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Nobody Locks Their Bikes Around Here

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Nobody Locks Their Bikes Around Here

Old 11-17-05, 05:28 AM
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filtersweep
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Nobody Locks Their Bikes Around Here

I just relocated to Stavanger, Norway, which is the third or fourth largest metro area in the country. I moved here from Mpls where I used my NYC3000 U-Lock. I feel like a freak here, since nobody else locks their bike to anything. If they bother to lock their bike, they usually use a pin that locks the rear wheel through the spokes (and it just stands on its kickstand- cant be ridden, but easily carried off).

Everyone rides... there are bikes all over at the stores, the hospital, etc...

I feel like an overprotective freak around here...

Anyone else live in a lock-free zone? Does anyone ever lose a bike to theft around here? Granted, most bikes are rather cheap DBS commuters- but I am riding my beater commuter myself.
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Old 11-17-05, 05:58 AM
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If so many are unlocked and you feel you should lock yours, then maybe use a lock that is very convenient and unnoticeable. You'll feel better that it's locked and also sort of blending in, despite that a convenient lock can probably be cut easily. Perhaps a Kryptonite NY3000 might seem strange in those parts.
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Old 11-17-05, 06:14 AM
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I got chatting to a cop on the train from Amsterdam to Zandpoort in Holland. He says that despite the fact that bike theft is quite high in the country use of locks is still quite low away from train stations. The majority of stolen bikes are thought to be shipped to Eastern Europe, mainly Poland.

Apparently people tend to lock up at stations because of high local theft. If someone gets to a station and they can't find their or it has been stolen then they'll nick another that looks the same. Chances are it'll be back in a couple of days anyway.
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Old 11-17-05, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by The Seldom Kill
I got chatting to a cop on the train from Amsterdam to Zandpoort in Holland. He says that despite the fact that bike theft is quite high in the country use of locks is still quite low away from train stations. The majority of stolen bikes are thought to be shipped to Eastern Europe, mainly Poland.

Apparently people tend to lock up at stations because of high local theft. If someone gets to a station and they can't find their or it has been stolen then they'll nick another that looks the same. Chances are it'll be back in a couple of days anyway.
Heh, bikes as commodities, go figure. That doesn't work in our individualistic US of A.

OP, I would lock it but I come from NYC -- I wouldn't leave a bike I care for outside locked or not (I know many here do but maybe they haven't seen this little video). For one summer I worked at a big company which had a locked bike shed outside. I would still lock my bike inside the shed (the only one most of the time that was locked).
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Old 11-17-05, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by filtersweep
I just relocated to Stavanger, Norway, which is the third or fourth largest metro area in the country. I moved here from Mpls where I used my NYC3000 U-Lock. I feel like a freak here, since nobody else locks their bike to anything. If they bother to lock their bike, they usually use a pin that locks the rear wheel through the spokes (and it just stands on its kickstand- cant be ridden, but easily carried off).

Everyone rides... there are bikes all over at the stores, the hospital, etc...

I feel like an overprotective freak around here...

Anyone else live in a lock-free zone? Does anyone ever lose a bike to theft around here? Granted, most bikes are rather cheap DBS commuters- but I am riding my beater commuter myself.
Same here in Japan.
I left my Orbea for 20 minutes unlocked yesterday while I went off to take some photos. I do normally carry a 50cm skinny wired lock that really could be broken with your hands, but that's all that is needed here.
These pictures I assume are similar to what you see.

Steve.
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Old 11-17-05, 08:12 AM
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If you want to transition to a more euro style of locking, you can buy an AXA BASTA SL-7 ring lock with a six foot cable that can detach from the ring lock when not needed.

That way, you could start wheel locking it like the majority when you do quick dart and dash shopping, and use the cable as well when you felt like a little additional security is in order.

just a suggestion. sounds like some form of velo paradiso though. Have fun, try xc skiing.
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Old 11-17-05, 08:14 AM
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Same in Oxford, England. Hardly anyone locks their bike, and the most common bike rack is a wall.

