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Bike Theft takes a new twist!!

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Bike Theft takes a new twist!!

Old 08-10-12, 10:14 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post

I don't think Frankfurt Germany and Metro Washington DC
are comparable cities either..
???

edit: FYI, they're both "Alpha" Global cities ... in case you didn't know

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city

Last edited by acidfast7; 08-10-12 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 08-10-12, 10:46 AM
  #27  
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Depending on the bike and the racks design, a large carabiner through the fork and front wheel chock and/or chainstay and rear wheel chock are pretty quick to attach and remove if you know they are there yet may deter an opportunist if he/she can't snatch the bike quick enough.
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Old 08-10-12, 11:35 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
I used to ride the Los Angeles MTA. The bus drivers would get tweeked when I locked my bike to the rack. I don't know if no locking was policy, but the drivers didn't want you to be slowing them down at the stops. I explained to them that I could load/lock, and unlock/unload faster than most people do with out locking. I got really fast at it, and after a while, the drivers got to know me and didn't [throw a female dog] (durn censor bots!).

1. If the rack is up when the bus arrives, have the bike hoisted by the top tube with the left hand with the front wheel facing forward.

2. When the bus stops, step off the curb, lower the rack with your free hand, drop the bike, throw the lock that is already threaded around the frame to the rack, remove the key.

3. Board the bus and before the driver can protest say, "see how fast I did that? I'll get it off faster then those that don't lock".

4. At your destination get off the bus, unlock, hoist the bike one handed by the top tube and raise the rack with your free hand and step to the curb.

If there is already a bike on the rack, it should be in the first position, nearest the bus, but it may not be. I'll leave it to you to figure out. The above should give you a good idea. Bus drivers can be a pain, but you would be a lot better off making them your freinds.
Thanks big time for those tips..
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Old 08-10-12, 11:40 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
That area is pretty sketchy. Taking a bike off a bus rack in full view of you and the driver is pretty darn bold. If Metro doesn't provide a way to securely transport your bike, they should be responsible. In essense, you have turned the bike over to them for the duration of the bus ride. Can't see how a wheel lock will deter theft, because the thief will just carry your bike down the nearest alley. Not likely you are going to give chase for any distance, as you would be risking serious bodily harm in attempting to retrieve your bike. It's on Metro to address this issue. In the meantime, get a cheap bike that you won't mind losing and paint some graffiti on it. Make it look like a piece of junk. Put some Huffy stickers on it.
Good points, and I will be using one of my beater bikes on my first couple bus commutes. Locking the wheel to the frame keeps the theives from riding away on the bike, they would have to carry it.
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Old 08-10-12, 11:47 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Interesting...

in Frankfurt you can take your bike on the tram, subway and commuter rail for free (expect at 06.00-08.30 and 16.00-18.30 on the subway due to high passenger load). You can sneak them on to buses at night as well if you're polite to the driver.

but most people find it easier just to lock a bike up at the station where they commute from by bike ... like this ...



Nice idea, but I could NEVER leave any of my bikes like that, never! Maybe my rusty beater, and just maybe on that too.
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Old 08-10-12, 12:54 PM
  #31  
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You can take a bike on the metro in DC except during peak hours (usually during peak hours as well depending on your stops). I have put my bike on the front of a bus a couple times. I could not see it unless I was standing right up on the drive or standing on the stairs to the raised rear on the newer metrobuses. Also, I imagine you'll get tired of that commute very quickly. It is 75 minutes on the best days, assuming downtown to downtown. Monday morning? Friday afternoon? You're probably looking at 2 hours on the reg. At that long of a commute, is it really worth standing, right up front in everybody's way, paranoid, peering over the front, checking on your bike, for 2.5-4 hours per day, five days per week?

Do you really need to take the bike? Why not join CBS and leave your own bike at home. If you're just using it to commute from the bus stop to work, it's a much better option (or, as Alan said, just get a beater).

I live in a pretty nice area in DC and I wouldn't lock my bike up outside my house if I was going to be gone for more than 4-5 minutes. I've seen bikes stripped of everything that wasn't locked down in just a minute or two. In June, a guy in front of me in line at CVS came out to find his bars and brifters removed from his bike - threadless stem and all - with the cables cut, to boot.
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Old 08-10-12, 01:14 PM
  #32  
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I hook a bungee around the frame to the rack. It's not fool proof but it would prevent a quick snatch and go.
I've had a couple driver's question the practice (2x over the course of three months). I've never had one stop me though.
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Old 08-10-12, 11:21 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by ETilton View Post
You can take a bike on the metro in DC except during peak hours (usually during peak hours as well depending on your stops). I have put my bike on the front of a bus a couple times. I could not see it unless I was standing right up on the drive or standing on the stairs to the raised rear on the newer metrobuses. Also, I imagine you'll get tired of that commute very quickly. It is 75 minutes on the best days, assuming downtown to downtown. Monday morning? Friday afternoon? You're probably looking at 2 hours on the reg. At that long of a commute, is it really worth standing, right up front in everybody's way, paranoid, peering over the front, checking on your bike, for 2.5-4 hours per day, five days per week?

