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What to do with bikes at campsites

dombatdombat Posts: 96
edited July 2008 in Tour & expedition
I'm thinking of starting cycle camping soon.

What do people do with their bikes at night?

Do you lock them to a tree, have them tied to the tent, parked in a bike rack, etc?

I don't really want to carry a heavy lock but will if that's what people recommend.

Posts

  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    I lock up if possible. I got an alarm lock on the grounds that it's light and no-one in their right mind would set one off on a campsite.
  • I lock mine with a cable lock around a suitable tree or other object and use a d-lock. I also used a waterproof bike cover under which I kept my panniers (I have a small tent). I never had any issues. Mind you my experience of touring is limited to France and I felt as though it was overkill, but I suppose it is better to be safe than bikeless.
  • prince_madogprince_madog Posts: 398
    The Good Princess and I pitch the tent close to an immovable object, if possible, and then lock the bikes together and to it. We also carry bike covers which we put over at night. We did this all the way from Spain to Nordkapp.
  • YorkshiremanYorkshireman Posts: 999
    Do NOT connect your wrist and bike via a thin cord (for security reasons on a site with slightly 'dubious' looking campers) if you are given to a bit of tossing and turning during sleep ... I was awakened around 2am by the bike crashing onto the tent, to find that my arms and upper body were fairly well trussed up :roll: :oops: .
    Colin N.


    Lincolnshire is mostly flat... but the wind is mostly in your face!
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    I use a cable lock with an alarm. Before that I used to try to find somewhere to hide the bike.
  • GeorgeShawGeorgeShaw Posts: 764
    Friends of mine went around the world without any trouble. When they got back, one of them had their bike nicked at the train station ...
    :evil: :evil: :evil:
  • El GordoEl Gordo Posts: 394
    I've always just used a light cable lock and never had any trouble. Probably more effective though is the pile of pans I usually have drying on the Bob trailer (a perfect draining board). On the one occasion when the bike was knocked over by some wild dogs at 2am in the Sierra Nevada it probably woke up the whole campsite!
  • stevercpstevercp Posts: 113
    re bikes we carry a tarp and lock bikes together
    sorta "bike pyjamas"
    heres a recent photo of the bikes tucked up in islay
    cpforums1vo3.th.jpg
  • what size tarp is that? what would you recommend to cover 3 bikes? i saw tarps on ebay for around £17 (including p&p) at 3.5 x 4m or something like that. would that be enough??
    In the valley of high oil prices the cyclist is king!
  • vernonlevyvernonlevy Posts: 969
    I use a relatively cheap cable lock and lock my bike to trees, fencing, drainpipes, caravan tow bars etc when i remember to bother locking the bike.
  • stevercpstevercp Posts: 113
    smallish tarp bought from a hardware store
    i lforgot the 4mx4m tarp left it in the van
    i wouldnt be keen leaving bikes all day if you were away unless they were locked to something solid
    generally the western isles and islands its not too much of a problem
    as regards theft :)
    wouldnt like to tempt fate tho
  • rustynutrustynut Posts: 178
    I've seen this on a camp-site and thought it was a good idea to cable lock to it. Anchor Also I use a Green Basha to cover against prying eyes and rain.
  • In 1990 I rode my bike around the world for 2 years. I carried a 2 meter Flexweave cable with me. Light enough and impossible to quickly cut. I had a "Sesame" long shackle combo lock, looks like a padlock, but has 4 digit combo. I locked my bike to anything available next to my tent, cave, hut, whatever. I had a Blue fiber plastic tarp (do not know what you call them in England) and put extra grommets on it. The tarp would fold over the bike in half completely covering it and the panniers. The extra grommets would help tie/bungie the tarp tight to the bike. NEVER took the panniers off of the bike. The bike is then so awkward to pick up and a hassle to access the panniers that never once in 2 years was my bike bothered. If I stayed in a hotel and they did not let me put my bike in the room or did not have a secure room to put it, I would look for another hotel. Almost every hotel in the world except for a few snooty ones in Europe let me do this. Sure beats the hell out of unloading everything off of the bike including the panniers. A rear wheel kickstand (German made) is a great help for keeping the bike upright when there is no place to lean it against. Also if touring with a partner, bikes with panniers will lean nicely against each other with wheels reversed, front to back. Each with their own tarp to cover them, and cable lock (Link two cables together and you can lock the bikes together and then lock them to just about anything). The tarps can then be used to fold over and keep bikes dry during loading, make great ground covers for packing gear, quick temporary shelters, the list is endless. I have done many tours in the United States, Canada, Vietnam and Cambodia as well and have never have had problems. I hope this helps.
  • AidanwAidanw Posts: 449
    stevercp wrote:
    re bikes we carry a tarp and lock bikes together
    sorta "bike pyjamas"
    heres a recent photo of the bikes tucked up in islay
    cpforums1vo3.th.jpg

    I want to do this! why do I live in London?!