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Old 11-17-05, 09:08 AM
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You know....when I see those pretty pics from other parts of the world of all those bikes being used for simple daily transport...I just want to cry.
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Old 11-17-05, 09:09 AM
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I don't lock my bike. Normally that's not surprising since it's either in my garage or under a stairway at work. But I don't bother when I go to the supermarket, or the home-improvement store, or anyplace around town either.
I do have a cable lock now, but I've only used it to secure my bike to a rack on the car for longer trips.
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Old 11-17-05, 09:10 AM
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A lot of the reason no one locks in Oxford, or Cambridge, is that no one wants to lose a good lock.
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Old 11-17-05, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by giantcfr1
Same here in Japan.
I left my Orbea for 20 minutes unlocked yesterday while I went off to take some photos. I do normally carry a 50cm skinny wired lock that really could be broken with your hands, but that's all that is needed here.
These pictures I assume are similar to what you see.

Steve.
I've seen the same thing in Japan from Okinawa to Hokkaido. I think it has a lot to do with the Japanese mindset and that the words "Honor" and "Shame" actually have meaning there compared to the U.S.
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Old 11-17-05, 09:32 AM
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Just lock it. You already own the big scary lock so you might as well use it and get your money's worth.
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Old 11-17-05, 11:29 AM
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When I was on holiday in Lucerne Switzerland I was amazed at the masses of bikes parked in the middle of town with no or minimal lock.
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Old 11-17-05, 03:48 PM
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We American bicycle commuters are like shipwrecked sailors who have grown tough and nasty while managing to survive in a hostile, unforgiving wilderness. Rescue us to someplace where it's common to be a bicyclist, and we'll stick with our paranoid American habits, like religiously wearing helmets, insisting on riding in streets, and carrying 10-pound bicycle locks. We must look strange, perhaps even rude, to our sidewalk-riding, helmet-shunning European and Japanese comrades. But so be it; they grew up coddled. They haven't had their bike use habits shaped by the acid test of a hostile American city.

So enjoy Norway, but lock your bike. I am reminded of the joke about two guys running from the lion... you know, the one with the punchline, "It doesn't matter if I can run faster than the lion, I just have to run faster than you." I'm certain that even Norway has thieves. Let them steal someone else's bike.
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Old 11-17-05, 04:08 PM
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I live in a very small town (pop.4000).There is an old schwinn that sits 10 feet from the the street about a block from my house and it's never locked.No one has ever touched it in about 10 years.There are bikes laying around everywhere here and nobody bothers them.most are walmart junk.I never lock my bike while in town.Sometimes bikes do get pinched but they usually end up in the creek all busted up,not in poland.Everybody knows the town thieves anyway so they wouldn't get away with bike stealing for long
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Old 11-17-05, 05:34 PM
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As they say in the middle-east "have faith in Allah but tie up your camel anyway"

Even a light discrete lock will give you so much peace of mind knowing that it makes your bike the least attractive to a potential thief in a situation where the thief is spoilt for choice, why wouldn't you use it?
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Old 11-17-05, 05:42 PM
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"It doesn't matter if I can run faster than the lion, I just have to run faster than you."
Exactly. When there are tens (or more) of bikes around without locks, no theif is going to go after any cheap bike that's locked.
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Old 11-17-05, 07:54 PM
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Lock that puppy .... are you nuts?

Let someone else worry about not having their bike locked
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Old 11-17-05, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by giantcfr1
Same here in Japan.
I left my Orbea for 20 minutes unlocked yesterday while I went off to take some photos. I do normally carry a 50cm skinny wired lock that really could be broken with your hands, but that's all that is needed here.
These pictures I assume are similar to what you see.

