Bike touring and safely storing bike in populated areas?

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#1
I'm very much new to the bike touring world, just reading lots to get an idea of the things to look forward to. i've hiched a hell of a lot, and one thing that can be a bit of a bitch, when in a populated an area, is what to do with the gear.

With a backpack I usually ask a shop/bar/hostel to look after my bag for the time I wander around, and it almost always works out. With a bike, though, you could lock it up, but you still got your gear attached to the bike to worry about. I'm wondering what you all do? I like to avoid cities and big towns anyways, but there are some places worth checking out.
 
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#2
My suggestion is keep your bags locked up with a small padlock even if its just the zippers and try to keep your bike in a well populated area. I made the mistake of locking my bike up somewhere that didn't have much foot traffic at night and lo and behold gone.. people being around definitely deters thieves. I don't travel by bike just had one to get around town. Some towns have metal storage bins that you can just put a padlock on and store it there for days.
 

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#3
The parking garages here in Rochester NY as well as other areas in the city advertise for a small price - a bicycle container. Wherever you are going check to see if they have them. The trending to bicycle paths and the change over from old rails to bicycle/hiking areas are increasing these. I've done some bicycle/equipment leaves on some endurance rides and I had mostly good responses from people in stores and such to see if I could park in back room, etc (of course some not so friendly ha). Certain cities are better equipped for this - especially Portland - we in the smaller cities are trying to follow what they are doing. I'm a couch surfing friendly person here - and so it is cool to land that bike - lock it up and investigate the area. You might also try craigslist - especially for the couchsurfing.

When I was (and am planning another couple trips this next Summer - yay!!) planning my bike trips, I extensively researched the bike shops on the way, bicycle clubs (they are a wealth of info - and perhaps a safe haven) and other methods of sleeping over with bike safe and good sleep area.

I must admit, I have slept with my bicycle in my tent as I could not, would not let my vehicle outside when I was in a desolate area with no other way out. :) Have fun and be safe!!!
 
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#4
I kept a day pack with all my valuables bungee'd to the top of all my gear so that when i locked my bike (PREFERABLY in a populated busy street area near a cafe window or something ) i could just take my little backpack and was free to walk around. No ones gonna take your dirty ass camping gear. I'd be surprised if they did. I left my bike for 24hrs downtown new orleans with a bottle of whiskey in the bucket and no one even took that much to my surprise. I recommend two locks, kyptonite and a U lock for your back wheel or front wheel. When sleeping in my tent I would just attach a rope from my bike to my tent so it would wake me if there was any funny business.
 

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#5
@Kate Westcoast - definite two locks - they can snap through an expensive chain lock but the kryptonite is the best. Heavy - yes, but awesome - even better. I'd rather have my stuff. I've had good luck in bad places - and even in places where people know me and see me on a regular basis. All it takes is one time - lost an expensive bike with drunk friend watching it outside a stupid convenience store. Didn't realize he was that shit faced. My fault. Guess we had a gang of bike thieves here at the time. I even ran into them 3 days later riding my bike (and 10 others) down the street - my bike was very noticeable - fully lit up with some expensive lights and it was an unusable bike. SOB - I chased them (LOL I'm a freaking fast bad ass 5'5" 125" girl hehe- but I was pissed) and circled in on them and yelled - and sat and called cops. Boy oh boy did I do the wrong thing at that time, but I was pissed. Never got it back - saw it a couple days later rather broken - pedals were clipless and those shits didn't have those kind of bike shoes so they were broken. Sad. But it was quite a learning experience for me.
 

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#6
I kept a day pack with all my valuables bungee'd to the top of all my gear so that when i locked my bike (PREFERABLY in a populated busy street area near a cafe window or something ) i could just take my little backpack and was free to walk around. No ones gonna take your dirty ass camping gear. I'd be surprised if they did. I left my bike for 24hrs downtown new orleans with a bottle of whiskey in the bucket and no one even took that much to my surprise. I recommend two locks, kyptonite and a U lock for your back wheel or front wheel. When sleeping in my tent I would just attach a rope from my bike to my tent so it would wake me if there was any funny business.
You are a gal of means... ;)
 

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#7
She certainly is :) @Kate Westcoast - I mean - who goes and hitchhikes Iceland at this time of year. Why ... Kat e Westcoast does!! hehe
 
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#8
Last year the brand new bicycle I just bought to tour with got stolen two weeks after I purchased it right outside my work, where there were multiple security guards patrolling the area being it was downtown Chilliwack at Pricesmart. They all knew me, and my bicycle was wrapped in rainbow duct ape and had a ladybug bell...

Luckily since I bought it with my VISA, the theft insurance gave me the opportunity to get the exact same bicycle.

Two days after I got the same bicycle, I saw my stolen bicycle outside a convenience store two blocks from where I was living, just hanging out, leaning up against a brick wall.

I had imagined this scenario quite different then what actually played out. Bruises knuckles, broken noses, little bit a blood .... but I nervously waited for the guy to come out and told him I was taking my bicycle EVEN though I was already riding a bicycle. He just drunkinly shrugged and walked away, and so did I with two brand new cannondale bicycles. :)

I had a shitty lock.
Lesson learnt.

Invest in security.
 

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#9
I had imagined this scenario quite different then what actually played out. Bruises knuckles, broken noses, little bit a blood .... but I nervously waited for the guy to come out and told him I was taking my bicycle EVEN though I was already riding a bicycle. He just drunkinly shrugged and walked away, and so did I with two brand new cannondale bicycles. :)
Gumption, this is a gal... a lady... with gumption.
Keep it up Kate Westcoast. ;)
 
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#10
If you're not in ny or la or any place with endless sprawl I stash my stuff out of town( not the suburbs in the us) ride in to town find a library or bank with bike parking. Lots or people and thieves never know when your comeing out. I never lock up at mass transit centers, unless it's a shit bike with great locks. Oh rap a wire lock around your u lock u will never lose your frame. I have lost a lot of bikes learned the hard way
 
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#11
I'm very much new to the bike touring world, just reading lots to get an idea of the things to look forward to. i've hiched a hell of a lot, and one thing that can be a bit of a bitch, when in a populated an area, is what to do with the gear.

With a backpack I usually ask a shop/bar/hostel to look after my bag for the time I wander around, and it almost always works out. With a bike, though, you could lock it up, but you still got your gear attached to the bike to worry about. I'm wondering what you all do? I like to avoid cities and big towns anyways, but there are some places worth checking out.
 

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#12
Hey buddy, I bought a very simple bicycle alarm from Amazon in 2015 for my motorized bike. It cost $8 and has a remote control. I lived in San Diego at that time and bicycle theft was a huge concern. I also use a thick cable combo lock and a chain if needed.

The one complaint people have about the alarm it is that it eats batteries. I consider two 9volts every forty days from the dollar store cheap security versus replacing my bike.
 
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#13
I never use a chain when I go grocery shopping. If you have panniers it makes your bike not worthy stealing cuz they are too unique and not practical.

Plus, if you lean it in a Windows or just I front the main entrance, nobody will be stupid enough to risk by stealing them. At least in North america
 

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