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RE: [rootsradicals] Locking up your Xtracycle & security in general...

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  • Tone
    When I was still messengering in NYC with my Xtracycle set up the closest thing to “vandalism” I would ever encounter was either someone sitting/leaning on
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 3, 2010
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      When I was still messengering in NYC with my Xtracycle set up the closest
      thing to “vandalism” I would ever encounter was either someone
      sitting/leaning on the snap deck or a rich bitch allowing her toy dog to
      pee on my bike while it was locked up to a pole.

      The former situations were more common than the latter, but they never
      bothered me and really were not that frequent at all. Usually it involved
      someone lingering outside on their cell phone or taking a smoke break and
      sitting or leaning on my bike. They would usually apologize once I got
      back to my bike and sometimes I would get into a conversation about the
      bike with them. One or two times I came out to my bike to find a little
      kid sitting on the Snap Deck. In these cases a few kids might be walking
      together after school and they probably dared each other to do it.
      When/if they saw me approaching my bike and realized I was the owner they
      scrambled out of fear. I would always give them a stern mad look to make
      sure they understood they should not be on someone else’s property in
      case they might break it or something, but inside I thought it was really
      cute. The only concern I really had with people sitting on the Snap Deck
      when it was locked up was their weight causing improper pressure against
      the single kickstand(s) I had back then. I went through at least three of
      the Xtracycle stock single kickstands. Considering my bike always had its
      front wheel and frame snuggly locked up with a 3’ Kryptonite chain, the
      bike did not move too much even when someone sat on the Snap Deck and the
      single kickstand was not even in use.

      The latter situations with the dogs (I think it happened three or four
      time) always pissed me off a great deal though. It was extremely clear
      that the rich bitches in question were aware of someone’s bicycle being
      locked up to the pole. The women were deliberately walking ahead as they
      might normally do so they would not have to watch when their pooch
      stopped to relieve itself. However in this scenario though, the pole or
      whatever was obviously occupied by someone’s bicycle. If anything, I
      figure the women knew the bike was there, and were probably deliberately
      allowing their dogs to piss on my bike because they found the bicycle’s
      presence unsightly in their posh-posh neighborhood. I would get pretty
      damn mad to the point I was tempted to launch the toy dogs into the air
      like a football, but I never did. No one can blame a dog for doing
      something instinctual. Besides kicking the dog might mean getting
      urinated on myself and/or arrested for animal cruelty. Instead, I
      verbally confronted the women in an aggressive, yet civilized, manner.
      They just got bitter and bitchy in their reaction. One insincerely said
      she was sorry and walked away as if she did not even notice the bike was
      there, while another woman told me I should not lock my bicycle there in
      the first place. I replied by asking her if she could read, which caught
      her off guard. When she said yes I pointed to the numerous signs on the
      planters of “her” sidewalk informing people they should curb their dogs.
      At that point she knew she had no argument, but I told her I personally
      would never urinate on someone else’s property (in a tone that implied I
      would love to piss all over her smug face as revenge), so she should
      never allow her pet to do the same. She just walked away and ignored me.
      I think there may have been another time when a preppy looking young teen
      girl was walking her dog and allowed it to pee on my bike, but I think
      she did not do it out of malice. Instead I think it was more a case of
      her being annoyed at having to walk the dog as a chore after school and
      thus not being responsible in watching the dog and preventing it from
      doing what it did. She apologized a great deal, but clearly did not want
      to go to any trouble to clean the mess in any way. Most of the time dog
      pee only wet the wheels because the dogs were small toy poodles, etc.,
      but I think that teen’s dog was a bigger breed from what I remember, so
      its pee did dampen my freeloaders a bit. Fortunately, the non drive-chain
      side of my bike with my constantly installed wide-loaders did not get hit
      because I have the habit of locking up my bike with the drive-chain side
      against any poles/posts. That means the most utilized cargo side of the
      bike faced the street and parked cars instead of the sidewalk and any
      potential dog walkers. I guess that is another reason why people should
      consider using that side if they intend to only install one wide-loader.

