Author Topic: Campsites and bike theives!  (Read 1908 times)

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Offline zonesystempro

Campsites and bike theives!
« on: February 21, 2013, 12:04:16 pm »
For those that have toured and stayed at campgrounds, I was
wondering about safely leaving your bike and gear during the
day at your campsite while you check out the local sites by foot.
Has anyone had problems with thieves or is this just not advisable?
Any tips would be helpful. Thanks.

Mike

Offline John Nelson

Re: Campsites and bike theives!
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 12:15:26 pm »
I usually lock my bike to the picnic table while in camp. My lock however is a simple 3/16" cable, so only secure against the casual thief. If I'm going to be gone all day, I remove my panniers and put them in my tent, just to get them out of sight. I've done this hundreds of times with no problem. Of course that doesn't mean my bike couldn't be stolen the very next time I do it.

Online staehpj1

Re: Campsites and bike theives!
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 03:46:38 pm »
My experiences are similar to John's.  That said I am more careful in some places than others.  I do not bother putting the panniers in the tent a lot of the time.

Also there are lots of times when I leave the bike to go hike to a waterfall, overlook, or whatever when not in camp so no tent to put stuff in.  In those cases, my money, plastic, and electronics stay with me (like always) and everything else stays on the bike.

I do worry more in cities, some of which I won't leave anything out of my sight if I can help it.  That is a very small percentage of the time though.

It helps if you have a bike and gear that you can afford to replace in the unlikely event it goes missing.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Campsites and bike theives!
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 10:28:57 am »
What John said. Someone once plotted to steal my stove. The cyclist camping area was next to a road that lead to a residential area (possibly a trailer park.) Yhe only thing separting the two was a low post fence. Two teens drove by and saw that I had left my stove out. The driver stopped and the passenger got out and headed to the fence. I was sitting outside the laundry room, saw what was going on then started to walk briskly toward my tent. The kid, who was just about to hop the fence, jumped back in the car and the two sped off. I created the perfect opportunity crime by leaving something valuable in sight and easily accessible in a area with fairly regular traffic.

In general, I assess my surroundings to determine what precautions are prudent, taking into account several factors, especially public visibility and access since I feel there is usually (but not always) very little risk posed by fellow campers. With that said, I always take my money, cards and ID with me.

Offline Pat

Re: Campsites and bike theives!
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 12:46:08 pm »
Great question zone,

If I may expand your concern a bit, think about what you do to protect you and your stuff on tour.  First, we try to maintain situational awareness, whether we are on the road, or in a campground.  Second, unless we have our bikes in plain site and complete control, we always lock the bikes to something (yes we lug around Kryptonite Locks and Cables).  Third, we keep our stuff out of sight much as possible (in panniers when stopped and zipped up in the tent in the camp ground).  Finally if it's valuable, we carry it with us (we use the little straps that come with the handlebar bags).  And, as best we can, we keep our eye on our stuff.

Is this a sure fire recipe for success?  I wish it were, but the best defense seems to be to attract as little attention as possible, and make it at least a little less easy than it might have otherwise been.

I think it is easier with two people, but it sometimes means you don't just leave your stuff on the spur of the moment and walk down to the beach.  You have to plan it out a little bit.

Having said all that, remember the first rule of touring -- have fun!!!!!!   Try not to get yourself into vulnerable positions, and take reasonable steps.  Don't let this fear spoil a wonderful opportunity.

Pat

Offline mcparsons

Re: Campsites and bike theives!
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 03:55:50 pm »
We always keep valuables in our handlebar bags which we never let out of our sight.  The rest of our gear is cheap and not worth pawing through the dirty clothes to get.  But I do worry about having our very precious touring time ruined by someone taking our bikes or some other essential.  My son forgot his lock combo and was able to open his lock in less than a minute by feel (Google to see how easy it is).  So we don't count on that to do more than stop the casual thief. 

Offline litespeed

Re: Campsites and bike theives!
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 10:54:24 pm »
I have stayed in hundreds of campgrounds - KOA's and state, federal, municipal and public campgrounds. I lock my bicycle to the picnic bench with my beefy cable lock. I set up my tent so that the bike is visible to me while lying within it. I have never had anything stolen or, to the best of my knowledge, has anyone even tried.

The main advantages touring cyclists have is our strangeness (to most people) and the fact that most people probably assume that we really don't have much worth stealing. And we really don't. Most thieves are looking for jewelry, pricey electronics or guns.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Campsites and bike theives!
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 11:49:44 pm »
Another good deterrent is to remove and hide the front wheel.  Psychologically, it just does not attract the thief like a "whole" bike would.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline JayH

Re: Campsites and bike theives!
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2013, 08:18:12 am »
Quote

The main advantages touring cyclists have is our strangeness (to most people) and the fact that most people probably assume that we really don't have much worth stealing. And we really don't. Most thieves are looking for jewelry, pricey electronics or guns.

or alcohol..   Just a matter of opportunity for some folks.   A friend of mine had some scotch lifted from a daybag on his kayak when he and I were down in a town getting food while paddling on a multiday trip on the CT river in VT.  Somebody went through his bag on the deck and lifted the bottle.  We did lock the kayaks together and the thief didn't appear to go through the hatches... but the bag on top of the deck was easy to get to and available and the boat launch was right off downtown..

Jay