Author Topic: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen  (Read 8087 times)

domo

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Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« on: December 11, 2015, 02:14:26 PM »
I tried to post this in the comments, but the php gods frowned upon me.

I live in New Orleans. According to http://www.thetrace.org/2015/12/gun-deaths-interactive-map-2015/, there have been 9 shootings within a 1-mile radius of my house in the past year. There have been 32 shootings in the past year within a 1-mile radius of my workplace. My old apartment was broken into while I was asleep. They took everything, including my boyfriend's gun and my cellphone, which was literally inches away from my sleeping face.

I have insomnia now. Since then, we've moved into a house with bars on the windows. Oddly enough, the prevailing emotion I have is gratefulness that they didn't shoot me with the loaded gun they took. I do worry that that gun has been used to kill someone else. Robert is now my fiance and he still has a gun. It is locked away, but I still feel uneasy about it.

I actually sold my car to pay off student loans before I found out about MMM. I bicycle everywhere, but I always lock my bike with both a cable lock and a U lock. If my bike was stolen while I was out, I'd have to walk through some pretty bad neighborhoods to get back home. Even though my bike is relatively cheap, I can't afford to have it stolen.

Using MMM's criteria, the risk I would take by not locking up is way too high.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2015, 02:16:31 PM by domo »

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2015, 02:50:05 PM »
Are you able to move to a different neighborhood where you might feel safer?

Also, have you spoken to your fiance about your feelings regarding his gun? I'm surprised he kept a loaded gun not locked in a safe. My understanding of gun safety is that guns should be stored in a safe unloaded, with ammo locked somewhere else.

TrMama

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2015, 03:21:10 PM »
I also thought that post was idiotic. We live in a nice neighbourhood in an area that gets some property crime, but almost no violent crime. Three days after moving into the house the garage door responded to the neighbour's remote and opened, without our knowledge, while we were sleeping. The thieves cleaned out the garage and then came into the house and stole some things from the entryway. We (DH, I and 2 small kids) were sleeping upstairs.

You better believe we keep our doors locked. I also didn't sleep for days after the robbery. I don't give a crap about our stuff. However, I care very much about my family and will never risk my kids coming face to face with some creep in the middle of the night.

Since MMM has been pretty open about where he lives and has now posted that he doesn't lock his door, I predict he'll soon get the same life experience.

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 05:51:48 PM »
Just finished reading the post. Hadn't realized there was a new one up.

I appreciate the larger point that risk is a thing that need to be managed, instead of simply reacting to mere fact risk exists. Obviously MMM has thought about the effect, and decided that the thrill of leaving his bike unlocked is worth the hassle and expense if the bike is stolen.

I've done the same assessment, and found that locking my bike, and therefore reducing the risk of having it stole, is worth the effort of locking it up. I've had an unlocked bike stolen. Paying for a new one was really painful. Same logic with the car.

I live in a fairly low crime area. Empty home burglary is rare, and home invasion while the owner is present is even rarer. Despite the low probability of danger, I've decided lock my installed deadbolt when I'm home. Because I believe breaking the lock/door would make enough noise to wake me up. If someone does come into my house, I'd rather be awake.

Summary: I support logically thinking through risk instead of knee-jerk reacting. But I lock my bike.

arebelspy

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2015, 03:37:47 AM »
Nitpicking the details for specific scenarios is missing the point.

Pete would agree with you that there are places where you'd need to lock up.

Your posts are 100% correct in that.

But, in general, we're overly paranoid about security, many (most?) of the places the MMM readers are from are perfectly safe, and worrying about stuff like that only reduces your happiness.
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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2015, 08:45:12 AM »
Nitpicking the details for specific scenarios is missing the point.

Pete would agree with you that there are places where you'd need to lock up.

Your posts are 100% correct in that.

But, in general, we're overly paranoid about security, many (most?) of the places the MMM readers are from are perfectly safe, and worrying about stuff like that only reduces your happiness.

Hey Rebs, are you responding to me specifically, or the thread in general? Not sure.

I agree with the bolded part. I think Pete and I are essentially arguing the same thing, which is to actually assess the amount of threat you're truly under before deciding on a course of action.

