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  1. #1
    I just wanna go fast...
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    Attempted Bike Theft: Aptos Cautionary Tale

    Just wanted to give a little heads up for those of you who enjoy getting rides in at Nisene and then heading over to Aptos St. BBQ for after ride food and refreshments.

    I did this yesterday and as usual around lunch time, the place was crowded. I ended up parking at the top of Aptos St. where it Ts into Trout Gulch. I was a little nervous about parking way up there since I had my bike and my buddy's bike locked up but hanging over the tail gate of my truck. I usually like to have my bike a little closer by but I figured it was locked up and I could see it from the restaurant and it was just lunch so no big deal.

    I'm half way through my post ride refreshment and my 1,000th glance over to my truck to check on the bikes when I notice I can now see a pair of shoes from under my truck standing at the back, real close to my tail gate. I just got a new 2015 Intense Carbine 29 and there's not many up here so lots of people stop to take a look, but this guy was standing awfully close and hanging out for longer than I was comfortable. I left my beer and head out of the restaurant to see what's up.

    I'm half way across the street when I see a pair of arms lift my bike up out of the truck. Engage hulk smash mode. I sprint around the truck to find this dude had swung a leg over the bike and was getting ready to pedal off. Oh hell no. I used to do judo, jiu jitsu, tae kwon, you name it. None of that helped at all when I tackled him at full sprint with all the grace and style of a of a drunk and blind buffalo yelling "Mother F**ker!". Me, the bike, the *******, his sunglasses, my sunglasses and my hat all went flying in different directions. I jump up, he jumps up and tries to run from me but unfortunately straight for my bike. I get around him and grab my handle bars like a little kid claiming the good go cart at the put-put golf and lock eyes with him: "This is mine *****!". He turns and runs the other way.

    At that point there's a ton of shoulda-woulda-couldas. He was a bigger dude, 17-20 years old or so, kinda hefty. I probably could have run him down and I probably could have then finally had the sense to use some of my worthless martial arts training to make myself feel better. But all I wanted to do was get my bike out of the street and put it somewhere safe so no one could mess with it again. My buddy who was with me really wanted to chase him down but I ride flat pedals with five tens and he rides clipped in with ballerina shoes so a foot race was pretty much out of the question for him at that point.

    I did get to go back and finish my beer since everyone sitting out side of the BBQ saw what went down and were stoked to keep an eye on my bike while I did(most people are awesome).

    I had a bike stolen from me at sea otter back in 2008 and had been fantasizing about what I would have done had I actually caught the guy in the act ever since, so I'm actually not even bummed about what went down, it was kind of satisfying.

    I am bummed that now I need to go find a new and strong method other than a cable lock to secure bikes in the back of my truck and I'm also bummed that now after ride lunches are going to be a bit paranoid for me for a while, but all in all, I still got to ride, have beer and keep my bike.

  2. #2
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    Wow. That is pretty ballsy for middle of the day right there. I'm semi-shocked actually.

    My general rule for Santa Cruz county is that if you can't see your bike, assume it will be stolen. My son wanted to go to burger. in SC yesterday and I told my wife the only way we could do it is if we sat outside and I brought my bike to the table with us. It's the unfortunate reality of life here.

    The irony is, I had 5-6 bikes stolen when I was growing up in Fremont and have yet to have a bike stolen in 15 years of living in Santa Cruz County.

  3. #3
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    How did he open the lock? Bolt cutters? Lock picks?

    Good job defending your bike!

  4. #4
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    I use a couple of these* - much harder to cut through:
    Attica Chain & Pad Lock - Blackburn Design

    $4,000 theft replacement guarantee

    Attempted Bike Theft: Aptos Cautionary Tale-atttica-lock.jpg

    I still keep my bike in sight though



    * Please note: I do work for Blackburn....I also really do like their products
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  5. #5
    I just wanna go fast...
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    Cut the lock. Don't know with what, never saw what he used and he didn't drop it anywhere that I could find.

    From the way it was cut, I'm guessing little bolt cutters, but really no idea.

