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Bike being stolen off the front of a bus?

Old 02-02-08, 07:02 PM
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Strelnikov
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Bike being stolen off the front of a bus?

Hey all,

I was wondering if anyone has ever had (or heard of) bikes being stolen off of racks on the front of buses?

I have never used one, but for hills beyond my endurance level or when I have just been exhausted from other types of workouts, they seem like a good idea. I understand that one should stand at the front of the bus and watch it if they were to use it, but I was wondering if anyone knows of actual incidents. Fear of something happening and something prone to happen are two different things (e.g. no bicycle has ever been stolen at the University of Washington, Tacoma campus--even when left overnight).

Thanks in advance for your tales
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Old 02-02-08, 07:25 PM
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Well, it's technically possible, but not very likely. If it was taken by someone not riding the bus, he would risk the bus driver running him down, or even just getting nudged by the bus. One would expect the driver to respond in some way, even if it was just "He's trying to steal your bike!" to the rider on board. If it was by someone riding the bus, they would be risk being seen by the owner, or recognized by the driver as not the owner with same result.
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Old 02-02-08, 08:22 PM
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It takes a while to take the bike off the bus, you have to remove the pole on your front wheel, so I sit in the front when I put it on the bus.
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Old 02-02-08, 10:45 PM
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I think it was a few months ago that a woman posted on Craigslist stating that her bike was stolen from the front rack of the MUNI. She said that the bus was quite full. Just before she could walk to the front, the bus driver drove off... She said she tried to call MUNI but to no avail...
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Old 02-02-08, 11:24 PM
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https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/354414-aaargh-lost-bike.html
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Old 02-03-08, 09:44 AM
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It happens... unless you make a specific effort to be noticed, the bus driver most likely will NOT remember who put the bike on the front of the bus... so if another bus rider grabs it, he's most likely not going to notice.

I've also heard directly of a couple of cases where someone put a nice bike on the front of the bus... another passenger put a cheap bike on the bus, then took the nice one when exiting the bus.

If the bus looks full, or if it's on a line that gets very full, I'll throw my cable lock on the bike and around the rack... adds about 10 seconds to de-boarding, but it's worth it for my peace of mind. Otherwise I make sure I stay at the front of the bus where I can keep an eye on my bike!

I also make it a habit to talk to the bus drivers... they always remember me! I've gone on a bus route that I've only ridden once before, and had the bus driver ask me where my bike was!

Also... exit through the front of the bus, and TELL the bus driver that you're getting your bike off the rack. That way they won't drive off with your bike.

Edit: as far as PERSONAL stories.... When I came back from my first brevet, I was riding the bus and some drunk guy kept asking who's bike that was on the front of the bus... then started saying it looked like HIS bike... when he was getting off the bus, he said he was going to take HIS bike... I didn't say a word, just got up and followed as far as the steps... He looked at the bike, then at me .... then turned around and walked away.

Funniest part was that he was at least 6" shorter than me, and my bike barely fit me... he wouldn't have even been able to pedal it!
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Old 02-03-08, 01:54 PM
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" Also... exit through the front of the bus, and TELL the bus driver that you're getting your bike off the rack. That way they won't drive off with your bike."

That's what out local transit system says to do. Especially the NOTIFY part!
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Old 02-03-08, 05:18 PM
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My line is usually "Going to grab my bike. Please don't run me over.''
I generally get a little chuckle for that one.
In the past I have used the bus bike rack quite a bit with no issues. As of late I have been riding down to the light rail instead. No need to unload my bike before taking it into the car.
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Old 02-03-08, 07:37 PM
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I like the lock idea. If you can't sit at the front of the bus and watch your bike, lock it.

Now, I would have to lock my bike every time I put the bike on the rack. I tend to doze off within five minutes of riding the bus (and yes, I've slept through my stop on numerous occasions).
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Old 02-04-08, 12:59 AM
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Some time ago, someone in these forums posted of a homeless guy (not riding the bus) taking his bike off the rack. The driver alerted the cyclist and waited while the cyclist got off, pushed the thief down and loaded his bike back on.

I have had the retaining bar work its way down the wheel (with slick tires) when it was raining. The spring in the retaining bar was worn badly and my bike almost got thrown out of the rack when the bus stopped. As a precaution, I now use a toe strap to secure the retaining bar to the front fork. It takes practice to remove the strap quickly, so it also acts as an anti-theft device as well. If you choose to do this and you care about the paint on your fork, use an old tube or something between the bar and fork.
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Old 02-04-08, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
My line is usually "Going to grab my bike. Please don't run me over.''
I generally get a little chuckle for that one.
I actually got bumped by the bike rack on the bus once when the driver forgot to set the brake!

He did give me a free ride... I think he was just grateful that I wasn't hurt and wasn't going to report him!
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Old 02-04-08, 02:21 PM
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Reverse of this situation occurs in my area.

Kids "borrow" a bike, ride it to bus stop, get off bus at the mall or wherever, and don't take the bike with them. Transit agency turns them over to the Sheriff as "lost property".

Another good reason to not leave bikes unlocked / out where they're easily seen.

Granted, most of these bikes are not very high quality, but ...
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Old 02-06-08, 12:53 AM
  #13  
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A couple years ago a woman I was dating borrowed a bike from me and accidentally left it on the bus rack. She said she was distracted by a creepy guy following her off. I believed her-- but it sucked just the same.

It was my first "real" bike-- a 1991 Kona Lavadome.
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Old 02-07-08, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Strelnikov View Post
Hey all,

I was wondering if anyone has ever had (or heard of) bikes being stolen off of racks on the front of buses?

