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Leave your bike at the airport? Not a good idea, rider says

Old 10-22-06, 08:43 PM
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Leave your bike at the airport? Not a good idea, rider says

https://www.startribune.com/465/story/757274.html

Leave your bike at the airport? Not a good idea, rider says
A trip to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport proved to be the end of a grand journey for a man and his bike.

Doug Grow, Star Tribune

Last update: October 21, 2006 – 11:35 PM

A trip to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport proved to be the end of a grand journey for a man and his bike.

In 1957, Paul Caspersen bought a black, three-speed Raleigh bicycle for $90. This American classic carried Caspersen, now 70, through Europe, the Wisconsin and Minnesota countryside and, of course, the streets of Minneapolis.

In July, Caspersen needed to be at the Humphrey terminal for an early morning flight to Boston. Because buses weren't running at 3 a.m., the retired family counselor strapped a carry-on bag on the back of his bike and pedaled from his southeast Minneapolis home to the light-rail stop at the Metrodome. He placed his bike in the rack on the light-rail car, and man and machine were delivered to the Humphrey terminal.

Caspersen asked airport employees where he could lock up his bike.

They looked at him blankly and shrugged their shoulders.

Out of time, he locked his bike to an out-of-the way sign post inside the terminal and headed to the plane.

When he returned four days later, the bike was gone.

After several inquiries, he ended up at airport police headquarters in the Lindbergh terminal.

"My old friend was destroyed," Caspersen said. "The horizontal bar was cut all the way through, the seat was gone, the handlebars gone, the gears. ..."

The police officer who was assisting Caspersen was perplexed.

"'Why wouldn't your bike have pedals?' he asked me," Caspersen said. "I said I didn't know. He wondered why my bike didn't have a seat. I said I didn't know. Finally, he just said, 'Why is your bike wrecked?' "

No one seems to be able to answer that question. The best guess is that a maintenance crew was ordered to remove the bike and after workers cut through the lock, decided to keep on cutting.

Some people, Caspersen noted, just don't like bikes, or the people who ride them.

The bigger question, Caspersen said, is: Why doesn't the airport in one of the biking-est regions in the country have a place for bikes?

"We have places for bikes on light rail and buses," he said. "Why wouldn't we integrate the system so we have places for bikes at the airport?"

He called -- and left messages for -- politicians who have funneled millions of dollars into light-rail projects and bike trails.

"No one called me back," he said.

But Arlie Johnson, assistant airport director charged with running landside operations, said staff employees are working on the problem and hope to have it solved by spring.

Johnson also said that he hadn't heard of the demise of Caspersen's bike until this past week but that bike parking has become a concern, especially for airport employees.

"That's great news," said Caspersen when told that bike parking was on the drawing board.

But too late for the remaining pieces of an American classic, now bagged in his garage.

Doug Grow • dgrow@startribune.com
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Old 10-22-06, 09:01 PM
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I'm sorry for the guy, and they could have removed the bike without wrecking it, but in this day and age of paranoid airport security, you always knew this story wasn't going to end well.
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Old 10-22-06, 09:08 PM
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Never leave your bike at an airport. I have witnessed some guy cutting through a lock and stealing a bike at LAX.
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Old 10-22-06, 09:48 PM
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A 1957 American made Raleigh?
I did notice the lack of bike racks at the Humphry terminal the last time I flew home. It is odd since it is a somewhat recent building and Minneapolis fancying itself so progressive.
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Old 10-22-06, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by maximan1
I have witnessed some guy cutting through a lock and stealing a bike at LAX.
Bike-related hazards in the city: Thief cuts through lock, steals bike.
Bike-related hazards at airport: Security cuts through bike, steals lock.

Come to think of it, that's pretty much the same hazard in the city too. If towing companies handled personal automobiles with the same regular levels of destruction, there'd be hell to pay.

Incidentally, are people so ignorant that they have no idea that Raleigh is (ok, was) an English product, and is generally regarded as such?

-Kurt
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Old 10-23-06, 06:46 AM
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Maybe he had one of those frame decals the Fixed Gear guys have. You know, the ones that say "this bike is a pipe-bomb"?
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Old 10-23-06, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888

Oh, incedentally, I can't help but laugh my @$$ (pardon) off every time the Raleigh is termed an "AMERICAN" classic in the article. Have people become ignorant to the point that they have no idea that Raleigh was an English product, and is generally regarded as such? And to answer my own question: No, they don't. Bahhhh!

-Kurt
I remember waaaay back in the 40's growing up in Independence, Missouri. Every year in mid-July we had the big Sir Walter Raleigh Celebration. Everybody wore tight knickers, ate steamed pudding and talked about how it was in the good old days.
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Old 10-23-06, 07:20 AM
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Yeah, I had to chuckle about the Raleigh 3 speed being an "American classic". I was surprised to hear there is no bike parking at the Minneapolis airport. Not sure I would use it for anything but a complete beater bike if it weren't fenced in. I mean they know you won't be around for a while. By the same token, I would think car theft at airports would be pretty high too (especially if the parking lot ticket is left in the car.