    Attempted Bike Theft: Aptos Cautionary Tale-img_20150329_151235424_top.jpg

  6. #6
    I just wanna go fast...
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    I use a couple of these* - much harder to cut through:
    Attica Chain & Pad Lock - Blackburn Design

    $4,000 theft replacement guarantee

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I still keep my bike in sight though



    * Please note: I do work for Blackburn....I also really do like their products
    That looks pretty nice. Wish it was a combo lock since I'm always losing keys.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdamschen View Post
    Cut the lock. Don't know with what, never saw what he used and he didn't drop it anywhere that I could find.

    From the way it was cut, I'm guessing little bolt cutters, but really no idea.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Glad you didnt lose the bike! I can do that in less than 30 seconds with a pair of 7" diagonal cutters. Yep, it is that easy. Try it and then pick your mouth up off the floor.

  8. #8
    Crazed Country Rebel
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdamschen View Post

    I'm also bummed that now after ride lunches are going to be a bit paranoid for me for a while, but all in all, I still got to ride, have beer and keep my bike.
    as much as you're gunna be extra paranoid about leaving your bike out- imagine what you did to his psyche. He's gunna be on the looking out for hard charging ninja's ready to kick his bike stealing ass!

    Good job!
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

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  9. #9
    I just wanna go fast...
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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho View Post
    Glad you didnt lose the bike! I can do that in less than 30 seconds with a pair of 7" diagonal cutters. Yep, it is that easy. Try it and then pick your mouth up off the floor.
    yeah, I know it's pretty easy to cut through one of those. We have a set of small bolt cutters that gets used here at work on old chains and locks. My lock was really to deter the casual guy from just reaching in and grabbing my stuff while I'm eating lunch or had to run into the store for something. I never really figured some dude would cruise up with cutters in broad daylight and in front of a bunch of people and cut the lock with no one saying a thing.

    There was even some lady who called over to me as I'm standing in the street with the douche bag running off: "Nice! I just knew he was stealing your bike! I saw him case it first and then come back with something to cut the lock! Glad you got him!"

    ....really lady? Thanks for telling someone.

  10. #10
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    I hear what your saying about shoulda, woulda but man a nice osoto gari or uchimata would have been nice followed by an elbow snapping armbar. The back of his head would be damaged and his arm useless! Of course I can type it but would I have done that, most likely not unless actually attacked. Good for you getting your bike back and hope this guy gets an STD or something! So Rensho is right, that cable is nothing. Bolt cutters not even needed for that. Get a super thick chain or much thicker cable. Some of the chains and cables that have the nylon mesh surrounding them are harder to cut than the chain itself. Glad you are alright man, beer for you!!!
    They never made the "Slowster"

  11. #11
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    dude that is awesome, I got a little adrenaline rush just reading your account, I can imagine the adrenaline you had flowing as you sat back down in the restaurant to finish your beer!

  12. #12
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    Way to go buddy! You did the right thing, its hard to think about what SHOULD have been done when your adrenalin is pumping and your heart is racing.For sure that guy will look around next time. SC is heaven for bike sissy thieves, I even keep an eye on mine when Im in my truck at a stop .

  13. #13
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    Cable locks are worthless. Personally, I recommend getting an Abus 10KS chain in the length you need and a Abus Monoblock 92/65. Heavy yes, but a ***** to cut through and will send all but the most determined thieves in search of an easier target. If you want lighter, get a 6KS chain and 24/50. It can be cut with bolt cutters, but still a lot harder than a cable.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  14. #14
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    I second those chain locks btw!

  15. #15
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    Good for you. Glad this story had a happy ending with beer and all.

    What irritates me is that bike thefts could easily be reduced if buyers of used bikes and bike parts wouldn't look the other way so often. You can count on the fact that the guy wasn't trying to rip off your multi-thousand dollar bike because he was personally tired of riding his Rockhopper. It's the market demand that drives bike thefts.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdamschen View Post
    yeah, I know it's pretty easy to cut through one of those. We have a set of small bolt cutters that gets used here at work on old chains and locks. My lock was really to deter the casual guy from just reaching in and grabbing my stuff while I'm eating lunch or had to run into the store for something. I never really figured some dude would cruise up with cutters in broad daylight and in front of a bunch of people and cut the lock with no one saying a thing.

