How to deal with a bike thief

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There’s one thing about us bike people. While we might have hundreds of reasons to disagree with each other: 29er vs. 26er, helmet vs. no helmet, geared vs. single speed, girl pants vs. bib shorts, triathletes vs. everything sensible, so on and so forth. But regardless of our differences, we can all agree that people who steel bikes are total fucking assholes.

We put this New York Times video on the facebook page the other day and a couple of you had some good ideas of how to deal with someone caught trying to swipe your steed:

Garrett says his “Guns would be a blazing.”

Jeremy says he’d “piss all over them and everyone they know.”

Personally, I’ve had only one bike stolen from me. It was nothing special, just my every day knock around type of thing. It looked a lot like this. You know, it was a pretty cool bike…Brad Pitt doesn’t know shit about Schwinns by the way…

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Well, you know what happened to the guy who stole it? Nothing. Never found the bitch. But if it would have, what I had in mind for him was a mix of Hannibal Lecter’s craft using Betty Crocker’s cooking utensils…

What would you do to someone stealing your two-wheeled pleasure machine?


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About Cupcake

I don’t have a beer gut, I’ve developed a liquid grain storage facility.

28 Replies to “How to deal with a bike thief”

  1. Some local wannabe thug tried to boost my bike afew years back when I stopped and went into the convenience store. Found it around the corner of the building. Seems the li’l “gangsta” didn’t know about brakeless fixed gears. Only thing better would have been if I had been parked at the top of some steep-assed hill.

  2. I’m not surprised. NYC folks are self centered assholes mostly. If they do care they are too scared to actually do anything.

  3. I honestly don’t know what I’d do in that situation except that I’d probably do something that’d land me in the bing. The only experiences I’ve had are: a customer who was about to try to steal my phone while I was at work. I was at work so I couldn’t really do anything except ice-grill him and make him feel uncomfortable. Another guy tried to break into my house while I was home, and I chased him down the alley with a baseball bat… I couldn’t catch him because I was on foot and he was on a bike.

  4. once I worked at a college bike shop and a very bummed guy came in with a u-lock around his neck…having been the victim of a party prank. Might be a fitting punishment. “Steal yourself dickweed.”

  5. It only takes 8 lbs of pressure on the side of a knee to make it collapse. Your helpful tip of the day from sfb.

  6. Pingback: Link roundup: March 15 | Tucson Velo

  7. Lost three to the thieves over the years. The one I lost as a kid. I got it back and was called as a witness (waited in the hall, never testified). The next one, I left out ’cause I was moving and couldn’t fit it in with what I was taking (gone in an hour). The third… That third… best commuter I ever had. Wheeler crossline 5000. Taken from my own back yard. I know what I wanted to to to whoever took it. Would I? Doubt it. Might be the lack of cojones. Who knows.

    I know the anger. I know the hate. But putting the hurt on someone is putting something in your past you may never be able to shake.

    Just the late night ramblings of a long time lurker.

  8. Thoose bigassed ulocks like I carry (OnGuard Bulldog) are big enough that you can lock a thief to a signpost. Not a recommendation; merely an observation.

  9. @Tucson Velo used to live in Tucson. That’s where my homegrown was stolen. Keep on the lookout for the punk who done it. Thanks for the love.

    @CanWood word son

  10. Had my baby stolen once. Its a Trek 710 had all new Dura Ace drive train and a new paint job
    I saw it hanging in a second hand sporting goods store and got it back. I’m sttill riding it.
    I’m a cop now so if I caught someone stealing my bike they pay. I’m always armed.

  11. ‘well, officer…i was attempting to show this young man that i was the rightful owner of the bicycle, what with having the serial number with me & somehow in the ensuing protection of my personal property & in his unwillingness to let go, he attempted to defy the laws of physics & thus seems to have sustained several broken or perhaps simply dislocated fingers on each hand…

    …perhaps he’s given himself the opportunity to learn about property rights & physiology today…”

  12. People who steel bikes are freaking awesome! However, stealing bikes is a whole different story…

  13. Long ago, someone tried to steal my bike from the back of my truck while I slept in my tent at Brownie campground in Big Bear. For whatever reason, they did not defeat my locks. I thought a fitting punishment would have been to duct tape them naked to one of the ski lift poles with a sign saying “bike thief” covering their privates.