I see now that my first post only listed risks I've assessed, and decided need mitigating with locks. I've done the same thing with other things and decided on a more Pete-like response. I don't need a phone lock. On hot nights I leave my 4th floor windows open because I've decided most crazy people probably can't climb and cut the screen. I leave my wallet siting on my desk when I leave my cube, because I trust my co-workers. Etc.

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2015, 11:33:45 PM »
I might be missing something here, but is locking up more work for some people than me? I lock three things - my apartment door, my bike, and my drawer at work where I keep my purse. It seems like almost nonexistent effort, compared to the potential downside of having something stolen (I've had two bikes stolen in my life so far, and two office break-ins). The longest one to lock would be my bike, which is well under a minute. My apartment door has a lock that flips shut in about half a second. Same for my drawer at work. Is spending under a minute a day flipping some locks shut really some sort of super paranoia? Does that half second flipping a lock shut when you walk in your front door really reduce happiness? I'm not seeing it.
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FiveSigmas

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2015, 12:28:54 AM »
I struggled with the post, too. Like Zikoris and Sailor, I find locking up painless enough (and the cost of a lock cheap enough) that there's really no reason not to do it.

On the other hand, I can see Pete's point of view. I recently had to make a stop at a local market in a pretty nice neighborhood, and I didn't realize until I got there that I didn't have a lock. I spent several minutes debating whether to bike the few miles home and back to get a lock or just go in. I ended up opting for the latter, but the whole 3 minutes I was in the store, I was absolutely paranoid that the bike was going to disappear. Thankfully, a miracle occurred, and my bike was still there when I got out.

Maybe not locking my bike was a perfectly rational decision or maybe it wasn't, but dithering and anguishing about it wasn't rational.

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2015, 08:19:20 AM »
It's easier to be more relaxed when you have the resources to self-insure.

My emergency fund is down to $1300* this month. I could not possibly subtract $500 for a new bike.

*Thank goodness December is a three-paycheck month, plus the month that I got my $240 wellness bonus. Should be breathing easier next month.
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arebelspy

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2015, 09:56:33 AM »

My emergency fund is down to $1300* this month. I could not possibly subtract $500 for a new bike.

Huh. I get a positive $800 when I do that subtraction.
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turketron

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2015, 09:59:54 AM »

My emergency fund is down to $1300* this month. I could not possibly subtract $500 for a new bike.

Huh. I get a positive $800 when I do that subtraction.

Not to mention you can get a new bike for a lot less than $500.

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2015, 10:08:47 AM »
On the other hand, I can see Pete's point of view. I recently had to make a stop at a local market in a pretty nice neighborhood, and I didn't realize until I got there that I didn't have a lock. I spent several minutes debating whether to bike the few miles home and back to get a lock or just go in. I ended up opting for the latter, but the whole 3 minutes I was in the store, I was absolutely paranoid that the bike was going to disappear. Thankfully, a miracle occurred, and my bike was still there when I got out.

Maybe not locking my bike was a perfectly rational decision or maybe it wasn't, but dithering and anguishing about it wasn't rational.

I think the quoted paragraphs are nicely stated and do align with Pete's point. Risk will never be zero, but there are levels that don't have to be mitigated. Just do the risk assessment, and if the risk is within your acceptable parameters be relaxed with your choice. You can apply the philosophy to locking up your bike, or your house, or skydiving. A life lived in thought will probably always outstrip a life spent responding to unexplored cues.

FiveSigmas

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2015, 10:17:57 AM »
*Thank goodness December is a three-paycheck month, plus the month that I got my $240 wellness bonus. Should be breathing easier next month.

Wellness in action? :-)

frugalparagon

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2015, 01:15:37 PM »

My emergency fund is down to $1300* this month. I could not possibly subtract $500 for a new bike.

Huh. I get a positive $800 when I do that subtraction.

Sure, but the deductible on my homeowner's insurance is $2K. So I guess I'm exaggerating--I probably would buy a new* bike. But it behooves me to be cautious.

