Author Topic: Bicycle security in hostels  (Read 8144 times)

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Offline Cablestein

Bicycle security in hostels
« on: March 24, 2007, 05:39:23 pm »
Hi,

What is the general practice with bicycle storage or security with hostels?

Do hostels ask you to simply lock it up outside on the street, or in a yard they may have?

Do they possibly allow you to bring it into a room if you show them that the tires are clean, that the entire bike is clean, and you won't be causing damage?

Since Europe has so much cycling going on, do European hostels have actual bike storage, like a locker or cage?

I'm planning a tour in Europe later this year. I will try to be camping as much as possible, but when checking out large cities I will probably stay in hostels. I simply don't want to leave my bike out in the open anywhere in a city, even if it is locked up.


Offline ptaylor

Bicycle security in hostels
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2007, 08:31:40 pm »
Hi Cable.

I have only stayed at two hostels - both in the US. In one case we were able to bring our bikes into a barn, and they did not need to be locked. In the other case, we brought our bikes into the fenced in back yard, and locked them to a fence.

In Europe we always stayed at hotels. The hotels always had a secure place to park our bikes, sometimes indoors, sometimes outdoors and we did not lock them.(Austria, Germany, Chezk Republic). In Budapest, Hungary, we 'locked' our bikes; by that I mean we locked the back wheel so it could not be ridden, but we did not chain it to a post or tree.

Paul
Paul

Offline DaveB

Bicycle security in hostels
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2007, 09:10:05 am »
Like ptaylor, I've only stayed in hotels in Europe (and Japan) but I always brought my bike into the room with me and leaned it against an available wall.  I was never questioned about this by the hotel staff.


Offline RussellSeaton

Bicycle security in hostels
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2007, 11:01:41 am »
Back in the summer of 1992 I stayed in hostels in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and maybe another country or two.  And the answer to your question is it depends.  I also stayed in lots of pensiones and the answer is also it depends.

Some hostels and pensiones I could take the bike inside the room.  Others it was locked, with a cable and padlock, to a post or fence or bike rack outside.  If the hostel was busy, such as Florence, there was no room in the rooms for a bike and the staff did not allow bikes inside.  Others that were empty except for me, I asked and it was OK.  A pensione in Pisa had a shed I locked the bike inside.  A pensione in Rome I took the bike upstairs to the common area.  There was no room on the street for it.

Why do you incorrectly assume having the bike inside the hostel while you are out touring the town will keep it safe?  So you assume all hostel visitors are honest, trustworthy, etc. and will not take your bike or stuff?  How would the hostel staff know who owns what bike?  Ever thought your bike might be more likely to be stolen if its locked up in a private spot where a thief can take his time breaking the locks with no one able to see him.

"but when checking out large cities I will probably stay in hostels. I simply don't want to leave my bike out in the open anywhere in a city, even if it is locked up."

I think you are going to have a miserable time touring by bike with that attitude.  You are letting your possessions dictate your actions.  In Munich I locked my bike with panniers on it outside a museum and visited the museum.  You cannot do this according to your statement.  You would have to check into a hostel and then take a bus or taxi or walk to see the sights in the town since you won't leave your bike.  On the ride from Munich to Austria I swung by Dachau and locked the bike with panniers outside while visiting.  Again, something you cannot do if you follow your plan.  On the way up to Munich I swung by the Neuchwenstein castle and walked around it while my bike and panniers were locked up outside.  Again, something you won't be able to do.

If your possessions mean so much to you that you have to be in their prescence constantly, bike touring is not for you.


Offline Cablestein

Bicycle security in hostels
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2007, 01:10:33 pm »
Thanks for the replies and thanks Russel for another perspective. Perhaps I was too dramatic earlier.

I have spent lots of time in hostels and I generally feel  they are safe, much safer than leaving a bike out in the street to me anyhow. If it's in a room, I'd lock it behind a bed or something (just to be out of the way).

