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  1. #1
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Stolen Bike story??

    OK - I've now got a stolen bike story. I've been touring for years and my bike has never been stolen - but last night someone came into the campground and stole my son's bike. Fortunately, my husband heard them taking it and woke up in time to get it back, but we were pretty darn scared for that 20 minutes or so!! I've got the whole story here: http://familyonbikes.org/blog/?p=1699

    So - what kind of stolen bike stories do you have?
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  2. #2
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    No stolen bikes, but this bird stole my soap on a trip around Lake Ontario.



    Actually, it wasn't this particular bird, but it was one just like him. Probably his brother. You can see the shifty eyes that run in the family.

    I was camping at the Southwick Beach State Park in New York along Lake Ontario.



    I had showered and I left my small bar of soap on the picnic table to dry before I put it away. When I walked back to my camp from doing a load of laundry in the bathroom sink, I saw the bird grab my soap and take off with it. That was my only soap.

    I chased after him and he dropped it about 100 feet down the road as he made his getaway. I got it back but I had to shower with a bar of soap that had beak marks on it after that.

  3. #3
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Hilarious!!! Reminds me of the time a raccoon stole our peanut butter - the whole jar! We never got it back though.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  4. #4
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    Good you got it back!
    2012 TransAm Tour journal link: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Threeisacharm

    Naked Carbon Weave Aegis Aro Svelte, Purpleen Cannondale RT3000 Tandem, Orange Santana Triplet, Surly Long Haul Trucker

    So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides, 4th Century B.C.E.



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  5. #5
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Hahaha! That's so funny! Seagulls will eat anything. Or at least try.

    No, no stolen bikes stories. But I have a really hard time sleeping when camping, thinking somebody will steal the bikes. Or murder us in our sleep. I'm more of a b&b/motel kind of gal, even though I really like the idea of camping.

    Glad you got the bike back! Good luck on the rest of the tour!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tansy's Avatar
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    Back in October, my house was completely ransacked. The intruders tore up furniture, broke tvs and computers, knocked holes in walls, ground broken glass into the carpets, shot up the inside of the house with airsoft and bb guns, just destroyed everything that can be imagined.

    Amazingly, my bike was fine. It was unlocked in the garage, and had been shoved out of the way to get at a chainsaw, which was used on the door. It amazes me that with all the destruction done, the bike was left alone, and I am very grateful for that.

    Before I go on tour again, I'm going to print up some authentic-looking warning sticks for my bike, indicating an alarm system or gps tracking. Between a lock, the stickers, and the underwear-on-top pannier packing method, I just might feel okay browsing for groceries with my bike outside =P
    Be the change you wish to see in the world.


  7. #7
    40 yrs bike touring
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    Long ago I once had my touring bike stolen from inside my house one week before a long tour. I then hurredly built up a whole new bike for the trip on a credit card and did the tour. When I returned from the tour i had a phone call from a Sheriff's Detective that I knew. He asked me to go with him in his car. We drove ten miles South of town to a small residential area.

    He then directed me to a house with a 20 year old outside spray painting a bicycle frame. I walked up and talked to the young man. I told him that I knew the serial number on the frame without even looking. He blustered and got angry. I told him that I was the nice guy in this and that the bad guy was walking up the driveway behind him just now. The detective arrested the guy and took him to jail.

    Later the kid's father called me asking me to not prosecute. He paid me the total cost of my new bike and his son was placed on probation for grand theft with credit for time served in jail. A nice outcome to the trauma of a bike theft.

