looks like the site that had his blog on it no longer exists. (What happened to cycleroam?)
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Old 09-28-07, 12:30 AM   #11
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Not a theft, exactly. Someone stuffed a dollar with "took a patch, thanks" scribbled on it in the peanut butter jar that is my tool and tire kit, it's clear and in my bottle cage most of the time. Sure enough, one patch was missing. It left me paranoid enough to search our bags but nothing else looked touched, let alone missing.

I also once came out of a rest stop to find someone using the towel strapped to my rack to dry. He looked mortified to be caught. There must be something about my bike that screams, "make yourself at home!"
That's cool that he left $1 and a note though. I wouldn't be offended at all.

I don't think too many people look at bicyclists as a source for a "grand heist".
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Old 09-28-07, 12:51 AM   #12
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In fifteen years of touring I've lost one water bottle and one pump to theft. Their loss is significantly outweighed by the countless free beers, meals, icecreams, cups of tea, beds for the night, loaves of bread, etc, people have given me en-route.
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Old 09-28-07, 12:53 AM   #13
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I don't think too many people look at bicyclists as a source for a "grand heist".
Let's see ... sleeping bags which have been slept in by a sweaty cyclist for days, or weeks, or months on end ... clothing that desperately needs to see a laundromat ... plastic dishes which have picked up the smell of many meals ... some assorted (and half-used) toiletries ....

About halfway through my Europe tour (which was a month long), I opened one of my panniers one evening and practically gasped out, "WHAT is that SMELL?" It took me a while to track it down because it was in my dishes and sleeping bag pannier, not my laundry pannier. It was my plastic plate. I guess I hadn't washed it really well, then I hadn't used it for a couple days for some reason ... and it had taken on a life of its own!

I don't carry much of value on my tours.
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Old 09-28-07, 01:01 AM   #14
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One of the worst incidents , i recall being told of was when a cyclist left the toruing bike unattended and walked about some scenic cliff at Big Sur. taking photos. A pick up came up and stole everything. The guy was just close enough to wave bye, bye. Even had his wallet in his handlebar bag.
Don't leave your stuff unattended. Imagine standing there in a cool breeze in bike clothes and not even having a cell phone. Walking about Big Sur in cleated shoes is not cool. At least they did not get his camera. When camping on a bike tour, I chained my bike to a tree and all valuables were placed inside the tent flap. It probably helps your security, if you travel with a pack of cyclists so each can look after the others stuff.
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Old 09-28-07, 04:35 AM   #15
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Cell phone and charger from the restroom in a Kentucky campground (Oh Kentucky Campground, I think).
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Old 09-28-07, 04:46 AM   #16
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In Rome, I was pickpocketed. In New Zealand, my bike tools were stolen off of my saddlebag. In Mexico, I was pushed off the road and beaten with the flat side of a machete and when I started resisting one of the two pulled a pistol to my face... they got my cash, cards, passport... in the next village the police asked for 125 pesos to file the report !

You just have to grin and bear it... makes for stories to tell....
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Old 09-28-07, 06:47 AM   #17
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Bike pump stolen by a French railway employee.

Someone in Turkey went through my front panniers and stole my toiletries and he did this in plain sight of a whole bunch of other Turks while I using a store's washroom and buying a soda.
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Old 09-28-07, 06:51 AM   #18
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In twelve years of touring I've never had anything stolen. On my most recent tour I lost my helmet visor somewhere along the way.

When I cycled around Lake Ontario, we stopped at a convenience store in Oshawa. My friend bought some water to refill his camelback. Then he forgot to put it back on, and left it on the ground beside the store. When we returned ten minutes later it was gone. It was a mini backpack, and he had a lot of tools and stuff in it.

In New Zealand my friend left her wallet on park bench in Coromandel. When we got to our destination that night, she called the police there, and it had been turned in. She asked them to forward it to a police station in a town where we were heading, but our plans kept changing, so she kept having to have it rerouted, and didn't get it back till the end of the trip.
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Old 09-28-07, 07:08 AM   #19
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I had my seat bag stolen off my bike while it was in the bike car on the train somewhere between Budapest and Salzburg. My bike wasn't locked in the car, so I feel somewhat relieved that they didn't just take my whole bike. Not sure why they went to all the trouble of detaching the bag, though. It wasn't fancy, and there was nothing interesting in it, other than a tube, patch kit, and irons.

Oh well.
It sounds like teenage that really wanted the bag, just the bag. Is the bag with pop stars stickers on it?
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Old 09-28-07, 12:39 PM   #20
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While on a car trip through the Okanagan Valley several years ago, I met a German fellow who was crossing Canada by bike. About a week earlier, he was camping in a provincial or national park. He had placed all of his stuff in his tent, and headed out by bike to buy groceries. When he returned, all that was left were a few tent stakes! His credit card and bank card had been in the tent, but he had a few hundred dollars in cash on him. He spent most of it on new supplies, and continued westward. When I met him, he was down to about $120.

When I heard his story, I immediately went to a bank machine and withdrew enough money to last him two weeks. Eight months later, I received a money order for the full amount I had lent him.
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Old 09-28-07, 01:16 PM   #21
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While on a car trip through the Okanagan Valley several years ago, I met a German fellow who was crossing Canada by bike. About a week earlier, he was camping in a provincial or national park. He had placed all of his stuff in his tent, and headed out by bike to buy groceries. When he returned, all that was left were a few tent stakes! His credit card and bank card had been in the tent, but he had a few hundred dollars in cash on him. He spent most of it on new supplies, and continued westward. When I met him, he was down to about $120.

When I heard his story, I immediately went to a bank machine and withdrew enough money to last him two weeks. Eight months later, I received a money order for the full amount I had lent him.

Which brings up the question ... WHY would you leave your credit card and bank card in the tent?
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Old 09-28-07, 10:04 PM   #22
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In Rome, I was pickpocketed. In New Zealand, my bike tools were stolen off of my saddlebag. In Mexico, I was pushed off the road and beaten with the flat side of a machete and when I started resisting one of the two pulled a pistol to my face... they got my cash, cards, passport... in the next village the police asked for 125 pesos to file the report !

You just have to grin and bear it... makes for stories to tell....
Ouch! These are stories I'd rather not tell....
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Old 09-29-07, 12:17 AM   #23
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So far I've been fortunate. Nothing's been stolen while I've been out touring. I have however had two bikes stolen and once someone stole the quick release lever for my mountain bike seat.

To keep my bike, I've picked up a few strategies. Usually I try to keep my bike within sight and if that's not possible, I try to hide it. I also make sure to carry a heavy cable lock with me when I'm touring. It's annoying but I'll do what needs to be done to keep the bike safe.
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Old 09-29-07, 08:23 AM   #24
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Trained across the Dolomites from Innsbrook into Florence. Picked up our bikes at the terminal storage. My wifes Thermarest pad was ripped off. The 1st cafe we walked into after locking our bikes outside, someone tried to pick my pocket. It happens.

Richard
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Old 11-09-08, 10:05 AM   #25
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I had my battery charger stolen in Washington state on the last leg of my tour...I couldn't believe it, it was from a 6 year old camera and pretty user-specific! My batteries lasted me the rest of the tour, and, now am looking for a new camera - AA powered!
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