    How long do you have to give it when starting a new job before you censored off for a months cycling?... more than a week?
  • stevercpstevercp Posts: 113
    10 days should be bout right
    just to rub salt in yer wounds im off for 5 in for two
    then off to the western isles for SIXTEEN DAYS
    :wink:
  • mercsportmercsport Posts: 664
    " What to do with bikes at campsites "

    Park 'em up and leave 'em alone . Let 'em lay on the ground or leant against a tree , a wall , whatever , unshackled . Fettle 'em if you need . But , generally , get on with whatever you're there for . R & R isn't it ?
    If ( after reading the preceding posts : certainly ) , unlike me , you're beset by issues of insecurity , you've heaped a huge burden upon yourself , which knows no end . Insecurity breeds insecurity . And so on ...
    Most bikers - touring CTC type bikers to the fore here - in my experience , have a proper regard for their mounts but an inflated sense of their value within the eyes of others . Their steeds , in general , look so much like sheds and heaps of junk to any bystander that their appeal to the opportunistic thief must , surely , be near zero . To me , without doubt .
    I've been around the cafe kerfuffle ; the hostel ; B&B ; often enough , with the world famous ' Velo -Wobbly-Wheels ' where it takes an aeon - seemslike - where everyone habitually p'ffafs about with their ruddy locks and chains and bent iron bars to wonder at the insanity of it all . Who , on this earth would want to purloin these heaps of scrap ?
    Revealingly , perhaps , to all you nervous types , I also don't wear a crash helmet . Old school . Yes , in my sixties now , and never a problem . Also the back door to my house is always unlocked ( I can't get the censored to lock , actually . But it's been like that for many a year now ) .
    Complacent ? Not really , but I place more trust in the common good of human nature than not . I seem to have managed O.K. up to now without the near crippling burden of ' what if 's ..? ' without end .
    So , my advice would be to chuck those wires and irons and locks ( remembering , the rascals who manufacture them want to make you feel insecure ) . And , to borrow the surfer's maxim : " hang loose " .
    "Lick My Decals Off, Baby"
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    mercsport wrote:
    Complacent ? Not really , but I place more trust in the common good of human nature than not . I seem to have managed O.K. up to now without the near crippling burden of ' what if 's ..? ' without end .

    No you've just never been burgled or ad a bike stolen. Yet. No doubt you'd sing a different tune if you ever had.
  • mercsportmercsport Posts: 664
    " No you've just never been burgled or ad a bike stolen. Yet. No doubt you'd sing a different tune if you ever had. "

    Aside from being naffed off . No , I think not . And I certainly wouldn't be singing a tune .
    I've experienced pits to be sure , but it's called 'taking my 'lumps' ' when they happen . An easier life is had thereby .
    "Lick My Decals Off, Baby"
  • AmbermileAmbermile Posts: 117
    It's a valid point I think - it is after all only a bike is it not? OK, it may have bags and so on and you'd be a bit miffed if they went as well but you don't leave your *important* stuff on the bike anyway (do you?). Surely this is what insurance is for - peace of mind if something actually *does* get stolen?

    I'd say chill too (though I do wrap a line through both wheels at campsites :D ) and concentrate on the trip/holiday/time out rather than getting overly bogged down in security details. If it's a big issue then camp near a caravan and ask to leave it underneath.

    Arthur

    PS - security's a bit like global warming I suspect, all a big hype. I mean, it was only 30 years ago we were supposedly barrelling headlong into the next ice age :roll:
    The Beastie


    Sic itur ad astra
  • mercsportmercsport Posts: 664
    Arthur !! ! You ride a bike too . Well , I never ! :D

    Don't know if you remember me but I know thee from UKAI . Although I only happen through there sporadically now , as I 'm still the world's leading dunce on astro-imaging I'm afraid . Saps the spirit when all around are so bloody good at it . :cry:
    Although , as age is also a feature in my life now , equally it's the same for the legs ; heart ; lungs .
    "Lick My Decals Off, Baby"
  • AmbermileAmbermile Posts: 117
    Vague stirrings in the back of the memory area there! Yes, I ride too - can do it when it rains as well! Small world - don't do UKAI these days myself.

    I also have old legs/heart/lungs - hence getting back on a bike, especially after all those years smoking (boy, was I stupid!)