Do you really need to take the bike? Why not join CBS and leave your own bike at home. If you're just using it to commute from the bus stop to work, it's a much better option (or, as Alan said, just get a beater).

I live in a pretty nice area in DC and I wouldn't lock my bike up outside my house if I was going to be gone for more than 4-5 minutes. I've seen bikes stripped of everything that wasn't locked down in just a minute or two. In June, a guy in front of me in line at CVS came out to find his bars and brifters removed from his bike - threadless stem and all - with the cables cut, to boot.
Well, it is not exactly a commute, it will be more of a joy-ride. Before I got into bicycles, my weekend stint would be to drive to DC, hit Bally's Gym on L street, and then run in Georgtown. Love that trip, I would do it with sportcar and motorcycle. Now, I want to do it with the bicycle. The Marc train from Baltimore to DC will not allow full size bikes, on folding bikes. I have been advised about the bikeshare too. However, I am a picky old cuss, real funny on what I drive, be it sportscar, motorcycle and now bicycle.

The Marc train would be ideal, but since that is not an option, the light rail, b30, and metro rail will be the route. I figured it will about a 2 hour stint just getting there. My beater bikes will be going on the first couple runs to see how it goes. I am 72, so I qualify for the up front seats too!
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Old 08-10-12, 11:23 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by FenderTL5 View Post
I hook a bungee around the frame to the rack. It's not fool proof but it would prevent a quick snatch and go.
I've had a couple driver's question the practice (2x over the course of three months). I've never had one stop me though.
That is what I had came up with too. Just need to stop the fast snatch and run like the news article stated.
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Old 08-11-12, 06:09 AM
  #35  
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Sounds like a perfect situation for a ring lock
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Old 08-11-12, 07:28 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
Sounds like a perfect situation for a ring lock
I think if I was going to do bus+bike a lot I would get one of these. As acidfast has said these are real popular in Europe so they must be pretty effective. It won't stop someone from carrying the bike away, but the won't be able to ride it. Most likely this means they will drop it if they are being chased.

I don't think there would be much of a problem with people stealing bikes off buses where I live, but having a little more protection wouldn't be a bad idea. For now though if I take the bus with my bike, I'll just u-lock my back wheel to the frame.
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Old 08-12-12, 05:42 PM
  #37  
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First of all, if you are that worried about theft, use thrift store bikes (ie $25) for commuting and if you lose a bike a week to theft, it is still cheaper than a tank of gas.

Second, can you just remove the front wheel quickly and carry it onto the bus? I don't think people will steal your bike if the front wheel is missing.
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Old 08-12-12, 05:51 PM
  #38  
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Washington DC today is a police state. I swear, when police bend down to tie their shoelaces, I wonder how they avoid tieing the shoelaces of the cop next to them by accident. So, crime has come down a bit in downtown which "hopefully" suggests that your bike is safer than it ever was outside. Crime in neighborhoods surrounding the Capital is a different story. In the neighborhoods, people will steal the paint off of houses, so your bike would not be safe there.
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Old 08-12-12, 06:39 PM
  #39  
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I put my bike on the front of the bus on my daily commute. I guess I kinda keep an eye on it as we roll through downtown Kansas City as I am reading BF on my phone. Theft never crosses my mind.
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Old 08-13-12, 07:54 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Big Lebowski View Post
I put my bike on the front of the bus on my daily commute. I guess I kinda keep an eye on it as we roll through downtown Kansas City as I am reading BF on my phone. Theft never crosses my mind.
The Ideal!
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Old 08-13-12, 09:21 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
First of all, if you are that worried about theft, use thrift store bikes (ie $25) for commuting and if you lose a bike a week to theft, it is still cheaper than a tank of gas.

