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Enter The Bicycle Savior Of Los Angeles To The Rescue Of A Lowly, But Expensive, Bike

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Enter The Bicycle Savior Of Los Angeles To The Rescue Of A Lowly, But Expensive, Bike

Old 07-14-12, 05:32 PM
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Enter The Bicycle Savior Of Los Angeles To The Rescue Of A Lowly, But Expensive, Bike

As living car free prompts you to do when combining bus & bikes, I am sure that many of you here have done the same with your bikes. Place them on a rack in front of the bus, and climb aboard without a second thought or glance. After all, even if you bothered to think about this at all, who would steal it in front of so many witnesses and in broad daylight? Uh-huh. Tell that to the bike thief:

".........At 7th and Flower, the bike guy clamped his wheels to the outside rack and, in stretchy pants, helmet and cleated shoes, clip-clopped toward the back......The bus lurched along, until at a red light, a young man rushed up. In a flash, he yanked the bike off the rack and started to run with it down the street........The bus driver honked and honked and opened the front door — but the thief kept moving........So Bolivar, 59, took off in pursuit — out the door, up the sidewalk.......He saw someone near the thief and yelled, "Stop that guy!"......But the person just stared and the thief kept going, now trying to hop on the bike and ride away. When his feet failed to get purchase on the pedals made for bike shoes, the bicycle started wobbling wildly.......Just as Bolivar closed in, hollering, "It's not your bike!" the man gave up, threw down the bike and ran........Dan McLaughlin, the bike guy, meanwhile, was perched on a step by the rear door of the bus, safely sealed in a BlackBerry bubble.......McLaughlin, a vice president at Good Samaritan Hospital, who had pedaled 25 miles from Rancho Palos Verdes that morning, kept tip-tapping away, answering email.......All at once he registered voices and what sounded like, "Bike! Bike!".......He raced to the front, gaped at the empty rack and saw his prized $2,500, carbon-frame Trek Madone down the sidewalk — in the hands of a stranger........Then, miraculously, he watched the stranger start wheeling the bike back his way........Both men were shaking as they met in front of the bus. McLaughlin lifted his bike back onto the rack, intact but for slightly bent handlebars........"I thought, this guy cannot possibly get away with that. He just can't. That's too brazen. In broad daylight with 60 witnesses looking at him?" he said. "It was just too wrong......."-http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...9.story?page=1

It is funny that this is not the end of the bicycles in this particular story. One good turn does lead to another.......

"..........Bolivar once again had bikes on the brain........He started quizzing McLaughlin about the bike world, about different types, about lingo.......McLaughlin, a serious cyclist since college, shared photos, including one of him with his fiancee on their tandem.........Bolivar turned 60 that March. He and Rhonda, who works as a caregiver for the elderly, set out to shop for his gift of choice.........They came home with a shiny, candy-apple-red Schwinn tandem with white seats, as well as coordinating red-and-white tracksuits and shoes......."-http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...9.story?page=3

And another convert to the bicycle/tricycle culture (even though the coordinating red-and-white tracksuits and shoes is a bit much IMO), perhaps Living Car Free as well. Your thoughts?

Last edited by folder fanatic; 07-14-12 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 07-14-12, 05:41 PM
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I would add that in the event I ever use this method of transporting my bikes, I would cable lock it in place. I am sure that this particular bus driver would side with me on that respect.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 07-14-12 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 07-14-12, 08:52 PM
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I've actually wondered how often this happens. But usually people are putting bike on the bus rack tend to be riding wal-mart bikes or similar.
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Old 07-14-12, 11:34 PM
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"Good Samaritan Hospital"??!! Wow.
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Old 07-15-12, 07:51 AM
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My bike used to spend a fair amount of time riding around in a bus rack. I always sat up front to keep an eye on it. When someone to whom I would yield a seat come onto the bus (elderly person, injured/disabled person, pregnant woman, a family, etc), I would still stand in the aisle in front of the bus to watch the bike like a hawk.

One of the bike stealing schemes I've heard of around here runs as follows:

Guy gets on the bus after putting a nice bike in the bike rack.

At a later stop a guy gets on the bus after putting a piece of **** on the remaining available space on the rack. This guy rides for a while. While on the bus he looks to see if he can spot the bicyclist (tank bag? Helmet?). He gets off at a stop before the guy w/ the nice bike and removes the nice bike from the rack - leaving the POS.
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Old 07-15-12, 02:26 PM
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Unless the potential would be bike thief has tools & time on his/her side, a cable lock in the case of public bus bike racks, will deter this behavior.
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Old 07-15-12, 03:46 PM
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I seldom use the bike racks on a bus, but when I do it is locked to the rack.

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Old 07-15-12, 05:44 PM
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It doesn't seem like a great idea to lock the bike to the rack--probably against the rules also. I think it would be sufficient to just lock the wheel to the frame, then keep an eye on the bike.
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Old 07-15-12, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
It doesn't seem like a great idea to lock the bike to the rack--probably against the rules also. I think it would be sufficient to just lock the wheel to the frame, then keep an eye on the bike.
On the 3 systems I use I have never seen any rules against it. FWIW I use the euro style frame mount ring lock with an optional plug in chain. The ring lock keeps the bike from being rolled or ridden the cable/chain keeps it from being picked up.

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Old 07-16-12, 06:54 PM
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When I rode uprights I bought a beater for bus rides. I haven't yet put my bent on a bus rack. I don't know if it would fit, and it's more money than I want acting as the bus's bumper.
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Old 07-17-12, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Zedoo View Post
When I rode uprights I bought a beater for bus rides. I haven't yet put my bent on a bus rack. I don't know if it would fit, and it's more money than I want acting as the bus's bumper.
From previous BF threads, I'm not aware of people having a bike damaged on a two-bike bus rack. bikes have been thrown off the the three-bike racks, evidently when the bus was moving at highway speeds.

