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losing items and being robbed while on tour...

Old 11-09-08, 10:23 AM
  #26  
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I haven't had anything stolen while bike touring or any other of my travels for that matter.

A far more serious problem for me is leaving things behind at camp or in a hotel room!...
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Old 11-09-08, 11:02 AM
  #27  
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I've never had anything stolen, thank God, but I lost stuff on my last tour. I twice had this happen:



This is on the bridge from Confluence, PA, to the Great Allegheny Passage. That was the first incident, and it was my fault for improperly securing the sleeping bag. The second was on the C & O Canal Towpath, a few miles from the Western Maryland Rail Trail. In that case a bungie cord broke and I didn't notice the sleeping bag missing for a couple of miles. I rode back and got it.

Two other items I lost for good on that trip. One was the key to my cable lock - I don't know where it went to, but I lost it somewhere between Paw Paw and Hancock. The other was my camp towel, which I tried to dry on the back of my trailer as I rode on the last day, and lost somewhere between mileposts 30 and 20. I didn't go back for it.
 
Old 11-09-08, 11:49 AM
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From the stories above I can only conclude that I have led a charmed life while bike touring all of these years [although United Airlines lost our tandem for several days. I now call them the Un-Tied Airline].

I take normal precautions that I would also take at home.
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Old 11-09-08, 11:54 AM
  #29  
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I had a half liter of Olive Oil stolen while camping at a KOA. *shrug*
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Old 11-09-08, 12:36 PM
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I've lost a few things here and there but have never been robbed.

I was at McGrath state beach a few weeks ago and some drunk came in the hiker/biker site and kicked the crap out of a guys back wheel.We think he was trying to steal the bike(brand new LHT) but couldn't,got pissed off and trashed the wheel and bent the derailer.There was 4 of us in the site and in the middle of the night,we all wake up to all of this noise.We get out of our tents,and the guy is just standing there,kicking the crap out of his wheel?So we do a dog pile on the guy and call the cops.I got it going good enough for him to limp into Oxnard and get it repaired.

That's not the first,second or third story I have heard about adventures in lovely Mexico....L.A. is not that far behind.Another couple years and there will be more Mexicans here than in Mexico.

A fellow that I work with was born in TJ,Mexico and returns to visit his family all the time.He has been held at gunpoint TWICE in the last year.They steal his wallet,and his big buck tennis shoes...LOL! Poor guy has to buy cheapie shoes so he can go home to visit his family.

Don't let the bad stories stop you,99.9% of the people I meet in campgrounds are great people that would give you the shirt off their back,even the homeless people that migrate around in the coast campgrounds.

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Old 11-09-08, 12:50 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Joe Gardner
I had a half liter of Olive Oil stolen while camping at a KOA. *shrug*
This thread just forced me to change some future touring plans. I was going to do a 'sub 48" at a state park, staying two nights and using a day to ride locally, but after reading this thread I'm almost afraid to leave my tent up unattended to visit the bathroom!
 
Old 11-09-08, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by The Historian
This thread just forced me to change some future touring plans. I was going to do a 'sub 48" at a state park, staying two nights and using a day to ride locally, but after reading this thread I'm almost afraid to leave my tent up unattended to visit the bathroom!
Don't let a $9 loss stop you. We stayed away from improved / commercialized campgrounds for the most part, but of the half dozen or so nights where we had no other choice, it was fine. We met some great people at state parks.

I'm hoping whom ever took our oil thought it was tequila and chugged it before they realized what they had.
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Old 11-09-08, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by The Historian
This thread just forced me to change some future touring plans. I was going to do a 'sub 48" at a state park, staying two nights and using a day to ride locally, but after reading this thread I'm almost afraid to leave my tent up unattended to visit the bathroom!
I wouldn't sweat it unless that particular park seems too risky. The accounts given are a few incidents spread over many thousands of days of touring.