  8. #8
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    I had 2 mtb's on a spare tire rack on my bronco 2. this rack sandwiched the toptubes between two plates held together by screw knobs and a padlock. I had a skinny cable through the front wheels and frames.
    I went into a supermarket in buffalo n.y. at 1:30 p.m. for no more than 6 minutes.
    as we were walking out my wife says " it looks like a bike is missing". sure enough My 94 GT RTS3 was gone! the cable was cut and on the ground. the plates were pried apart but the padlock prevented them from seperating completely.
    as I stood there in disbelief and disgust I thought, maybe someone in the parking lot saw something. I started looking around to see if there was anyone sitting in their car. I saw a guy a row over staring at me pretty hard from his car.
    as I walked over to him he started the engine and put it in reverse! at this point I ran up to his open window and asked him if he saw a bicycle. the words no sooner left my lips when I looked in his backseat at my GT. I grabbed his steeringwheel and demanded, loudly, that he give it back! he put the car in park and got out, saying something about how he just bought it from some black guy for his son, and he 's on probation and doesnt want any trouble...yada yada.
    I reached in, grabbed my ride, and calmly walked away...
    My bike had 2 deep gouges across the toptube from the rack but I got it back and rode it for the next few years.
    e.jpg
    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by catonec View Post
    I had 2 mtb's on a spare tire rack on my bronco 2. this rack sandwiched the toptubes between two plates held together by screw knobs and a padlock. I had a skinny cable through the front wheels and frames.
    I went into a supermarket in buffalo n.y. at 1:30 p.m. for no more than 6 minutes.
    as we were walking out my wife says " it looks like a bike is missing". sure enough My 94 GT RTS3 was gone! the cable was cut and on the ground. the plates were pried apart but the padlock prevented them from seperating completely.
    as I stood there in disbelief and disgust I thought, maybe someone in the parking lot saw something. I started looking around to see if there was anyone sitting in their car. I saw a guy a row over staring at me pretty hard from his car.
    as I walked over to him he started the engine and put it in reverse! at this point I ran up to his open window and asked him if he saw a bicycle. the words no sooner left my lips when I looked in his backseat at my GT. I grabbed his steeringwheel and demanded, loudly, that he give it back! he put the car in park and got out, saying something about how he just bought it from some black guy for his son, and he 's on probation and doesnt want any trouble...yada yada.
    I reached in, grabbed my ride, and calmly walked away...
    My bike had 2 deep gouges across the toptube from the rack but I got it back and rode it for the next few years.
    e.jpg
    Your story doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy living in Buffalo. Hopefully your time in Buffalo wasn't completely defined by that experience.

  10. #10
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    I was there for 28 happy years. I did have a bike stolen when I was about 10 from my garage (huffy 626), a stereo from the same truck, and a gold necklace from right off my neck. what part of the city are you in??
    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
    1997 Trek ZX6000, 6061w/manitou spyder, xt/xtr, time atac

  11. #11
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Wow! I think we got pretty easily! Nothing hurt or lost permanently...

    Now that I think about it, we did have an incident in India back in 1991. John needed to go to the American Express office to cash a check so he rode his bike over there. When he got to the office, he found there was nothing to lock his bike to, so he locked it with the chain next to the guard hoping that nobody would simply pick it up and walk off.

    As he stood in line at AMEX, he just had a feeling - one of those gut feelings. He left the line and dashed down to his bike - it was gone!! The guard wasn't there either.

    Somebody pointed a finger down into the busy market down the street, so John took off running - the man was carrying his bike right through the market! John tackled the man, grabbed his bike, rode back to our hotel, then walked to the AMEX office.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  12. #12
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    I thought that I did not need to lock my bike when I was standing 25 feet away from it, but the guy that grabbed it and jumped on it could pedal faster than I could run. Bikes compared to wages were quite expensive in the early 1970s when I was in high school, it took me about 60 to 80 hours of work to accumulate the money to buy that bike. Now, if I go into a fast food store or stop to go to a restroom, I lock the bike. For a quick stop like that it might be a wimpy little lock like skiers use (such locks easily fit in a jersey pocket and weigh very little), but it is locked well enough to slow down a thief for at least several seconds.

    If I was in a campground and nervous about bike theft, I would pull off the front wheel and put it between the tent body and tent fly, or in a tent vestibule if there is room. A one wheeled bike is less theft prone. Also, dirty bikes are less theft prone.

    A friend of mine in college bought a used bike for $2 and it looked like he paid too much for it. He rode it for a year and a half around college, never locking it. He blew a tire, put a new tire on it and it was stolen within a week.

    In the 1970s my niece had a cheap low quality bike that looked very nice with a fresh coat of paint. It was on the same porch as a columbus tubed campy equiped bike that had scrapped up paint and some rust where the paint had been scrapped off. The thief took my niece's bike but left the ugly looking racing bike. I later bought the racing bike and still own it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Holy cow! Is it just me or am I really depressed with some of these stories?

    I did have a bike stolen -from where I work, fortunately a freebie -though I'd put some time and some components into it. I really dislike -not so much in terms of the value of the item that is stolen -that someone would steal it. Really sad there are people out there who do that, though I'm not sure how you can change people like that.