    There was even some lady who called over to me as I'm standing in the street with the douche bag running off: "Nice! I just knew he was stealing your bike! I saw him case it first and then come back with something to cut the lock! Glad you got him!"

    ....really lady? Thanks for telling someone.

    NO CHIT!!
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  17. #17
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    -Oh, and at Aptos St. BBQ I bring my bike inside that nice fenced in patio so it's within 20 feet at all times.

    F**K bike thief's!!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdamschen View Post
    Cut the lock. Don't know with what, never saw what he used and he didn't drop it anywhere that I could find.

    From the way it was cut, I'm guessing little bolt cutters, but really no idea.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yeah, I don't want to say "useless" or "false sense of security," but you kind of know that now about those locks.

    The hardened chain locks with small Ulock makes the thief use a power tool. This makes noise and takes more time.

    Your pretty ballsy for going after the guy.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdamschen View Post
    That looks pretty nice. Wish it was a combo lock since I'm always losing keys.
    You usually get like 6 keys with these.

    I have two of these types of locks. What sucks is that the key look nearly the same.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  20. #20
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    You usually get like 6 keys with these.

    I have two of these types of locks. What sucks is that the key look nearly the same.
    yup

    I just use my daughters nail polish to color code the keys to the locks.

    easy peasy
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  21. #21
    I just wanna go fast...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    Yeah, I don't want to say "useless" or "false sense of security," but you kind of know that now about those locks.

    The hardened chain locks with small Ulock makes the thief use a power tool. This makes noise and takes more time.

    Your pretty ballsy for going after the guy.
    Once a security device fails, it's easy to point at it and say that it was no good, however who knows how many wannabe thiefs it stopped before this incident?

    I had the chance in my previous job to cut all different sorts of locks and chains with bolt cutters. Even the big chains just take someone leaning a little harder on the cutter and that the hardened metal usually shatters into a bunch of little pieces of high speed shrapnel with a loud pop rather than just cutting clean through, so technically they all give you a bit of a false sense of security. It comes down to weighing how much you want to invest in something that is only going to slow someone down.

    Mine actually worked ok. It slowed the dude down long enough for me to notice him and get there before he managed to steal my bike. Unfortunately it wasn't long enough for someone from the general public to question what the hell he was doing and save me a physical altercation. Probably going chain next, but at some point we all have to recognize that there's a risk we have to be willing to accept. I can say for certain that in some locations the bike will be coming inside with me rather than chilling in the truck, no matter what sort of lock I have back there.

  22. #22
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    BDamschen just made a massive withdrawal from the karma bank on that one. So stoked you got your bike back, homie. Still pissed just hearing the story. That guy you were hanging out with wearing the fairy shoes sounds like an old timer anyway, probably better he didn't get punched.

    I think the saying at the bike shop, when someone wants to buy a lock is "$10 for ten seconds, $20 for 20 seconds..." and so on.. Locks are just enough to slow 'em down, but they are gonna get your bike if they really want it, or try like heck to if they cannot, anyway.
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  23. #23
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    Wow -- I've parked in that same area while I grabbed post-ride food & beer and would've thought it's reasonably safe. But like you, I get concerned if I don't have direct eye contact with my ride almost every second.

    Glad you were able to stop him and this story had a happy ending.

    That said, I took Cary's advice and just ordered a Abus 10KS for more peace of mind.

  24. #24
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    Those cables are useless. Tried a tiny Knipex lever action cutter on an old cable lock. Like it was made out of twine.

    I keep my bike inside my car - and have a tarp to throw over it if left for longer period of time. Not a guarantee, but hopefully will help.

  25. #25
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    Probably a good thing you didn't chase him down 'cause the pessimist in me thinks that you'd be the one who would have ended up in jail. A few years ago I was with a group of friends getting post ride meal at the same place and we left all of our bikes leaned against the wall. Would have been a super easy theft but they were entry-level mountain bikes which I don't think anyone wants.

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