OTOH: Use reasonable caution. I wouldn't leave stuff that was too likely to be stolen. Obviously, keep money, credit/debit cards, electronics, etc. with you at all times.
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Old 11-09-08, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
The first time (in England) the bottle hit the rear fender of the person I was cycling with and shattered ... and I had to pick my way through broken glass. The second time they missed all together. It happens. We did have a little altercation in Dover toward the end of our recent European tour, however ... Let's just say some parents needed to employ better parenting skills when their kids were much younger. But three incidents in all the kms I've done touring isn't bad at all.
I'm sorry that two of them happened in England though. (I hope no one reading this draws the conclusion that Britain is a dangerous place to tour. Well apart from the motorised dangers anyway.).
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Old 11-09-08, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I wouldn't sweat it unless that particular park seems too risky. The accounts given are a few incidents spread over many thousands of days of touring.

OTOH: Use reasonable caution. I wouldn't leave stuff that was too likely to be stolen. Obviously, keep money, credit/debit cards, electronics, etc. with you at all times.
I've probably been too careless during my long tours. I routinely left my bike and trailer unattended on the Montour Trail, GAP, and C & O. This included an hour and a half in downtown Cumberland, MD - I did lock my bike then. I also locked it in the campsites.

That said, during two tours passing through Philadelphia with Neil F. we used FOUR locks to secure the bikes during meal stops, and brought our panniers in with us.

And while it hasn't come up on this thread yet, I was possibly being targeted for a bikenapping in Dunellon, NJ, on a day ride. A fellow on a beater began following me and asking me how much I paid for my bike. Neil F. was more aware of the danger I was in than I was, and he blocked the guy from getting close to me.
 
Old 11-09-08, 03:49 PM
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And I was just thinking about this thread the other day. Thanks everyone for your stories. When I ride, I'm well aware of my surroundings and my belongings (bike, accessories, etc.). Whenever I make a grocery run, I'll remove the items that can be easily snatched (light, seatpack, pump, etc.)

I haven't toured yet. But when I do, I'll be ready. I have concerns, but no worries. God willing everything will work out. If not, then its lesson(s) learned.

Last edited by mijome07; 11-09-08 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 11-09-08, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by The Historian
I've probably been too careless during my long tours. I routinely left my bike and trailer unattended on the Montour Trail, GAP, and C & O. This included an hour and a half in downtown Cumberland, MD - I did lock my bike then. I also locked it in the campsites.
Different strokes... If I couldn't leave my bike unattended in most places I stop it would spoil touring for me. For me the answer is to accept the risk, but plan my tours to maximize the time in places the risk is acceptable and avoid the risky places as much as possible. In the rare stops in bigger cities I have managed to find safe places to stay and leave my bike

Originally Posted by The Historian
That said, during two tours passing through Philadelphia with Neil F. we used FOUR locks to secure the bikes during meal stops, and brought our panniers in with us.
Personally I wouldn't be inclined to tour anywhere that I couldn't leave my panniers. The exception is if there is a rare day here and there on a long tour that passes through a city that I would normally avoid.

I think during a 10+ week tour we rode without our panniers once when we left them at our hosts house while we went to a movie. We never even removed them at night. We did ride a few days with only one pannier when we were staying with friends and relatives.
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Old 11-09-08, 05:07 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Julien
In Mexico, I was pushed off the road and beaten with the flat side of a machete and when I started resisting one of the two pulled a pistol to my face... they got my cash, cards, passport... in the next village the police asked for 125 pesos to file the report !

You just have to grin and bear it... makes for stories to tell....
A very good reason NOT to tour in Mexico or any other uncivilized country. Sorry but there are too many places in the world to see where you have a low chance of being "beaten with the flat side of a machete ".
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Old 11-10-08, 01:54 AM
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On one of our tours in Greece we had someone reach in our tent sometime after 03:00 and remove our handlebar bags and stole 80 euros, camera with over 450pics and 2 (cheap) nokia phones. When we made the report to the police they said we were lucky they took the time to use the zipper, most times they like to use razors and also ruin the tent.
We were sad to have those items stolen but we will not let that discurage us from touring.
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Old 11-10-08, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mijome07
Anyone ever lost any items or fall victim to theft? I know some bike commuters have had stuff thrown at them, spit on and yelled at. Does this happen to people on bike tours?
Hi,

LOST:
I lost two locks in hotels - I mentioned one 15 km later and Cycled back, the other 150 km later and I didn't cycle. I often think that I lost something while touring, but at home I find it.