  14. #14
    Godfather of Soul SBRDude's Avatar
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    Only bike I had stolen was in college, a beater of sorts that I left on my girl friend's doorstep while visiting. Not smart by me. The only time I leave my bike unattended is at a convenience store when I go into to get a snack, or if it's on my car. I have a cable lock for when it's on the car but I rarely use it, plus it's on the roof of a small SUV and hard to reach without a step stool. If I'm going to be inside for awhile, like at a restaraunt, I'll park where I can see the bike and car, but I have never had any trouble. I also don't usually go to heavily populated areas with my bike, so I think that cuts down on the odds of some pro bike theives being around.

  15. #15
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    Years ago I was flying to Frankfurt, Germany, to go on a bike trip in France with a German friend. My bike was in a box with my sleeping bag and handlebar bag. The box and its contents never showed up. Half a dozen other passengers also had a piece of checked luggage missing. So I was starting a bicycle camping trip with no bike and no sleeping bag. None of the stolen luggage was ever recovered. My trip was a success, however. I borrowed an old bike from my friend in Germany, and although the frame was far too big for me, I cross the Black Forest, the Massif Central, and the Pyrenees on that bike. We didn't camp, however. We stayed mostly in youth hostels. Amazingly, at the end of the trip, the SNCF (French national railroad) lost the bike I had borrowed. Fortunately it was found several days later.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Never stolen, but this thread has me thinking I ought to be more careful, maybe even get a lock.

    The casual thief would have a terrible time trying to ride off on mine as the geometry is so out of the box, and loaded, it would be very awkward for the uninitiated.

    Nancy, your thieves were really brazen and determined. Hard to defeat that sort.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Sometimes if I think it merits it, I deliberately leave the bike out of gear just for that reason. Course, it always means I forget that I did it and then spend some time lifting the rear wheel up and spinning the crank when i get back to the bike......


    Quote Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
    I thought that I did not need to lock my bike when I was standing 25 feet away from it, but the guy that grabbed it and jumped on it could pedal faster than I could run.

  18. #18
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    When I was a young lad I spent a hot July bailing hay in order to purchase a used but in excellent condition "10 speed English Racer". God, I loved that green bike and rode it everywhere. I even bastardized it by mounting saddle baskets in the rear so that I could deliver my paper route while also being able to stuff a tent and gear on it so I could do my first "touring". I cleaned it constantly and was forever tuning the mechanics in order to improve the performance. One day it was stolen from the garage and it absolutely broke the heart and spirit of that young boy. The offender will never begin to know what sorrow he caused and maybe one day the now older man will find it in his heart to forgive that fellow,.........but I doubt it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member marmot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tansy View Post
    Back in October, my house was completely ransacked. The intruders tore up furniture, broke tvs and computers, knocked holes in walls, ground broken glass into the carpets, shot up the inside of the house with airsoft and bb guns, just destroyed everything that can be imagined.
    God, that must have felt like a kick in the solar plexus. Years ago, I had a little cabin up on Lake Superior. Not much of a place, but we loved it, until some criminal masterminds broke in and just beat the crap out of it. They wrecked every stick of furniture and every humble possession in the place. So what did they steal? Just a used porta-potty and its contents (Who steals somebody's poop?), and a woodstove that hadn't been installed yet. Being idiots, they didn't take the firebrick lining, so at least we got to hope they installed the unlined stove and burned their house down with it.
    On a lighter note, we were victimized by a raccoon crime wave years ago while car camping in Kentucky. Somehow the critters unlatched and opened a steel Coleman cooler and made off with some cheese and a country ham we had just bought at a general store down the road. Those little guys make Yogi Bear look like an amateur!