I have never used one, but for hills beyond my endurance level or when I have just been exhausted from other types of workouts, they seem like a good idea. I understand that one should stand at the front of the bus and watch it if they were to use it, but I was wondering if anyone knows of actual incidents. Fear of something happening and something prone to happen are two different things (e.g. no bicycle has ever been stolen at the University of Washington, Tacoma campus--even when left overnight).

Thanks in advance for your tales

I have heard of it certainly. For that and other reasons, I now only use small wheeled folding bikes covered in a bag of some sort and taken right on board with me at my side. I have done this even in the most crowded buses/trains in existance in the Southern California area. Bikes are valuable items. Would you leave your laptop computer, wallet, purse or briefcase tied in front of a bus. I think not and the bike should be treated just the same.

For photos of my bikes in action right on the buses/trains see:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/world-o...7594325178229/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/world-o...7594325178229/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/world-o...7594325178229/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/world-o...7594325178229/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/world-o...57594325178229/

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Old 02-11-08, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
I actually got bumped by the bike rack on the bus once when the driver forgot to set the brake!

He did give me a free ride... I think he was just grateful that I wasn't hurt and wasn't going to report him!
Something worse than that happened recently in Chicago. Video showed her getting on and off the bus, then walking to the front to take her bike off the rack. The section they showed on the news didn't show her being hit, but it did show the bus starting to accelerate. What a tragedy for all. https://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/7...021108.article
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Old 04-13-08, 11:35 PM
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I have had this fear, and from now on I will put my Portland in the highest gear out of 30, so when the thief tries to pedal away he won't be able to accelerate for the life of him, allowing me to tackle him.

It took me many miles to learn how to shift on the Shimano flight deck, so unless they're a cyclist, there's no way they will be able to shift down fast enough.
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Old 04-14-08, 07:10 AM
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Times I have used bus racks. I certainly don't like sittin in the back of the bus.
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Old 04-14-08, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by thedon View Post
I have had this fear, and from now on I will put my Portland in the highest gear out of 30, so when the thief tries to pedal away he won't be able to accelerate for the life of him, allowing me to tackle him.

It took me many miles to learn how to shift on the Shimano flight deck, so unless they're a cyclist, there's no way they will be able to shift down fast enough.
This is a fantastic idea. It probably could be applied to parking your bike anywhere.

Of course it doesn't keep someone from running with it, or worse loading it into a truck.
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Old 04-14-08, 11:26 PM
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You could probably also find a way of locking the brake lever on. Maybe stick a little hook somewhere that you could pull the brake cable over, holding it on. When you want to ride, just pull the cable back off the hook. Obviously they'll figure it out eventually but it would buy you a minute or two, and they won't be going *anywhere* in that time.

Incidentally, why aren't those built in locks more popular? You know where there's a little bar that clamps through the rear spokes when you turn a key? I saw them on a lot of bikes in Holland, but nowhere else? More than enough to deter the casual opportunist, surely.

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Old 04-14-08, 11:45 PM
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I just pay attention to my bike. Locking it up? Yeah, the driver and the other passengers are gonna love that.
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Old 09-08-12, 08:14 PM
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I had a Vitus stolen off the front of an LA Metro at Wilshire Blvd on July 4th last year. The bus was crowded, so I couldn't sit near the front. I didn't have a clue until some passengers told me. The bus driver remained frozen as just watched the guy take off with my bike. Afterwards he pulled over and called the police, who came by, but by that time it was long gone. After that happened, I always sit at the front of the bus and I usually put a lock on it before I get on the bus.
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Old 09-09-12, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by stevage View Post
You could probably also find a way of locking the brake lever on. Maybe stick a little hook somewhere that you could pull the brake cable over, holding it on. When you want to ride, just pull the cable back off the hook. Obviously they'll figure it out eventually but it would buy you a minute or two, and they won't be going *anywhere* in that time.

Incidentally, why aren't those built in locks more popular? You know where there's a little bar that clamps through the rear spokes when you turn a key? I saw them on a lot of bikes in Holland, but nowhere else? More than enough to deter the casual opportunist, surely.

Steve
Because in the US cycling is a "SERIOUS SPORT" and we wouldn't dare have anything as extraneous as a lock mounted on our bikes.

Also in the US bikes usually don't come fully equipped, so the bike industry can make money selling accessories. FWIW I have several bikes with those lock on them, only one came with it from the factory, the rest I upgraded. I use the AXA Defender locks with the optional plug in chain.

And in answer to the OP, yes it happens.

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Old 09-09-12, 06:05 PM
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There was a link recently to a story in the LA Times where another bus rider actually helped run down the thief who took a bike off the bus' rack.
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Old 09-09-12, 06:09 PM
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wouldn't a cable lock through the wheels work as well, to keep someone from just riding off on it? You wouldn't be wasting anyone's time, if you locked it before the bus got there and unlocked after you took it off.
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Old 09-09-12, 06:16 PM
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I use ours a lot and have never heard of it happening. I do not ever take my eyes off it though. I have occasionally locked it for longer trips as I may not get to watch everyone who leaves the bus.

I did avoid having my Brooks saddle destroyed recently though. I put my bike on first at the station (sit and wait a few minutes before the driver leaves), then a guy puts his wally bike on later with no grips (open bars) and the bars line right up with the side of my saddle. Got off the bus and dropped the seat lower - disaster averted. However, had that been further down the road with my bike already on it would have been bad.

Mostly now if I'm taking the bus I take the folder (inside) and avoid any issues. Funny though when I took it out and unfolded it the other day a guy says "that is bad Azz!"
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