STOLEN:
I pump in Greece - two attempts in Morrocco / Jordan. Always by kids who wants to get a trophy (useless items)

FALL VICTIM:
In Zimbabwe I was robbed. All I had were bloody cycling cloths, I broken arm and I 7cm long laceration (and some miner injurys)

THROWN:
Very rare some boys throw stone in my direction (From my opinion: harmless)

Yes it happens to people on bike tours.

Thomas
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Old 11-10-08, 02:55 AM
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I was touring Florida alone a year ago and 3 guys tried to rob me in a back alley after I left a bar drunk. I pulled my gun from my handlbar bag and cocked it. Needless to say they left me alone.
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Old 11-10-08, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by xilios
On one of our tours in Greece we had someone reach in our tent sometime after 03:00 and remove our handlebar bags and stole 80 euros, camera with over 450pics and 2 (cheap) nokia phones. When we made the report to the police they said we were lucky they took the time to use the zipper, most times they like to use razors and also ruin the tent.
We were sad to have those items stolen but we will not let that discurage us from touring.
Hehe,
I have a very expensive tent (Hilleberg Staika). I don't want to think about those razors
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Old 11-10-08, 07:09 AM
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I've never had anything stolen on a bike tour. I lost a baseball cap once. I knew exactly where I left it (on the ledge outside of a convenience store window) and when I went back half and hour later to get it, it was gone and the clerk said no one turned one in. No big deal..it was a pretty cheap cap and I was happy to have an excuse to get a new one.

Once in Paris, I had a shoulder bag stolen at Gare du Nord train station. It was right beside me (those Gare du Nord petty thieves are really good!) I lost my passport, train tickets to Amsterdam, camera and yet another baseball cap. Travel insurance replaced virtually everything, including finding an identical and no longer produced camera. The only things that couldn't be replaced were all those sentimental international entry/exit stamps in my passport and some pictures I had taken of Jim Morrison's grave. This wasn't on a bike trip, though. I just wanted to tell the story again. All my friends are tired of hearing it.
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Old 11-10-08, 09:53 PM
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I had my camera, portable hard drive (all my pictures and videos), extra SD cards, palm pilot (had my journal), a credit card, drivers license and a chunk of cash stolen from my room in Bangkok.

My fault for leaving it all in the room, but it's a tough decision in a city wether or not to truck around after dark alone with expensive stuff in a bag or not.

Lucky I had credit cards+passport on me. The cash/card in the room were a "back-up". I had called to cancel the card I'm guessing within an hour or 2 of the theft, and the thief(s) had allready charged over 1000$US. He/she/they had definitely done that before!

-Certainly not a touring related theft, although I was on tour.

I still get choked up every once in a while thinking about the loss of my pictures/journal. I never bothered writing up my trip on crazyguy either-kinda pointless now. (tip: Upload/backup as you go especially on a long trip!!!)
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Old 11-10-08, 10:02 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
A very good reason NOT to tour in Mexico or any other uncivilized country. Sorry but there are too many places in the world to see where you have a low chance of being "beaten with the flat side of a machete ".
Come on - if I looked hard enough I'd find a report of a tourist robbed at knife/gun point in the US - does that make the US an uncivilized country I should avoid touring in???

I've spent more than a year over several trips bike touring, sea kayaking and camping in Baja Mexico. I've spent a handful of nights in hotels - most of my nights were spent camping alone or with one traveling partner. In all that time I encountered no hostility, no theft - in fact quite the opposite - people were super friendly and happy to share whatever they had.