*I am 4'11" tall and require a small frame, hard to find used. Tried a girls' 24" but really noticed the difference in how fast I could go.
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frugalparagon

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2015, 01:16:36 PM »
*Thank goodness December is a three-paycheck month, plus the month that I got my $240 wellness bonus. Should be breathing easier next month.

Wellness in action? :-)

Funny you should say that--while I dutifully filled out a questionnaire and had dental and medical checkups... I keep forgetting to take my asthma medicine until I get wheezy. Oops.
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James

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2015, 01:46:17 PM »
Are you able to move to a different neighborhood where you might feel safer?

Also, have you spoken to your fiance about your feelings regarding his gun? I'm surprised he kept a loaded gun not locked in a safe. My understanding of gun safety is that guns should be stored in a safe unloaded, with ammo locked somewhere else.


Not to say anything about whether you should or shouldn't keep a gun in the house, that's a different topic. But if you are, the best way to lock it up depends on the purpose. Guns stored in a safe unloaded is the correct method for any gun not intended for defense or quick access, most guns should be stored that way. But if you have a gun for the purpose of self defense that method of locking it up would negate the purpose of the gun. For a self defense gun it is best to have a small quick access safe bolted to the floor. It can be under the bed, in a closet, wherever it works best for you. Open the safe and bolt through the hole into the floor, and keep your gun loaded and locked away. Accessible in seconds but very hard to steal, and certainly not quickly/quietly stolen. You can get them pretty cheap, and if you feel you need more time then you are better putting your efforts toward earlier warning of an intruder rather than faster access to the gun.


Having said all that, for both instances of access to the house without waking sleeping people up, I would first install loud noise alarms or motion detectors of some sort. I would assume most robbers would flee with the noise, and those that didn't wouldn't find sleeping/defenseless homeowners.
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hoping2retire35

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2015, 06:14:53 AM »
Accessible in seconds but very hard to steal, and certainly not quickly/quietly stolen. You can get them pretty cheap, and if you feel you need more time then you are better putting your efforts toward earlier warning of an intruder rather than faster access to the gun.


Having said all that, for both instances of access to the house without waking sleeping people up, I would first install loud noise alarms or motion detectors of some sort. I would assume most robbers would flee with the noise, and those that didn't wouldn't find sleeping/defenseless homeowners.
+1
You will not keep someone who is determined form breaking in, just want to slow them down and be sure to hear them coming. being sure windows cannot open without the glass breaking, motion lights outside (maybe even inside), cameras(not as expensive as you would think). Also, remember if you have a shed where no one can see what is inside, the robber knows that no one will see them sorting your stuff.

Also, totally agree with Pete on the post. I would move to a smaller place just so I do not have to pay the man insurance. The less I worry about stuff like this the happier I am.

AlanStache

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2015, 08:38:20 AM »
re door security:
>> Chains can be bypassed relativity easily (youtube it).
>> Cheap hardware store locks can be picked/bumped in well under a minute with a little practice.

If you have come to the conclusion that you want/need security do some research and make sure you are not fooling yourself. 
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kite

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2015, 11:32:16 AM »
I tried to post this in the comments, but the php gods frowned upon me.

I live in New Orleans. According to http://www.thetrace.org/2015/12/gun-deaths-interactive-map-2015/, there have been 9 shootings within a 1-mile radius of my house in the past year. There have been 32 shootings in the past year within a 1-mile radius of my workplace. My old apartment was broken into while I was asleep. They took everything, including my boyfriend's gun and my cellphone, which was literally inches away from my sleeping face.

I have insomnia now. Since then, we've moved into a house with bars on the windows. Oddly enough, the prevailing emotion I have is gratefulness that they didn't shoot me with the loaded gun they took. I do worry that that gun has been used to kill someone else. Robert is now my fiance and he still has a gun. It is locked away, but I still feel uneasy about it.

I actually sold my car to pay off student loans before I found out about MMM. I bicycle everywhere, but I always lock my bike with both a cable lock and a U lock. If my bike was stolen while I was out, I'd have to walk through some pretty bad neighborhoods to get back home. Even though my bike is relatively cheap, I can't afford to have it stolen.

