Our biker lives

November sucks: Bike vandalism in plain sight

8 Comments 17 November 2010

Don't show these brutal images to your bike.

Well, since it’s already a miserable month here in Finland and my derriere is starting to look like I had a skin graft from Barney the purple dinosaur, I might as well add to the misery. We were just coming home from the opera and I finally had a camera to take a photo evidence of something I see way too often: Bikes vandalized pointlessly in bike stands in public places. These photos were taken from our nearest train stop.

There were three whole bikes here earlier. Now there are hardly parts for one.

This causes several problems. The biggest of them is the fact that since these mutilated bikes are not being cleaned from the stands and stay there for weeks, they promote this kind of violence and scare people from commuting to the train station with a bike, since it will obviously face a certain destruction in a short time.

The most direct effect is of course to the person whose bike has been ravaged: They don’t have a bike anymore. If it’s been a cheap bike to start with (ie. worth more than it’s actually worth) and worth less than your insurance premiums, your enthusiasm to get a new bike is very low.

5 meters away from the previous crime scene.

I’ve had so many bikes stolen/mutilated/mauled from me that of the tens of bikes I have had, I’ve only sold one. And that one I kept inside constantly.

So, if you see anyone harass bikes, please ask them to stop – without risking your own safety of course.

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- who has written 201 posts on Coming thru!.

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.

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  • oh, man. I just don’t understand why they do it. If they touch your Surly so help me…

  • I seem to be vandalizing my Surly enough as it is ;)

  • Sami

    Terribly common sight here in Helsinki. This is definitely not encouraging people to leave their bikes to the stations. But on the other hand, even the bike shelter of our apartment house isn’t safe. Somebody tried to steal my bike but failed. Now it’ll freeze on our balcony…

  • Sami, you just wrote the 200th comment in Coming Thru! Sweet!

    What do you want as a present?

  • johannes

    If anybody sees a black Stevens saddle on a bike around Helsinki. It’s mine. It was just stolen from my bike in the locked bike shelter in our house.
    Otherwise: It’s winter biking time! Only, I didn’t have time to put the winter tires on my bike.

  • Yeah, I don’t have my studs under yet either.

    So everyone, if you see a black Stevens saddle, you can steal it back!

    If it looks out of place on the bike that is. Say, the saddle costs more than the bike itself.

  • christopheru

    This kind of errant behaviour is exactly why I just bought a Kona Dew City (read cheap but reasonable bike) for commuting and as an in city car replacement. I flatly refuse to leave my Kona Jake the Snake Cyclocross bike locked up outside. If the commuter bike gets damaged or stolen, I would be irked, but if my Cross bike got swiped or destroyed, I would be more than irked (and don’t ask how happy I would be if my treasured off road race bike got mangled or stolen…)

    As an aside, good site btw:)

  • Seems like quite a few people who are into bikes have a “cheaper” version for this kind of use :)

    Thanks for reading and have a great New Year!

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Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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