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They tried to take my beater

Old 01-29-08, 09:59 AM
  #1  
rhome
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They tried to take my beater

But they couldn't, because my double lock scheme is a beast.

I know the Metro station is really hot (attractive to criminals). I see the broken locks on the ground every day. Sometimes I see people walking around confused, like "I know my bike was right here when I left." One time this woman asked me if the Metro police take bikes. When she showed me her cheap broken lock, I had to explain to her that thieves are really active and you need a better lock. She was very sad.

That's why I only take my beater.

I guess they were mad that my locks thwarted them so they took my lights. My lights have an approximate retail value of $24. The street value is probably much lower, especially since the rear light was held together with tape. Personal value is high of course, I like being visible to motorists.

My local thieves are dumb. One time they cut my cable (before I stepped up my anti-theft game) which left my expensive wheels (before I had a beater) exposed. They didn't take the wheels. Instead of sliding my rear light off of the clip, they dismantled the whole thing.

So I need new lights. But get this... those fools took my plastic bag. The baggie that most of us keep tucked under our saddle rails for wet conditions and a dry behind. Why did they take the bag? Did they have loose vegetables that they needed to carry home? Were they walking their dog and needed to scoop some poop really quickly?

I stopped riding for about 10 years because I lost two bikes to theft. I'm a lot wiser now, but also curious as to what is going through these fools' minds.
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Old 01-29-08, 10:10 AM
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They carried your lights in the bag
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Old 01-29-08, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne View Post
They carried your lights in the bag
apparently, I'M THE DUMB ONE.

why did I not think of this?
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Old 01-29-08, 10:45 AM
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Sounds like a good spot to bait and trap some thieves...
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Old 01-29-08, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenGrasshoppr View Post
Sounds like a good spot to bait and trap some thieves...
neither the local gov't nor Metro cares enough. the cops get annoyed if you even mention it.
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Old 01-29-08, 11:11 AM
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Let me guess: you're in Washington, DC.
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Old 01-29-08, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by DCCommuter View Post
Let me guess: you're in Washington, DC.
of course!

my local Metro stop is West Hyattsville. Places actually in the city like Dupont Circle are usually considered the hottest but I think Hyattsville might be able to take the title.
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Old 01-29-08, 12:24 PM
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That's cause it's PG county. Although I hear Union Station is realy bad too.

What amazes me is that some people seem to refuse to learn. I've left notes on bikes twice advising the owners to improve their locking stratagy,giving tips,and even mentioning this site(with URL). The first is always parked at a grocery store;the owner was using one of those cheap oval shackle locks(the kind that are shaped like a link of chain) to lock the fork leg to a post,with a QR skewer. Unhook the brake,pop the wheel,and slide the fork right out of the lock. Now they just lock the front wheel. The other was a pair of bikes I used to see in front of a restaurant;they were U locked to a parking meter with the shackle around the seatposts. And yep,both had QR seatclamps. Slide out both seats and you get two bikes. Haven't seen them in awhile,so maybe something did happen.
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Old 01-29-08, 12:42 PM
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There used to be a TV show about World's Dumbest Criminals. Of course, some of these guys weren't too bright to begin with. But add alcohol and drugs, and you get some really stoopid stuff going on.

I've had one bike stolen. It was a piece-of-crap bike that I would have given to them if they'd asked. Guess they couldn't discern the difference.
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Old 01-29-08, 01:01 PM
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I can't remember; are tasers or pepper spray legal in DC? If the police are really that indifferent it may be time to put on a superhero costume, bait the trap with a bike or bike accessories, hide in the bushes nearby, and beat the snot out of some bike thieves.

/not really
//but a man can dream can't he?
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Old 01-29-08, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
I can't remember; are tasers or pepper spray legal in DC? If the police are really that indifferent it may be time to put on a superhero costume, bait the trap with a bike or bike accessories, hide in the bushes nearby, and beat the snot out of some bike thieves.

/not really
//but a man can dream can't he?
As long as we're dreaming, here's my fantasy: fill a bike bottle with capsaicin, rig the lid with little spray holes to cover all directions, and put a remote control pressure-release thingamajig inside the water bottle.

Wait until someone starts fiddling with the lock, and press the pressure release remote button.
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Old 01-29-08, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenGrasshoppr View Post
As long as we're dreaming, here's my fantasy: fill a bike bottle with capsaicin, rig the lid with little spray holes to cover all directions, and put a remote control pressure-release thingamajig inside the water bottle.

Wait until someone starts fiddling with the lock, and press the pressure release remote button.
No no, you put a fragile tube of super glue just under a seat cover on a hard seat. Said thief sits on bike and has a bike stuck to his backside when he gets off (make sure the tube is not something he will feel.

Another fun one might be to have a tube of acid that would eat the fibers of his pants, and also burn his nether regions.

Hmm, while we are at it, how about a battery concealed in the seat tube that runs a stepped up voltage to 2 hidden electrodes in the seat, perhaps a tesla coil could liven things up.