Using MMM's criteria, the risk I would take by not locking up is way too high.

You slept where loaded & unlocked guns are kept? 

See, that's the sort of stuff that would give me insomnia. 

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2016, 10:49:07 AM »
Put some buzzers on the doors. They are cheap. If the door is opened without turning off the battery powered buzzer then there is a loud noise.

I also recommend a light switch to turn off the outlet your garage door is plugged into if you live in such a tight neighborhood that your clicker will reach the neighbor's garage door or vice-versa. We unplug our garage door opener when we go out of town but then we've slept with the garage door open (didn't check before bed) and nothing went missing.

Benefits of having an inside dog. Dogs are like another child in the house so if you aren't enthusiastic about caring for a dog skip it. Our dog barks whenever something is "odd". When she rarely barks in the middle of the night so if she does I get up and check the house, look outside, etc.  While we personally have never had problems - there have been problems with teenagers who don't respect other people's property in the middle of the night.

We wake pretty easily too b/c the neighborhood is generally silent except HVAC noises. One night my wife woke me b/c of distant popping noises. We discovered the neighbor's house was on fire. Heat lamp for her pets ignited boxes and/or paint in the garage. Burned it to the foundation. 

As for guns - yeah, we have a loaded gun in the house. Your family may be different but we're safe. No risks of kids playing with it. If I need a gun it is on very short notice - no time to fiddle with a safe though a trigger lock would work. A gun isn't a trophy to me nor something to brag about. It is a tool to control a home invasion situation for that ~10 mins between a problem starting and the police arriving. Am very, very careful not to overreact to a child or pet moving around the house unexpectedly in the middle of the night. I mention that because of a news story a few weeks about about a jittery woman killing her daughter who arrived at home late at night. I'm former military and carried a gun at my job. It is a tool to me. Not a political symbol, nor anything to brag about (my gun is so badass... -whatever...). Its is a tool to handle a very rare possibility.

deathpanels

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2016, 02:41:30 PM »
I'm a little late to this thread (took some time off from the site to work on other personal goals/interests), but I had a negative reaction to this MMM post. I had my bike stolen around the same time that this was published and it was a bit frustrating that MMM didn't actually handle the very real risk of bike theft. I live in a dense urban area with a fair amount of petty crime and burglary occurring. In my old apartment building, apartments in the building had been broken into several times in the last few years. So burglary and theft was a very real risk.

I use a bike to commute during the warm months and for exercise, running errands, etc. I've had pieces of my bikes stolen before, over the years, but until recently none of them has had much of an effect. I could always replace the stolen saddle or wheel for under $100. Recently, my saddle, saddle post, AND rear wheel with hub were all stolen. Altogether, the cost came out to $225-$250 to get the bike back to its previous condition. The bike itself was worth less than $300. It was a four year old bike and the brand-new model only goes for $425. So I ended up just buying a new bike that would be a better deal since it didn't seem worth $250 for an old bike (with other problems, no doubt, aside from the missing components).

I try to think of my bike as a business. Where I live, unlimited public transit is $100/month. If I ride my bike even two months out of the year, my bike will pay for itself within a few years. I just have to factor in the cost of maintenance AND the not-insignificant risk of it being stolen. I was hoping that MMM would cover how to account for things like theft when planning your personal finances. Instead I got an article about NOT having your bike stolen. Lame.

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2016, 10:16:03 AM »
For folks living in cities - are you not able to take your bike inside at night or into your workplace to safely store?

At my job I have a storage room where I could store my bike during work hours. I know a buddy who would be allowed to lean his bike against the wall inside a shop area if he wanted to.

I would have serious concerns about storing an e-bike for example outside during a work day or at night b/c of theft.

That is one aspect to urban living that I don't miss at all - the problem with everything not welded to something else is subject to disappearing.

AlanStache

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2016, 11:53:03 AM »
For folks living in cities - are you not able to take your bike inside at night or into your workplace to safely store?
...