Let's not get paranoid here.
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Old 11-10-08, 10:37 PM
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I'll second what Vik said about Mexico. I've toured there twice. I also used a bike for 3 weeks in one Mexican town in Chiapas to get around while studying Spanish there, and visited the country 4 other times traveling by bus. No problems at all, and very warm and kind-hearted people, for the most part. Yes, Mexico no doubt has its share of dangerous people and towns (especially those near the US border) which are best avoided. But don't label an entire country as "uncivilized".
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Old 11-10-08, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by calikid2006
I was touring Florida alone a year ago and 3 guys tried to rob me in a back alley after I left a bar drunk. I pulled my gun from my handlbar bag and cocked it. Needless to say they left me alone.
pretty sure carrying a gun in your bar bag is illegal unless locked separate from the ammo. packing a gun and getting drunk is very irresponsible. you are lucky nothing came of this and you still have your freedom.

on the other hand, this incident appeals to some vigilante part of me. i'm sad that this incident didn't escalate, and that you and your attackers are not in prison or worse
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Old 11-11-08, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by axolotl
I had something stolen from my panniers in Spain, and from my handlebar bag in Israel. I had a bike stolen by an airline before a trip even began. Lots of stuff was thrown at me by boys in Tunisia. It got pretty annoying. There were also 2 attempts to knock me off my bike while I was riding it in Tunisia, both committed by local boys who were riding bikes themselves! The scariest situation I even had while touring took place in Switzerland. Yes, Switzerland.
What happened to you in Switzerland, and do you remember where in the country?
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Old 11-11-08, 08:24 AM
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Never had anything stolen. I lost my wallet this summer, which caused no trouble at all. In fact, it made things interesting.

In Miramichi, New-Brunswick, Tim took apart a MSR Dragonfly kit to sell me just the pump and instead of sending me back in town to withdraw money (took only cash or checks), he gave me an invoice and said to send a check after my trip. I put the invoice in my wallet saying that if I lose my wallet, I'd have bigger problems.

Fast forward to Cabot Trail, I was taking a break on a descent when this guy stopped and babbled in an incomprehensible English. It was Ed the australian, who rode from Quebec City and drove some parts. So we chat a bit and go on our way. Later, after going up and down North Mountain, there were someone at the treeless and showerless campground so I hesitated to stop. I finally stopped just to find Ed camped out. He had beer, firewood and extra food that he gave me.

I lost my wallet the next day. I called the bank to cancel the CC and figure out where I can get a new bank card. The next bank was in North Sidney, a long day ride and I wasn't sure if I could make it before it closed. Ed's extra food came in very handy because I still had enough of my own for the rest of the day and the next. There were only two specific places where I could've lost my wallet so I rode back 15km (one-way) on the Cabot trail's hills but no luck. Damn I rode fast! I waved a RCMP cruiser to get a ride but no luck (what if I was hurt?!?). Anyway, I rode as long as I could that day, camped in a ski center and kept riding the next day. I wasn't sure how much was the cable ferry across a sea arm which would save me some precious time. I ran into a couple on a tandem and they confirmed the ferry was free for cyslists.

So in the end, I made it to the bank well in time, was asked a bunch of question to confirm identity, got a new bank card, went for a little shopping and showed up at the ferry across to Newfoundland just in time. The ferry terminal and the boat had showers, my first in three days.

Everything went so smoothly on that trip, it was ridiculous. To top things off, I got a package from the RCMP last week. It was my wallet with the cash still in it.
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Old 11-11-08, 10:03 AM
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Had a vodka bottle filled with methylated spirit for running the stove stolen.

We spent a fun evening imagining the consequences, in a local restaurant where we had to buy a meal as no fuel to cook that night.

We assume it was one of a large group of teenagers camping in the next field. We mentioned the theft of our "liquid rat poison" to the leader the next day, just in the hope that a teenager would have to have their stomach pumped.
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