Steve.
hey giantcfr1, nice shot of the starbucks right next to kitaoji station! i work right up the street from there.
anyway, it's true people either don't lock or use pathetically feeble locks here in japan for the most part, but then most of those bikes cost less than US$100 anyway and are seen as disposable products, not to be taken care of and not to be overly lamented if picked up by a drunken salaryman for the ride home. however it is true that theft and crime in general here are much much less than many other countries and i'm certainly less careful with my bike here than I would be in the U.S. (ie, I don't worry about leaving it with only a pretty cheap cable lock for a few hours)... but I would still recommend locking any non-mamachari bike. Japanese cyclists with expensive bikes do seem to lock, it's just that they are vastly outnumbered by the utilitarian commuter bikes. In the U.S. about the only people who do ride bikes are kids and 'cyclists' so there are no crowds of bikes to cover your bike.
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Old 11-18-05, 12:22 AM
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Last new years I ended up staying with a friend of a friend. He lives in a medium size city in the Southwestern US, in an old neighborhood that looks like it used to house farm labourers. One of the guys I was with unloads his carbon Colnago and leans it against the fence and I ask him if he's going to lock it. He replied " you don't have to here, no one will touch it". No one touched any bikes left out and our host NEVER locked his house. I live in Canada and would never dream of doing this, but in this one odd place it was perfectly okay.
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Old 11-18-05, 07:28 AM
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Here the locks are usually very small wire locks with 3 digit combination (not key). Most people do lock the bikes (but not attached to anything), but this is more like note saying "please dont take me". When bikes get stolen, this is usually by drunk people needing a ride downtown, and the bikes show up undamaged at the police station.

The other day the neighbours four year old locked her small pink bike to mine with her pink combination lock. It took me less than a minute to open her lock, but of course I locked her bike again when I had removed mine.
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Old 11-18-05, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomasd
hey giantcfr1, nice shot of the starbucks right next to kitaoji station! i work right up the street from there.
tom in osaka
Well Tom I'm disappointed you didn't pick the second shot. It's in front of McDonalds 50m east of there.
Now of course I'm wondering if I have seen you. Make sure you give me a "sumimasen" if you see me. I'm not hard to find here because I'm the one who wears a helmet.
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ps. I should one day post a picture of the "3000 yen" second hand bike shop 50m west of Starbucks.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:27 AM
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I've seen articles regarding cycling in Holland and Germany that noted three interesting facts.

First, in certain cities (not every city) an amazing percentage of the adult population rides a bike on a daily basis. The photos in this thread are similar to photos I've seen in various books about cycling around the world. A shopping district or university with hundreds or thousands of bikes in view.

Second, the number of bikes is far in excess of the number of bike racks. So, bikes are parked everywhere. Without a rack, many folks simply think that locking the rear wheel is the best available security.

Third. An amazing number of bikes are stolen in those "cycling capitals". Amsterdam has thousands of bikes stolen every year. For some reason, many of the stolen bikes end up in the canals, where they are later dredged out. Most people in Amsterdam ride low end bikes. How long would a Trek Madone last, leaning against the wall of a club in Amsterdam?

But, there is safety in numbers. A crook comes over to the university and has a thousand bikes to chose from. If the only thing protecting YOUR bike is simply the "odds", you could keep a bike for a long time.

And, nothing works better than having the ugliest bike on the rack. I have a "beater" bike that is so ugly, so dirty, dusty, and rusty, no self-respecting crook would think of touching it. But, underneath the crummy spray paint and rust is a Reynold 531 fork and frame. The hubs and rims are "pro" quality, and the brakes work as well or better than those on most $1,000 bikes. So, "'ol ugly" is a first class ride, but every bike in town in more attractive to a thief.
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Old 11-18-05, 02:26 PM
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Im one of the few people of takes off the front wheel when i lock my bike, with a krypto NYC fughetaboutit chain. Most people just lock the front wheel and frame to locks, as if they think that the rear wheel is hard to get off with that chain and derailure mess. I dont understand why they think the rear wheel isnt infintely more valuable then the front.
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Old 11-18-05, 03:27 PM
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My son started kindegarden this year. I "dropped" him off at school several times. The first time absolutely shocked me as nobody locked their bikes, not even the cool new Stingray chopper bikes.

But, not only was my son the only one to have locked his bike, he was also the only one that was wearing a helmet.
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