      I can not say or recall any other action against my bike, which someone
      might consider vandalism. I think you should definitely be more concerned
      with theft of the entire bike or parts of it. Remember, even though my
      bicycle was outside during my full time work day, it was never in the
      same spot for too long. In any commuting scenario, the bike has to be
      locked up for a long period of time and on a daily basis in the same
      spot. Any potential thief can recognize lock up patterns and schedules,
      so your bike is much more easily targeted.
      When I messengered I used a 3’ Quadra-link shaped Kryptonite chain, and
      always locked it through my front wheel (expensive Aerospoke carbon fiber
      wheels) and the bike frame using either an “American” or “Master Lock”
      brand name padlock, the kind store fronts use to lock down security gates
      at night, which also have an hour-glass shaped plate over the keyhole to
      prevent drilling. To protect my rear Aerospoke wheel from being taken I
      used a mini-lock to secure the quick-release lever against the
      FreeRadical frame tubing. This allowed quick-enough unlocking in case I
      had to repair a flat, etc. I know some messengers will simply secure the
      rear quick release lever with a stainless steel (rust-proof) hose clamp,
      but I disliked it because it can still be opened up relatively easily by
      a thief and it took much longer to remove during repairs than a
      mini-lock.
      When I first got the Xtracycle system I did use a Master Lock bicycle
      lock called “Street Cuffs”, which looked like oversized rubberized
      handcuffs. I locked them around both my bike frame and the FreeRadical
      frame next to where the rear rim-brakes were. I was able to have the
      option of adding additional security for my rear Aerospoke wheel because
      the lock had two “cuffs”, so one could be locked to the frame while the
      other could be locked to the rear wheel if I did not want to lock the
      second one to a pole or rail, etc.. Eventually I stopped using it though
      because I regularly noticed dirt/rust build up in the cylindrical
      key-hole, which made it difficult to unlock. Also, I saw video reports of
      how easy it is for someone to very quickly “pick” cylinder key-hole locks
      with the plastic tube of a BIC pen.
      For your specific use, I would HIGHLY recommend not using a U-lock of any
      kind as your primary locking method. They can be broken with a bar or
      pole fairly easily within seconds. I actually personally witnessed a
      theft like this. You should only use a U-lock as a secondary lock
      possibly to secure your rear wheel to the bike frame while rendering the
      bike unridable at the same time even if your primary lock is beaten.
      Cable locks are almost never good either because anyone with a wire
      cutter/pliers/multi-tool can gnaw away at the cable within a couple of
      minutes. Chains are your best option. Of course nothing is completely
      theft proof because even a Kryptonite chain can be cut within thirty
      seconds with a electrical metal grinder/cut-off tool. I know because I
      have a Dewalt cordless grinder and have done it myself. Really
      professional thieves will sometimes use these. I can go on and on about
      bicycle security, but I have written a lot on the subject in previous
      posts on the RootsRadical forums. As it is, I have written a lot right
      now, so I will spare everyone an even longer message.

      Ride safe everyone,
      _TONE_
    • Rich
      I carry a medium weight Abus chain lock and have an Abus ring lock installed under the snapdeck on my Big Dummy to lock the rear wheel when I want increased
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 3, 2010
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        I carry a medium weight Abus chain lock and have an Abus ring lock installed under the snapdeck on my Big Dummy to lock the rear wheel when I want increased security. The Abus ring lock is the model carried by Clever Cycles and it has a big enough opening so it fits with two inch tires and the VO stainless steel fenders I have installed.

        No problems in Reno so far and there are few enough Xtracycles and/or Big Dummies in the area so that a theft would be pretty obvious if the thief tried to use the bike rather than selling it outside the area. I see occasional Xtracycle conversions but mine is the only Big Dummy I have seen so far.