There are really hundred of variations on the above, be creative! Just make sure that the bike is a beater and don't expect to get it back, although a hidden camera might be amusing.
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Old 01-29-08, 08:08 PM
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so what locks do you use?
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Old 01-29-08, 09:42 PM
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My idea is to leave the bike on the top of a hill after removing or disabling the brakes. Assuming it has freewheel, too. The steeper the hill, the better.
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Old 01-29-08, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bizzz111 View Post
so what locks do you use?
I was also wondering about this. Is your "double lock scheme" a beast due to the quality of the locks or in how you are using them? If your locks are thwarting thieves, others would like to know what you are using.
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Old 01-30-08, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I've had one bike stolen. It was a piece-of-crap bike that I would have given to them if they'd asked. Guess they couldn't discern the difference.
That is because you are too prosperous. To a hop-head if he thinks he can get the price of a pack of butts for it it is worth stealing. And the pawn shops love it, they get to buy the same bike for $10 and sell it for $50 over and over.
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Old 01-30-08, 05:52 PM
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What is this double lock scheme? Please post pictures.
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Old 01-31-08, 11:09 AM
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Today the bike next to me was rolled right up into the rack but totally unsecured. The rack was closed but the u-lock was just hanging from the downtube unattached to anything. I should have snapped a photo.

As for my locks, no Kryptonite Fuhgettaboutit or anything, just a combination that's a pain in the ass to beat. Low hanging fruit, ya know? I'll post photos.
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Old 01-31-08, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul L. View Post
No no, you put a fragile tube of super glue just under a seat cover on a hard seat. Said thief sits on bike and has a bike stuck to his backside when he gets off (make sure the tube is not something he will feel.

Another fun one might be to have a tube of acid that would eat the fibers of his pants, and also burn his nether regions.
A fragile vile of turpentine.

When we were kids, a friend of mine (Mike) poured turpentine into a split on another kids bike seat. The other kid rode the bike home. Mike's dad got a phone call from the other kids dad. Mike later got the snot beat out of him.

I do really like the super glue idea, though.
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Old 01-31-08, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
A fragile vile of turpentine.

When we were kids, a friend of mine (Mike) poured turpentine into a split on another kids bike seat. The other kid rode the bike home. Mike's dad got a phone call from the other kids dad. Mike later got the snot beat out of him.

I do really like the super glue idea, though.
Bleach might be interesting and humorous as well.
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Old 01-31-08, 02:40 PM
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Talking of administering Justice--One of my customers was riding in London in a group of 5 or 6. When they stopped at a shop, they took their helmets off while they eat their chocolate bar and coke and in the meantime the bikes were never left alone. A Car stopped- and a cyclist got out of the back of the car- Dressed in all the right gear and put his helmet on. Walked up to the best bike bike in the group and wheeled it away. He got about 10ft before he walked into the owner. For some reason he did not get much further. Well he did- but it was with a few broken fingers and a lot of bruises.

This happened a few years ago but apparantly you never leave a bike unattended or not properly locked in London- unless you can afford to lose it.
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Old 01-31-08, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DCCommuter View Post
Let me guess: you're in Washington, DC.
Rent a bike locker at a Metro stop. Metro is not very organized (why doesn't that surprise me?) with them but my persistence paid off and I recently got one. It's $70/year or about $6 a month (about the price of one roundtrip on Metro from the burbs to DC) but there are a lot of pros: you don't have to worry about bringing your own lock, can leave your lights attached to your bike, can leave your helmet, gloves etc. in the locker too. If you don't feel like riding at the end of the day you can leave your bike in the locker too, I did that once when it was snowing really hard. Plus, just not having to worry about theft is worth it to me.
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Old 01-31-08, 09:26 PM
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Is this one yours?

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Old 01-31-08, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rhome View Post
But they couldn't, because my double lock scheme is a beast.

I know the Metro station is really hot (attractive to criminals). I see the broken locks on the ground every day.

You're lucky the bike wasn't vandalized. If crooks can't steal your bicycle, they will damage it. I still take the train and but park two blocks away. I will never park at a train station again. Never.

If a train station has a bike rack, you'll see some of the most destroyed bikes on earth! Missing wheels, fenders, seats are quite common. Even beaters, 20 years old are missing rear wheels! Here's what to do.

1. Don't park at the station or even one block away -- AWAYS park at least 2 blocks from the station.

2. Find a place away from the sidewalk -- Don't lock it to a light pole or where there's foot traffic. If you can find a parking lot, lock the bike far inside the lot. Motorist who commute in general, do not steal bikes, especially beaters.

3. Hide the bike -- My bike is parked against a fence that is difficult to see from a distance because of the bushes. Everyone thinks bikes are attacked if hidden but the opposite is true. Bikes are only attacked if they are parked in full view.

OH... You might want to get a folding bike. This will give you the option of taking the bike abord the train and park it at your office. Even if you can't bring the bike inside, it's better parked anywhere but a train station.
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Old 02-09-08, 01:15 AM
  #25  
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Lots of suggestions that make sense except for the fact that I live a mile from the Metro. Parking two blocks from the station... I might as well walk or take the bus. I just like the 15 - 20 min. savings on my commute time from riding that mile. If I had a long multi-mode commute, a locker would definitely be the move.

So for folks who asked about how I lock up. Like I said, nothing expensive, just time-consuming to defeat. They could get me with power tools but if somebody is that determined, nothing will stop them.

I put my u-lock around the stationary half of the rack and my frame:



and then secure the rack with a shielded shackle padlock.



This one is better but it was too bulky for the pocket of my bag. It's hard to get bolt cutters into that basket and even harder to cut the shackle when so little of it is exposed.

And now a couple examples of the aftermath of one of the daily theft sprees:


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