|The Mothership |
You're not kidding. I was biking home one day and saw a nice free box right outside of the place I was living, so I grabbed a few things and ran them inside, thinking it'd be cool in broad daylight to leave my bike sitting there for under a minute. Nope. Came out and it was gone. Good news is, after an hour or so of pouting I saw my old next door neighbor riding around on it and I was like "hey dude that's my bike!" he was all apologetic, like he thought it was part of the free box, and I got it back, but I don't really buy the story..
Later that bike was stolen. :(
you left your bike at a free-box and are surprised the first guy who came along took it?
What world do you live in?
kanker dieven overal.
|infinite zest |
I took an unlocked bike once back.. I was at work at a store on Madison's bar-street, and could see it right out the window, just sitting unlocked next to a tree. Portland might have more bikes, but Madison, especially around campus definitely had a bigger concentration. And the city actually had to abandon their "Red Bike" program (free community fixies that you rode and left unlocked for the next person) because people would get drunk and ride 'em into the lake. So with all these things running through my mind I went out and grabbed it and put it back in the store, then put up a sign that said the bike's inside and if you can describe it it's yours, and put up some more signs in the general vicinity of where it was left.
Anyway 2 days had passed and nobody came in, and I was thinking of myself as a regular old bicycle thief now. "did I do the right thing?" "is my faith in others so low that I'd assume anyone who got on it wouldn't have been the rightful owner? (it was a really nice performance bike too, not a Huffy) but then the dude called me and came in, and claimed it. He was a mix of apologetic and weirded out that I'd do that, but it turns out he was already wasted when he "parked" it and proceeded to get fucked up for the next two days. So technically I stole a bike, but for good! I think..
They had to abandon the red bike program because everyone figured "free bike" rather than "community bike" and stole them. You would constantly see them locked on racks (instructions were left on the bike to leave them unlocked for the next person who needed it) by people who had claimed them for themselves.
Bicyclists are assholes.
People are assholes, regardless of how they choose to get their assholes around.
This is always a problem when a service or good is presented as "free" - people don't see it as a common good that has to be cared for.
Here at my school we have a bike share that involves "no fee" but people have to volunteer a bit before they get the keys to the bikes. The volunteers repair the same bikes, so it gives a sense of shared responsibility. We still have some problems but not nearly as bad as what I've read about "free bike" programs.
It still amazes me there's any kind of market for stolen bikes in NL, there's already about 3-5 bikes on average for every person that I've met here, and they will hang on to those damn things till they crumble.
They are probably chopped up and sold elsewhere.
"Bicycle theft remains a problem with no easy solution."
You could try locking it up with a decent lock. Bolt cutters that you can easily hide in a coat are too small to cut through most U bar locks quickly.
Thieves don't really go for the frame anymore, since a whole bike's easily traceable, just the wheels seat and lights if they're left on. One of the few times in my life I've been happy to be a smoker was when I was on a smokebreak and watched as a guy, in broad daylight disassembled my bike while I watched.
Naw.. I was planning my move the whole time though since he was going to have to walk right by me. I was thinking "shit what if he's on meth and has a knife.." and since I was working on the esplanade it was nothing but foot traffic. Luckily as I continued to watch and get in closer a jogger came around the corner and was like "dude need some help?" Safety in numbers. He just casually walked up the corridor for about 20 feet before I stopped him and he gave me my shit back, but was glad to have a jogger with me in case he tried to bolt. I just told the guy not to do shit like that and told him to scram; he didn't say a word.
It still kinda sucked though because the sun had gone down by the time I left work, so I was reassembling my bike in near-pitch-black weather, which is a pain in the ass.
Any theft-deterrent for bicycles is just that, a deterrent. Bikes are lightweight, so you can never carry around anything that will stop a suitably equipped and motivated thief. You just have to make it a big enough pain in the ass that they won't bother trying. (Note: if they do try and fail, your bike is often pretty f'ed up!)
Also parking next to way-nicer bikes helps quite a bit.
For the truly paranoid there is a UK company that sells locking bolts for pretty much every component on your bike. Just get a cheaper bike, once you're out of the department store/entry-level it's all marketing anyways.
Yeah all my bikes I "built" myself from a nearby bike collective, neighbors who move and leave their bikes behind because there's no room in the van, things like that. Besides money spent on taking the bikes into the shop once in a while (notice the quotation marks above) I've never spent more than 50 bucks on a bike. Of course it depends on where you're going: I use mine to commute to work, and while I'm in a fairly hilly city it's nothing they can't handle.
If I was planning on a long trek, say to the mountain or the coast (technically I do ride over a volcano every day but it sounds more interesting than it is) and planned on doing it often then I'd get a better bike of course, but I know so many people who dropped 1K+ on a performance bike, or even worse, that much on a fixie, and never go anywhere. It's like buying a hummer and never taking it off-road or a fast sports car and never taking it out on a speed limitless racetrack. Or a state of the art computer built for gaming and all you play is Candy Crush.
It still sucks when it happens- hell, I don't like the cars or the people who drive them but keying or smashing a window of a hummer is shitty too- but the proof's in the pudding with bicycles where they're apathetic enough about their very expensive (for sale) bike not to bother chasing down the last guy who just takes off with it.
Well-maintained mid-range bikes from the 1980s to 2000s are amazing. For a few hundred dollars you can get a refurbished 90s mountain bike with non-knobby tires. That's a bombproof commuter bike that will last a decade and probably won't get stolen either.
My main ride (I've got like 7..I have a problem but it's cheap) is a 1993 Miyata Elevation 400. Nothing too fancy for 1993, but I've upgraded all the components, hand-built wheels, and now it's an on/off-road touring monster, and I can lock it up outside without worrying.
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