        Rich Wood


        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "abogado717" <abg717@...> wrote:
        >
        > That's a great tip about using the straps to "lock" the rear wheel. Although I think just locking the frame & front wheel would probably take as long or no longer.
        >
        > What galls me a bit is that I wish I could leave some gear in the inner velcro'd pockets of the freerider, but I know I can't. I'm guessing that most people wouldn't even notice that those pockets are there but I'm not willing to take the chance.
        >
        > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Rick Pickett <rick@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Theft is definitely something to be cautious about. I have Whatchamacollars to make it a pain for someone to try and steal my bags, have Pinhead locking skewers and headset bolt to deter wheel/stem thieves and use the regular length Kryptonite NYC U-lock, and haven't had a problem yet with theft.
        > >
        > > On the topic, but slightly askew, if you must stop somewhere for a brief interval to eat/errand/etc., and don't have a lock, take your FreeLoader straps and buckle them through your rear wheel. If you're not gone for more than 5 minutes, people will be flustering and flubbing their way to try unbuckle your straps.
        > >
        > > Cheers,
        > > Rick
        > >
        > >
        > > "The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine." – John Howard
        > >
        > > graphic wrangler | rick@
        > > 888.537-1401 | fully engage
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > On Aug 3, 2010, at 8:54 AM, abogado717 wrote:
        > >
        > > > Apologies if this has been addressed on the list already - I couldn't find anything directly on point.
        > > >
        > > > I am the proud new owner of a long tail kit & freeloader, on my old Trek hybrid. I've only been riding with it for two days and of course I love it already. I've also got a stoker bar, & Magic Carpet on the snapdeck.
        > > >
        > > > I ride to work everyday in a pretty big & busy city which has its share of bike thefts but is no NYC in that regard. I've always locked up my bike near my office, with no problems. It's on a pretty well-traveled street.
        > > >
        > > > But I'm worried about locking up my Xtracycle & leaving it outside -- not so much worried that it'll get stolen (I lock it all up with a kryptonite U lock through the Trek's frame & front wheel, and a cable run through the rear wheel, Xtracycle frame & Trek Frame). I'm more worried about it getting vandalized or just messed with. It's a novelty -- and for most people, that'll mean they'll leave it alone. But for others it might be an attraction -- for instance, I could curious & not-respectful-of-others'-stuff people sitting on the Magic Carpet, etc.
        > > >
        > > > How do others deal with securing/protecting your Xtracycle when locked up outdoors?
        > > >
        > > > I am thinking of just bringing it into my office everyday, which is not easy -- I was able to just barely fit it in the elevator this morning, and my bosses might not be too psyched to have me store it in my office everyday. Other the other hand, both of them are almost-daily bike commuters as well, so they're sympathetic.
        > > >
        > > > Thanks!
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • Cara Lin Bridgman
        I leave gear in my freeloader s inner pockets: tool kit, patch kit, tire irons, spare innertube, rain coats, straps, spare batteries, water bottle,
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 3, 2010
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          I leave gear in my freeloader's inner pockets: tool kit, patch kit, tire
          irons, spare innertube, rain coats, straps, spare batteries, water
          bottle, long-loaders, and batteries & controllers for stokemonkey and
          download glow. The outer pockets are beginning to look a little
          bag-lady. They're full of plastic bags (so I don't need to accumulate
          new plastic bags), wide loaders, locks (when not in use), bike pump,
          etc. So far, the only thing stolen from my bike was one front
          bike-light and my bike computer (they didn't take the housing).

          CL

          On 08/04/2010 00:12, abogado717 wrote:
          > That's a great tip about using the straps to "lock" the rear wheel. Although I think just locking the frame& front wheel would probably take as long or no longer.
          >
          > What galls me a bit is that I wish I could leave some gear in the inner velcro'd pockets of the freerider, but I know I can't. I'm guessing that most people wouldn't even notice that those pockets are there but I'm not willing to take the chance.
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