Keep Pedaling II – My bike was stolen

The video I posted a couple of days ago was prophetic. Due to a lapse of judgment on my part, my bike disappeared last evening when I went to feed my friend’s cats. I stupidly left it in the front yard, behind a non-locking low fence/gate for about 10 minutes. I was heartbroken. I had owned the bike less than 4 months, and it was my dream bike – a beautiful orange color, a stumpjumper just like my last nice bike (which was stolen during a breakin of my grad-student cottage in Oakland while I was on vacation), brand new rack and waterproof panniers. Luckily I had removed the $200 in cash from the panniers just before my ride over!
Just as the lyrics say though, I need to get a new ride and keep pedaling. As much as I’d rather not have lost the monetary value of the bike, and would rather spend money on other things, I can afford to replace it, and must as it is my only wheels. And I must get a replacement this weekend to pick back up with taking my kid to camp. I am torn though. Gil had the same thing happen to his bike under very similar circumstances 4 years ago, and I was really careful for a while, but it wore off. I don’t trust myself to not make similar lapses in judgement. So partly I just want to get a cheap, beater bike and tune it up the best I can and go. But I’ve gotten pretty attached to a relatively light, smooth-running bike. A cheap 10-speed could fit that bill without the hefty price of another used Stumpjumper, but would be all but useless when the snow flies, and less than perfect on Anchorage’s rough, potholed, unpaved, and root-rippled paths. Then I have been wanting a cargo/long-tail bike for a while. I was going to eventually get an extracycle attachment for my old bike, but maybe I should just walk into the bike shop and plunk down the $700+ for a new Kona Ute. Possibly what I should do, and I shudder at the excessive consumption of it, is get 3 bikes. The Ute for kid and large item hauling, a beater mountain bike to keep studded tires on in the shed and pull out in the winter, and a beater 10-speed to ride on quick, childless errands around town. Any thoughts before I go bike searching this weekend? I am really nervous about putting down any real money.
Then there are the extras. If I get a normal bike I need to pay about $30 for a new trail-a-bike hitch and get a rack and panniers to be back where I started – up to about $200 for that…depending. If I buy the Ute I’d need to get some of those handlebars that fit on the seatpost for Oceano to hold on to during our commutes, and maybe some other gizmos to make that work.
Sigh. I hate buying things.
What I really want is a new bike lock system. Maybe a tough, thick wire that retracts inside a tube of the bike frame and is always with you, that you just pull out and around and click in wherever you are, just good enough for those quick trips in broad daylight. What I really want is to go back in time and not leave my bike out vulnerable. Let it go…let it go. A whole lot of anguish for a base material object!

Update: a google search has uncovered this ‘pit stop lock’ which may be exactly what I need for the quick stop. Just wish it was an integral part of the bike so I didn’t have to remember it every time or risk losing the separate piece.

Pit Stop Lock

Pit Stop Lock


7 responses to “Keep Pedaling II – My bike was stolen

  1. Damn!!! That sucks. I too hate messing with those unruly bike locks and very tempted for a short run in a store not to mess – even if in my simple mind I know better. At least I have the option to just walk or the bus. Go for what you want – and google for a fool proof simple bike lock.

  2. Whoops – didn’t see the lock at the end of your blog. That looks neat.

  3. Further update: May be too early to get excited, but I have a 5:30 appointment to look at a craigslist bike. It has a Yokota (?) frame. Looks to be a serviceable steel mtn bike with a rack already. Maybe a bit pricey for a beater at $150, but at least better than a walmart piece of garbage. I’m sure it will be a letdown after my lost sweet ride, but it’ll keep me going without a huge layout and with the happiness that I am buying used. Then I can mull other possibilities. But please weigh in with your favorite/ideal commuter bike and why!

  4. Yep, I got the Yokota, came with 2 handlebars – the original and the more upright set. I’m trying out the more upright set…feels really wierd, but more comfortable on my back. The real test will be if they are acceptable on the steep hills with the trail-a-bike behind.
    I also got a beater 10-speed, but it needs some work.

  5. So sad to hear! Do you have homeowner’s insurance? If so it might be worth making a claim. I did this for a stolen bike (under renters insurance) and it was suprisingly painless. Value of bike+panniers+contents+lights+racks can easily go beyond your deductible.

    The best place I’ve been able to find for waterproof panniers (and racks if you need them) is this dude Wayne in Colorado. He’s friendly and helpful, has the best prices on Ortlieb stuff, and runs the business out of his garage as far as I can tell.

    And I wouldn’t feel too bad about the “excessive consumption” of three bikes. Bikes are spectacularly efficient uses of materials and energy. You could have ten of them and still be doing much better overall than even someone with a plug-in-hybrid Prius.

  6. Bikes are spectacular aren’t they? I marvel every day at the economy of moving parts and materials and of my effort to get somewhere.
    Unfortunately my home insurance deductible is about 4 times as much as my bike+components cost ($3000 vs. ~$700). Oh well!
    I may try to sew my own panniers out of some nylon fabric I took off some old mattresses, and possibly fused plastic (from old grocery bags). If not, I will absolutely buy from Wayne 🙂
    The Yokota is doing fine, it gets up all the hills I need it to, even though I have to tune it up still so that it will go into the granny gear. I’m getting used to the lack of suspension. It is actually probably a better bike than the one I used for all my college mtn biking on the San Gabriel single track/Moab/etc – that one didn’t have suspension either. It is always easier to go up in comfort and quality though!

  7. Hey, I have a bunch of buckles that I cut off an old backpack that I inadvertently killed in the washing machine a while back (I’m offering for your panniers– would include in some sort of holiday package, so I’d be sending you something anyway, let me know if you are interested– I try not to be a hoarder, but buckles are just too intriguing to toss).

    I find it just downright sad that the person who cares least for stuff seems to have more of it stolen than anyone else I can think of. What kind of jackelope (a mom’s solution to another word starting with jack and ending with…well you know) would steal your only transportation???!!! SHAME SHAME SHAME. ugly old world. Wish I could just give you my TREK. Haven’t rode it in about 2 years and want to sell it and swap out for a granny bike (like the one miss piggy rode in the Muppet Movie– big seat, girl bar– not boy bar– and basket in front). So, I’ve had two bikes stolen (one in Japan that wasn’t really mine, but on loan from the board of ed and they managed to find an old junker replacement– the first one was an old junker too, but I loved em both) and one in college when a friend was supposed to get it from the dorm for me and wound up locked there most of the summer– that’s what I get for not rounding up my resources at the end of term. I think some of the maintenance staff or cleaning folks took it. Hopefully the got use out of it. The most tragic was the one in Monterey that got trashed when I left it on campus Halloween night when I went with friends to the costume party and they dropped me off at home– took the bus to camps the next morning and my wheel was bent, frame was bent– must have been hit by a car or …. something. It was still locked in place, but unridable and since it was a $25 garage sale bike (that just had a $40 tune up and $30 basket added) it just wasn’t worth the 100 plus they’d charge to fix it… Bikes are just such heartache…

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