The first time I ever used a bus rack, I dropped an Allen wrench under the bus when I was mounting my bike on it. I was too shy to ask the driver to back up the bus so I could retrieve my wrench.
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Old 07-18-12, 09:43 AM
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Trek Madone--public transit---wow biker is fearless.

In an ideal world we should be able to commute on $3000-5000 bikes without a thief snatching what we worked hard to purchase.

Wonder if bike thefts have increased as the economy has declined? I see more people riding bicycles. Coincidentally, the tow truck business appears to be booming in SouthFlorida.
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Old 07-18-12, 10:11 AM
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When I started riding the bus to work I heard from the bus drivers about people stealing bikes. Not often, but it did happen. I used my commuter bike, which looks pretty bad but runs well. After a few years there was a strike by the MTA drivers, which pushed a lot more people onto the Santa Monica bus. A time or two the driver let me bring my bike onto the bus because the rack was full. I responded by riding to a stop earlier in the run, but then other people with bikes were displaced. I solved this problem by getting out my rat-bike and locking it at the bus stop.
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Old 07-18-12, 10:26 AM
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I have a folder for bus use, plan on getting a better quality one soon. Bikes and buses are a good idea, but are severely limited by the bicycle carrying capacity of the buses. They need to look into some sort of body insert to allow more bikes. I saw one express bus set up using an interstate type bus where the bikes would roll into the storage compartment underneath. IIRC it was capable of holding ~30 bikes. I don't recall where I saw the article on it.

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Old 07-18-12, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BadBoy10 View Post
Trek Madone--public transit---wow biker is fearless.
In an ideal world we should be able to commute on $3000-5000 bikes without a thief snatching what we worked hard to purchase.
In Japan you probably could -- except that the buses don't have bike racks.
Indeed, it is an imperfect world we live in.

Originally Posted by BadBoy10 View Post
Wonder if bike thefts have increased as the economy has declined? I see more people riding bicycles. Coincidentally, the tow truck business appears to be booming in SouthFlorida.
I also see more people on bikes, but haven't noticed more tow trucks. Do you think it's because more people are driving clunkers? Or perhaps more repo action?
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Old 07-18-12, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Pobble.808 View Post
In Japan you probably could -- except that the buses don't have bike racks.
Indeed, it is an imperfect world we live in.



I also see more people on bikes, but haven't noticed more tow trucks. Do you think it's because more people are driving clunkers? Or perhaps more repo action?
Repo action. I have a friend that is in the car repo business and his business has nearly double in the past 4 years. He had to add another truck and driver last year. And in case you you have seen the "reality" repo shows on television? It doesn't go down like that with his business. He wants to get in, get the vehicle and get out, with NO confrontation.

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Old 07-18-12, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Repo action. I have a friend that is in the car repo business and his business has nearly double in the past 4 years. He had to add another truck and driver last year. And in case you you have seen the "reality" repo shows on television? It doesn't go down like that with his business. He wants to get in, get the vehicle and get out, with NO confrontation

Aaron
Wow. It seems like that would be a dangerous job to have. After all, the guy that's behind on the payments could some out shooting and later claim that he thought someone was trying to steal his car.

I dunno if I'd care to run that particular risk.
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Old 07-18-12, 05:18 PM
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I think repo action in South Florida.

I ride a lot at midnight---consistently observe cars being hooked and towed.

I don't know the situation obviously could be mechanical issues but...looks like repo. Lots more people on bicycles. The bus transit rack only holds two bicycles and also is usually full.
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Old 07-19-12, 11:14 PM
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I used to repo cars and always had the keys to them figure out the habbits of the owner wait till they pulled up to the gas pumps get the gas and when they went in to pay for it I would be out of there before the money hit the counter. The only confortation I had was a nurse where the doctor she worked for couldn't understand that checks wouldn't cut it and it would take cash to keep the car.
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Old 07-20-12, 10:48 AM
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In my city, you aren't allowed to lock your bike to the bus rack. I've had to transport my bike this way a few times, I lock the wheel to the frame so at least it can't be ridden away. I also stay at the front of the bus to keep an eye on it.
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Old 07-20-12, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I have a folder for bus use, plan on getting a better quality one soon. Bikes and buses are a good idea, but are severely limited by the bicycle carrying capacity of the buses. They need to look into some sort of body insert to allow more bikes. I saw one express bus set up using an interstate type bus where the bikes would roll into the storage compartment underneath. IIRC it was capable of holding ~30 bikes. I don't recall where I saw the article on it.

Aaron
I agree that more and petter bike storage should be a goal for transit companies to increase their own business. The under-bus system won't work on a city bus, because you don't want to have stairs on a bus the makes frequent stops. I can visualize buses with subway type sliding doors that alllow bikes to be rolled right onto the bus. But in general, there's enough clutter with the wheelchairs, strollers. and large packages and bags carried on board, without inviting bikes into the mix.

I'm thinking a storage system where bikes can be hung quickly onto the sides of the bus.
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Old 08-06-12, 08:27 AM
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Buses could be redesigned as ferries for bikes, so riders use bike seats instead of bus seats. The design challenges are the doors, steps or ramps up to the floor, and locking the bikes in place for secure seating.
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Old 08-06-12, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I'm thinking a storage system where bikes can be hung quickly onto the sides of the bus.
Another approach might be to build up secure bicycle parking at major stops and/or build a bike rental network to help with the bus "last mile" issue. That way, buses move passenger and don't have to also be tow trucks.
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