Bicycle theft whilst touring

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Location: Inner west, Sydney

Postby geoffs » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:36 am

we always have set up the tent near a pole or a tree so that we could use a cable lock to secure the bike.

I've toured for a total of at least 1 and a half years and never had a problem.
I often don't bother locking up when at a cafe but the bike is always within sight. If I can't see it I'll eat somewhere else. You'd be suprised at the number of people who will let you park it somewhere safe like a cloakroom
or even inside the shop.

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Postby Tale » Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:46 pm

I think a fully-loaded touring bicycle has a Say What factor for thieves - they don't know what it is, how it can even move, how to lift it, how to ride it, how to get the luggage off, etc.

When touring, I take a U-lock and looped cable. Often I lock my fully loaded bike outside a tourist attraction or city supermarket, with everything still on it except my keys, wallet, passport and camera (I put them all in my helmet and carry it in my hand - and use it as a shopping basket!).

When camping, I use the U-lock and cable to lock the bike to an immovable object (far from your tent but still in sight is OK). But if there's nowhere to lock the bike, I take the front wheel off, lock both wheels to the frame with the U-lock, lift up one of the tent poles and put the pole through the spokes. Then I go to sleep. Anyone who tries to steal the bike in the night will wake me up.

My old bike was almost stolen in Warsaw, Poland. I lived at an outer suburban camping ground for three weeks while organising visas and tickets for a train trip to China. On my second-last night, an Aussie girl in another tent screamed "f... off" and there was a loud crash. I thought she was having an argument with her boyfriend, but she had heard a noise, looked out of her tent and saw my bike halfway up a high fence on a pulley system. A thief had cut his way through the looped cable holding it to the fence, hooked it to the pulley system and was hoisting it over. When she screamed, he let go, my bike came crashing down and he ran off into the night swearing in Polish. I was very grateful but the ironic thing was I actually wanted rid of the bike - a long tour was over, $800 Trek mountain bike was trashed except for the frame, and I couldn't take the thing with me (sold it for $50 two days later).
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