  20. #20
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    My 1972 Atala (giro de) 95% rebuilt to tour was removed from my shed, cables and locks cut. We rode to Art/Science degree-college (1980-82), across USA (AdvCycling e/w + SFCA 1982), philly to erie, pa (1983), Vermont (1984), all Nova Scotia Canada (1985), and commuted to work/other tours before it was Stolen 1994 Police did Jac shift, nothing!

    sad day to see a friend removed, ....still in memory!

    tomg

  21. #21
    elcraft
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    After my First year of college,I built a Nine speed commuter from a Raleigh record frameset and a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub with a Cyclo-Benelux triple cog converter. The crakn set was from a Viscount Aerospace bike and it was my first complete build fron scratch. The bike hade full black Bluemel fenders , and"mixte" bars and an early Blackburn Brake-bridge mounted rack. I had a small rivit Brooks Pro saddle on it,as well. After three years of commuting on it around Philadelphia, I got a job in Bucks County ( Just a little too far for me to effectively commute, by bike, to). I used SEPTA buses to get to the job (near the Willow Grove Naval Air Station) accessed from a bus "depot" near Ogontz Avenue. I chained the bike there with a case hardened chain and an "armored" Masterlock padlock. I returned after a days work to find my beloved commuter gone..... It was a very terrible feeling, loosing something I had crafted so carefully.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Tansy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmot View Post
    God, that must have felt like a kick in the solar plexus. Years ago, I had a little cabin up on Lake Superior. Not much of a place, but we loved it, until some criminal masterminds broke in and just beat the crap out of it. They wrecked every stick of furniture and every humble possession in the place. So what did they steal? Just a used porta-potty and its contents (Who steals somebody's poop?), and a woodstove that hadn't been installed yet. Being idiots, they didn't take the firebrick lining, so at least we got to hope they installed the unlined stove and burned their house down with it.
    On a lighter note, we were victimized by a raccoon crime wave years ago while car camping in Kentucky. Somehow the critters unlatched and opened a steel Coleman cooler and made off with some cheese and a country ham we had just bought at a general store down the road. Those little guys make Yogi Bear look like an amateur!
    My consolation: Most of my personal items which where lost or destroyed, where all items I would have sold before the bike tour I'm planning. It was all covered by insurance, and even with depreciation figured in, I probably got more for most of it then I would have on craigslist. They put my family up in a really spiffy hotel for a month, too. Just what I need in the middle of a long, boring winter.... though it's easier to say that now that the monumental effort of cataloging the destruction for the insurance company is over ><

    Heh - Raccoons, man. A few years ago I was treating myself to some campfire steak late at night in a state park. A reckless young raccoon jumped right up on the table with me and tried to snatch my cooler! In both raccoons and people, it's the dumb young ones you got to watch out for.

    Sorry to hear about the cabin. It's really disheartening to see how short-sighted and heartless people can be, to decide that one night of partying is worth destroying pieces of someones life.
    Be the change you wish to see in the world.


  23. #23
    Senior Member marmot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tansy View Post
    Sorry to hear about the cabin. It's really disheartening to see how short-sighted and heartless people can be, to decide that one night of partying is worth destroying pieces of someones life.
    I've always been baffled by vandalism, a crime that hurts the victim, often very badly, and does nothing to benefit the perpetrator. At least a thief gets to keep or sell the stuff the victim worked for and earned. The sheer stupidity is part of what makes vandalism so disturbing.

  24. #24
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Seagulls are the worst and as they seem to have stolen part in this thread too, here's my story:

    A couple of years ago I was kayak touring the Finnish lake district when I accidentally paddled into a seagull couple's territory. Apparently their offspring was somewhere in the vicinity. I know I never saw their nest or any baby seagulls. But the couple were big, loud and very aggressive, so the nest must've been near. After a few minutes of frantic paddling they finally considered me not a threat anymore. A bit later I realized my Rudy Project sunglasses were gone. I must have knocked them off the deck during the hassle. The seagulls got an expensive addition to their trophy collection, and I switched to no-brand sunglasses.

    --J
    Last edited by Juha; 01-30-11 at 05:59 AM.
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

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  25. #25
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmot View Post
    I've always been baffled by vandalism, a crime that hurts the victim, often very badly, and does nothing to benefit the perpetrator. At least a thief gets to keep or sell the stuff the victim worked for and earned. The sheer stupidity is part of what makes vandalism so disturbing.
    exactly - it just doesn't make sense to me.

    I thought of another stolen bike story! When I was a kid (like 6th grade or so) my sister brought her bike into our house and left it on the porch. All seven of us were inside watching TV or something and some idiot broke the pane of glass on the door, opened the door, walked in, and stole her bike!!!

    About three years later the Boise somebody-or-other were dredging the Boise River to clean it up. We got a call. Sure enough - my sister's bike.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

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