The most disturbing thing here is the complete vandlism of the bike. I couldn't really blame them for cutting the lock and confiscating an illegally parked bike. Mostly it seems weird that they kept the evidence. If you were going to hack saw the frame to bits, wouldnt' you throw the remains in the trash? Sorry sir, we don't have your bike is a little safer than yes we have the remains of what used to be your bike.
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Old 10-23-06, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammyboy
Maybe he had one of those frame decals the Fixed Gear guys have. You know, the ones that say "this bike is a pipe-bomb"?
I prefer those that say "This May Be A Bait Bike". In fact, as our local PD doesn't have such, I intend to fake a decal for my own beater, local PD logo and all.

-Kurt
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Old 10-23-06, 09:31 AM
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I'm not surprised. Apparently, it's ok to destroy someone's property if it's on private property. If a car was illegally parked, they'd tow it, not cut it to pieces and haul it away. The car might sustain some damage, but it would still be driveable. Bikes on the other hand don't receive the same treatment.
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Old 10-23-06, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jyossarian
I'm not surprised. Apparently, it's ok to destroy someone's property if it's on private property. If a car was illegally parked, they'd tow it, not cut it to pieces and haul it away. The car might sustain some damage, but it would still be driveable. Bikes on the other hand don't receive the same treatment.
Stupidity exists everywhere.. ever seen someone tow a rwd by the front?
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Old 10-23-06, 12:31 PM
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Out of time, he locked his bike to an out-of-the way sign post inside the terminal and headed to the plane.
Does "unattended baggage" in that dang PSA they constantly repeat in airports specifically include bicycles? I think he should have tried to bring it on the plane as a carry on. It would have been neat to see him try to cram it in the overhead luggage bin.
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Old 10-23-06, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Sammyboy
Maybe he had one of those frame decals the Fixed Gear guys have. You know, the ones that say "this bike is a pipe-bomb"?
That sticker is the name of a punk band.
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Old 10-23-06, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Stupidity exists everywhere.. ever seen someone tow a rwd by the front?
yes
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Old 10-23-06, 01:25 PM
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If it had been me going to the airport, I would have taken a taxi to the transit station and left the bike at home. Just for the peace of mind, I would not leave a bike I valued overnight anywhere.
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Old 10-23-06, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by nelson249
If it had been me going to the airport, I would have taken a taxi to the transit station and left the bike at home. Just for the peace of mind, I would not leave a bike I valued overnight anywhere.
Yep. I don't think I would either.
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Old 10-23-06, 02:08 PM
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Let alone 4 DAYS!!!
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Old 10-23-06, 02:42 PM
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If you leave a bike at in florida it's gone before you get to eat your lunch. No mater what shape it's in or type it is. I have seen 6'2" guys on 20" BMX bikes. And you know that they just took the bike a few minutes ago.
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Old 10-23-06, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
I prefer those that say "This May Be A Bait Bike". In fact, as our local PD doesn't have such, I intend to fake a decal for my own beater, local PD logo and all.

-Kurt
I'll take one of those decals.

I did a little search of the web and found the following article regarding a "bait bike" program. I was rather jazzed about the idea of getting sticker until I saw the date of the article -- 1 April 2006.
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Old 10-23-06, 02:55 PM
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Or invest in a good folding bike and take it with you.
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Old 10-23-06, 03:01 PM
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The best guess is that a maintenance crew was ordered to remove the bike and after workers cut through the lock, decided to keep on cutting.
Or, angered that they couldn't squeeze $36/day automobile parking fees from him, they decided to take it out on his bike.

That'll learn him.
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Old 10-23-06, 03:04 PM
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a bike left locked to a sign post has roughly the same status as a big ole pile of garbage. i've seen bikes kicked, trash thown on them, people letting their dogs piss on them, etc.
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Old 10-23-06, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by squeakywheel
... I was surprised to hear there is no bike parking at the Minneapolis airport...
For what it's worth, the Humphry Terminal where this happened is not the main terminal, the Lindberg being the the main one. I think it mostly handles freight and a couple of the cheaper, smaller airlines. Whenever I've had to use it, there are never very many people around and not much going on. This might explain the extra time and effort that was put into keeping Minnesotans safe.

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Old 10-23-06, 04:17 PM
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Search MSPairport.com
Search for: Bicycle+parking
There are 0 records for the search of bicycle+parking
That should clear up the issue nicely. At MSP, if you don't arrive via automobile or public transit, you didn't arrive via ground. Period. They don't even permit motorcycles in the pay ramps.

The Humphrey terminal isn't the cargo terminal, rather the terminal for non-legacy carriers and scheduled (public) charters.
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Old 10-23-06, 04:20 PM
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can you even walk to an airport if you wanted to? or would you be harrassed?
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