Second, can you just remove the front wheel quickly and carry it onto the bus? I don't think people will steal your bike if the front wheel is missing.
Take another look at how bus racks work: They're the kind with twin wheel wells and a ratcheting clamp that goes over the front wheel. At least that's how they are here in Seattle. You can't use one if you're missing a wheel. The real pisser up here is that they don't work well for bikes with full coverage fenders, either. That clamp ends up crushing plastic ones, or denting and bending metal ones. There needs to be a better design for these racks in areas where more bikes have full fenders than don't.
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Old 08-13-12, 09:40 AM
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I live on H St. (H and 14 NE), and I have opted against putting the bike on a bus rack for this reason. I don't want to take the time that I would need to place the bike and then lock it up, as the folks on the bus wouldn't be too happy with that. I'm sure if I did it enough I could get better at it over time, but a bit of a daunting prospect for me at the moment.
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Old 08-13-12, 12:12 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Take another look at how bus racks work: They're the kind with twin wheel wells and a ratcheting clamp that goes over the front wheel. At least that's how they are here in Seattle. . .
I have never seen bus racks any different, and I have ridden all of the metro systems in Southern CA, and Las Vegas NV.
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Old 08-13-12, 12:18 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
If Metro doesn't provide a way to securely transport your bike, they should be responsible. In essense, you have turned the bike over to them for the duration of the bus ride. ... It's on Metro to address this issue.
This sounds like a recipe for having all the bike racks removed from buses. Were I Metro, I'd argue that the bike rack is provided for the convenience of passengers, and that the passengers assume the risk of using the rack (just like they assume the risk of locking to racks at rail stations, or ). If a court later ruled that the carrier is liable for theft from the rack, the next recommendation from their lawyers would likely be to remove them (unless they are statutorily required) or start charging a hefty fee for their use.

As the cyclist, however, I would argue that a complete no-locking policy negates the assumption of risk, at least to some extent. But I suspect the immobilized wheel with the bungi/rope option is almost as good as a full on lock to the rack body.

I'm almost surprised no one has come up with a product to satisfy this very specific need -- where are the design students?
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Old 08-13-12, 12:21 PM
  #45  
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This isn't new.......Lock rear wheel to frame.You can outrun a person carrying your bike,I hope.
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Old 08-13-12, 01:03 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Originally Posted by mike View Post
First of all, if you are that worried about theft, use thrift store bikes (ie $25) for commuting and if you lose a bike a week to theft, it is still cheaper than a tank of gas.

Second, can you just remove the front wheel quickly and carry it onto the bus? I don't think people will steal your bike if the front wheel is missing.
Take another look at how bus racks work: They're the kind with twin wheel wells and a ratcheting clamp that goes over the front wheel. At least that's how they are here in Seattle. You can't use one if you're missing a wheel. The real pisser up here is that they don't work well for bikes with full coverage fenders, either. That clamp ends up crushing plastic ones, or denting and bending metal ones. There needs to be a better design for these racks in areas where more bikes have full fenders than don't.
I have the same issue here in KC. I just cheat a little and put the arm in front of the fender.

BTW - I am a Seattle native. lived on the Plateau for a long time. I sure miss the overall quality of public transit in King County.
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Old 08-13-12, 01:44 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by CptjohnC View Post
This sounds like a recipe for having all the bike racks removed from buses. Were I Metro, I'd argue that the bike rack is provided for the convenience of passengers, and that the passengers assume the risk of using the rack (just like they assume the risk of locking to racks at rail stations, or ). If a court later ruled that the carrier is liable for theft from the rack, the next recommendation from their lawyers would likely be to remove them (unless they are statutorily required) or start charging a hefty fee for their use.

As the cyclist, however, I would argue that a complete no-locking policy negates the assumption of risk, at least to some extent. But I suspect the immobilized wheel with the bungi/rope option is almost as good as a full on lock to the rack body.

I'm almost surprised no one has come up with a product to satisfy this very specific need -- where are the design students?
Well, wheelchair lifts are provided for the convenience of passengers, so are you saying there is no liability if the lift injures them? How about if the bar you are holding onto gives way and you fall down cracking your skull? Saying something is "for the convenience of passengers" doesn't relieve them of liability.
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Old 08-13-12, 02:24 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
doesn't relieve them of liability.
I hate this attitude ... it's always someone else's fault.
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Old 08-13-12, 02:29 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
I hate this attitude ... it's always someone else's fault.
So it's your fault if Metro won't let you lock your bike to the front of the bus, and you watch it get stolen by a petty thief? Or you have to chase them down at night to rescue your bike, risking life and limb? OK, then.
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Old 08-13-12, 02:38 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Well, wheelchair lifts are provided for the convenience of passengers, so are you saying there is no liability if the lift injures them? How about if the bar you are holding onto gives way and you fall down cracking your skull? Saying something is "for the convenience of passengers" doesn't relieve them of liability.
Actually, I bet the wheelchair lift is there because of the American's with Disabilities Act, in America obviously, but I think they bus company would still be liable if someone got hurt on them. I just mainly wanted to point out the lift was not for convenience only.
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