  14. oh yeah, (to thief), well if you want the bicycle so much, you now have to ride it 200 miles nonstop!. haha. but when you’re done i get it back, bitch!

  15. WWJD had 4 bikes stolen from His garage, broad day-light. Was broken in in Korea where they took some good stuff but left the 5000USD mountain bike unscathed. All He can hope for are 5 visits to the emergency room with broken wrists, no death, just a lot of pain and discomfort for evil ways.

  16. I’ve had two bikes stolen from me in my life. First one was when I was 13 in Yorba Linda. It was a 1982 Diamond Back Viper that I had just finished rebuilding from scratch. (Mom didn’t believe in paying people to do a job I could do). Broke my heart.
    Second one was last year. My 2005 Kona Jake the Snake got snatched while I was in accounting class at FCC. I had it u-locked through the chain rings, around the frame and to the bike rack. I also had a cable going from front wheel to back wheel through the u-lock. When I came out all that was there was the velcro strap of the cable. That one destroyed me. It was my first geared bike when I got back into the cycling world and I loved the safety cone orange with black. I raced on it, my friend B, she raced on it and took states. My girlie used to get throughout her last year of college and I had just finished a complete rebuild with new everything except the bomb proof 105 kit. Still keep my eyes open for it.

  17. I have bear spray attached to the shoulder harness of my camelback shoots 20-25 feet, comes out as a stream not a spray…. Im sure it would work on a human that tried anything stupid.

  18. I had my Ibis Mojo stolen off of the my trailer hitch rack while I was in a Starbucks at 8am on a Saturday morning on my way to the trails. 3 minutes in a Starbucks was all it took. There I was in flip-flops and full spandex kit staring at bike rack with no bike. I couldn’t believe it.

    Unless I missed them, I hadn’t seen anyone ride past the Starbucks, so I figured they’d gone the other way. I ran down the street to the next block and saw someone riding away on a bike that was way too big for them with a flat front tire. Again, I couldn’t believe it. I started screaming bloody murder and chased the guy down… in flip flops. I was closing fast and trying to decide how to tackle him when he literally stopped, hopped of the bike and dropped it. He was as surprised as I was.

    The question then was, do I punch his lights out, call the cops, or yell at him for a while, then throw my bike back on the car so I can still get to the ride on time to meet my buddies. I was getting married the following Saturday, so I couldn’t risk showing up with a black eye…. that took care of option 1. Option 2 was tempting, and if I’d had to do it over again, I would go with option 2. Definitely should have called the cops and had him arrested. I went with option 3, fixed the flat tire, had a great ride with my buddies, and showed up at the wedding with no black eyes.

  19. I don’t have a hitch rack. Or a roof rack. Or one a them Gawdawful hook-on thingies that won’t let you get into your trunk. My baby rides in the car with me. Every time, every place, no ifs, ands or buts. Those rare times when I ride in a place farther than I could ride to and from in a day, anyway. If your bike isn’t worth that, why do you even have one?

  20. my car has a built-in bike rack. It’s called a “pickup.” Bonus: it even works for skis and firewood n’shit.

  21. I don’t ski. Ain’t burned wood in years, either, and the house is warmer for it.

    But I’ve still got my truck. 1988 Dodge Ram shortbed. 360 and 727B. If I ever get afew bucks ahead it’s getting body and paint work, fresh chrome and airplane gears. The current oil embargo means 10 mpg ain’t feasable, even if I can haul a bedfull of anvils up a skyscraper. But afew tweaks should get me into 18-20 mpg country. That’ll work. Until then my Honda Element works like a dream.

  22. “…even if I can haul a bedfull of anvils up a skyscraper.”

    …why, that’s almost poetic when talking big american iron…

  23. The money ain’t there right now, bgw. Not to do it right, anyway. And there’s alot of halfassery that will need to be corrected from when the “mechanic”-he blew his brains out last year. Maybe there’s a God afterall-got way too much money for the work he did.

    But I remember when I’d first gotten it back on the road. Had some 2×6 lumber I’d removed on a demo. Up to the bed rails, it was. Took the back road which included an 8% grade and it might as well have been downhill. The truck just walked right up that mountain. Got to the dump, hit the scales, unloaded and got my weight when I paid to leave. A thousand pounds, I hauled. And the truck didn’t even feel it on that killer hill. Anything that performs like that, you keep.