    Arthur
    The Beastie


    Sic itur ad astra
  • mercsportmercsport Posts: 664
    You don't do UKAI !! :shock: You were nearly the most prolific poster on there . Heck !
    " all those years smoking (boy, was I stupid!) " Yes , me too . I still enjoy whiffing the weed when passing the social outcasts that are smokers nowadays outside on the pavements , doorways and so on . I feel their pain !
    BTW - I just checked - you've still got me in your links on your website . A 20" , flex-rockered Dob' 'scope . Remember ?
    "Lick My Decals Off, Baby"
  • AmbermileAmbermile Posts: 117
    mercsport wrote:
    BTW - I just checked - you've still got me in your links on your website . A 20" , flex-rockered Dob' 'scope . Remember ?

    Right - you have a link to Ambermile there that's old, although it will still get there!


    Funny - we go to star parties with hundreds of people and have the great unwashed public wandering around night and day but we still leave thousands of pounds-worth of astro equipment laying around the tents. Why are bikes any different I ask myself?


    Arthur
    The Beastie


    Sic itur ad astra
  • mercsportmercsport Posts: 664
    " Funny - we go to star parties with hundreds of people and have the great unwashed public wandering around night and day but we still leave thousands of pounds-worth of astro equipment laying around the tents. Why are bikes any different I ask myself?
    "


    Good point . But I can only imagine it though , as I have yet to get myself along to a 'star party ' .
    I had a wonderful bit of 'Cooke of York' iron casting for the Cooke equatorial I have swiped from out of my backyard a decade or so back it must be said . I 'm sure it wasn 't astro thieves ( if they exist ) , more like scrap opportunists I imagine . Back then it was worth a few quid to the astro nut , and pennies to the scrap merchant . They probably got a few pints out of it .
    Oh , well . :)
    "Lick My Decals Off, Baby"
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    mercsport wrote:
    " No you've just never been burgled or ad a bike stolen. Yet. No doubt you'd sing a different tune if you ever had. "

    Aside from being naffed off . No , I think not . And I certainly wouldn't be singing a tune .
    I've experienced pits to be sure , but it's called 'taking my 'lumps' ' when they happen . An easier life is had thereby .

    Yeah yeah yeah. Wait until it happens to you. 'It's only a bike' until you come back to find it's gone. Now imagine that happens and your holiday is down the swanee as well. Yes it's not worth obsessing about security (eg covering the bike with a tarpaulin!!!), but sensible precautions can save a lot of heartache.
  • mercsportmercsport Posts: 664
    andymiller wrote:
    mercsport wrote:
    " No you've just never been burgled or ad a bike stolen. Yet. No doubt you'd sing a different tune if you ever had. "

    Aside from being naffed off . No , I think not . And I certainly wouldn't be singing a tune .
    I've experienced pits to be sure , but it's called 'taking my 'lumps' ' when they happen . An easier life is had thereby .

    Yeah yeah yeah. Wait until it happens to you. 'It's only a bike' until you come back to find it's gone. Now imagine that happens and your holiday is down the swanee as well. Yes it's not worth obsessing about security (eg covering the bike with a tarpaulin!!!), but sensible precautions can save a lot of heartache.


    I was , I suppose , awaiting the predictable response as here . A little disappointed to see it occur . However , I would read into your post the implicit assumption that I don't take ' sensible precautions ' . How would you know ? To what degree ?
    My one bike related incident happened in 1992 after a wonderful three month ride around Italy and the continent , panniered and lockless . I left the bike , fully loaded , on numerous occasions so that I could stretch my legs and indulge in a wee bit 'o'kulture here and there . Within a week of my return I went to the splendid ( before it was 'modernised' ) Mosley street art gallery in central Manchester , and - without precedent this - I took along a cable bike lock and chained it to the railings without . It wasn't too long a cable and I could only thread it through the front wheel and frame to the railings . 'Lo ! and upon my return there was my steed without a rear wheel .
    Yes , I was cheesed off . But , ho - hum , off to Harry Halls' I went and got a new wheel . I needed one anyway as the stolen one was dangerously worn and thin on the rim's side wall .
    Incidentally , it's within my noggin always , to accept the fact that I may have to walk it home after a mechanical collapse , wherever that may occur . And have done on several occasions ( a near eighteen miler early on this year in fact ). I 'm also , by now , fairly inured to the complete lack of concern when other bikers pass me by , as I'm trudging home carrying the collapsed frame / wheel or whatever and the best I could expect is maybe a nod as they whistle by . Oh yes , bicycle camaraderie !
    "Lick My Decals Off, Baby"
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