Yes, my general idea is to store a bike *somewhere* while I explore a city by foot for 2 days or so. I suppose what I'm going to do is email hostels in every major city I'll be hitting and just generally inquire if they have any bike facilities. If one does, I'll be sure to book it or just keep it high on the list.


Offline ride29

Bicycle security in hostels
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2007, 09:31:25 pm »
Russell ~ I'm wondering why you are so obsessed with locking your bike when it is out of view. It seems to me that you are letting your possession (bike) dictate your actions. Why should you worry about your bike being stolen? It's just a silly possession. Are you constantly in fear of your bike being stolen every time you enter a building? How can you enjoy touring with that attitude?

Seriously, I can see the original poster's point. It seems to me that your bike - and many of the supplies attached to it - are your lifeline when you're 3000 miles from home or traveling in a foreign country. Certainly it's not unreasonable to be concerned about their security. It didn't appear to me that he was "obsessing" but rather just pondering questions that are likely held by many riders.

Daryl Bernard

This message was edited by ride29 on 3-31-07 @ 7:11 AM
Daryl Bernard

Offline bruno

Bicycle security in hostels
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2007, 09:53:25 am »
i lock my bike EVERYTIME i leave it for even a second. dang right i'm possessive about my bike. if it got stolen i would die. simple as that.

; )


Offline RussellSeaton

Bicycle security in hostels
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2007, 01:27:12 pm »
rider29.  I think you need to reread the messages. Its not me who is obsessive about bike locking.  Its the original question asker.  Reread the first message in this thread.

The original question asker wrote this:
"I simply don't want to leave my bike out in the open anywhere in a city, even if it is locked up."

Sounds pretty darn obsessive about the bike to me.  Not even leaving the bike in the open even if locked up?  Way, way too obsessive to enjoy a bike tour.  How would you see anything if you had to have your bike inside, locked up or with you at all times?

I rarely lock my bike when I am using it out and about.  Never said I did lock it all of the time.  But it is a risk and reward calculation.  If gone from the bike for a long time, then I will likely lock it, if I have a lock with me.  More opportunity for it to go missing.  If its a short time period, run into the convenience store, don't lock it.  My touring bike is fairly cheap.  It can be replaced cheaply.  If I had one of those many, many thousand dollar bikes on tour, I'd be much more apprehensive about it.  Thus I don't see why people take multi, multi thousand dollar bikes on tours.  On RAGBRAI for instance, I take my cheaper bike because of the abuse it will suffer.  I don't worry about it too much.  I try to minimize the risk, worry.  When chances are high of bike being damaged, take the lesser bike.  When chances are low of damage, take the nicer bike.  Seems logical to me.  If going to a 4th of July picnic, do you wear a suit and tie or shorts and t-shirt?

I try to fit the bike, or whatever, to the situation.  Last night I took the nicest bike riding.  It was raining.  Fortunately did not rain much.  All in all a pleasant ride.  I might have taken the less nice bike if I had to do it over again.


Offline ride29

Bicycle security in hostels
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2007, 10:54:30 pm »
Russell ~ I was being facetious...I am concerned about my bike being stolen as well...for instance, this summer I will be riding out west - Black Hills, Wyoming, Tetons, Yellowstone, etc...I'd love to go off and do some hiking, but I don't know about the safety of my bike while I'm gone for (potentially) hours. So I may just do most of my "sightseeing" from my bike or near my bike. I guess that's just a price you pay when you don't have a vehicle with locking doors and an ignition key.

Daryl Bernard
Daryl Bernard

Offline DaveB

Bicycle security in hostels
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2007, 11:29:56 pm »
One way to improve bike security when you are away from it is to enlist the help of someone who is going to be near your bike anyway.   For example, I've asked store clerks to keep an eye on it while I'm shopping or I'll have lunch in a restaurant within walking distance of where I want to go and ask if the waiter/waitress will watch it.  Generally they don't mind and you do have another pair of eyes working on your behalf.