I had to share a bed with my bike during part  of college; only place to put it was on the bed next to the wall.  Bikes are big, hard to store and if used properly need to be accessed daily.
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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2016, 08:15:16 AM »
That's really unfortunate man. This happened to me in college and I remember how much it sucked. At least you are framing it positively.
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MoneyCat

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2016, 08:18:49 AM »
This is why I bought a Walmart bike for less than $100. It serves my needs just fine and if someone steals it, then oh well. I'll go buy another cheapo bike (although I think the price on this bike is now about $130 on their website.)

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2016, 08:49:03 AM »
This is why I bought a Walmart bike for less than $100. It serves my needs just fine and if someone steals it, then oh well. I'll go buy another cheapo bike (although I think the price on this bike is now about $130 on their website.)

This is my strategy as well.  When I moved rather than haul it with me, I sold my 8 year old cheapo bike for $40 and bought a new one at my new home.  Then that one was stolen from a locked garage...but fortunately the replacement cost was around the $130 you mention above.

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2017, 09:33:00 PM »
I was thinking about this the other day after having my bike stolen.

And by thinking I meant fucking fuming while riding the bus home.

My bike was locked up in the same place I had been leaving it everyday for over a year. It was definitely worth the few seconds inconvenience to lock it up to not have it stolen.

Was this the blog that had the comment "If you can't afford to have it stolen, you can't afford to buy it?" because I call bullshit. I bought my bike and rode to work. The money saved on bus tickets meant my bike was worth a 300% return.
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hoping2retire35

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2017, 10:52:33 AM »
I was thinking about this the other day after having my bike stolen.

And by thinking I meant fucking fuming while riding the bus home.

My bike was locked up in the same place I had been leaving it everyday for over a year. It was definitely worth the few seconds inconvenience to lock it up to not have it stolen.

Was this the blog that had the comment "If you can't afford to have it stolen, you can't afford to buy it?" because I call bullshit. I bought my bike and rode to work. The money saved on bus tickets meant my bike was worth a 300% return.
buy another one, just don't spend too much on it. I think the post is more about if your bike is stolen once ever 10 years or whatever compared to how much time you will spend locking it up everytime X your hourly wage/worth. then what is more important; $200 bike or 50 hours over 10 year period locking up your bike

sorry about your bike, ask around maybe some saw who did it, or they will feel guilty.

a few weeks ago some teenagers broke our mailbox door. a few days afterward I saw a man yelling at a preteen/teenage boy and kind of looking in the bushes; it seemed weird when I saw it but later it clicked.

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2017, 08:59:00 AM »
Oh boy... glad I looked at that crime mapping website for my home... UGH.  There have been 33 shootings within a 1-mile radius of this point in the past year, 8 fatal and 25 non-fatal. The closest shooting was 0.15 miles away.
I live directly in the center of three very crime heavy housing projects with rival gang violence.  We have a fair amount of issues in the apartments that me and my neighbors occupy (bullets occasionally wedged in sunroofs from people shooting into the air, people breaking into cars... me leaving my phone out on the stoop for FIVE minutes one day on accident and having it stolen),  but it doesn't 'feel' as bad as those statistics.  Still, after looking for a very long time, at $890 all inclusive for a studio (that I share w/a roommate) it was the cheapest place I could find.
Very frustrating. 
Apparently I just came to this thread to vent.  Sorry.

Basically, I am saying... I feel you pain.  If I leave anything outside, it's GONE.

barbaz

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2017, 08:02:15 AM »
I was thinking about this the other day after having my bike stolen.

And by thinking I meant fucking fuming while riding the bus home.

My bike was locked up in the same place I had been leaving it everyday for over a year. It was definitely worth the few seconds inconvenience to lock it up to not have it stolen.

Was this the blog that had the comment "If you can't afford to have it stolen, you can't afford to buy it?" because I call bullshit. I bought my bike and rode to work. The money saved on bus tickets meant my bike was worth a 300% return.
Well, if losing something brings you in financial trouble, it was too expensive.

If you live in an area where bikes get stolen frequently, then you need to consider this when buying and get a cheap used bike.

But I also think that locking your bike yields a good hourly wage, at least where I live.

FINate

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Re: Lessons Learned From Having My Bike Stolen
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2017, 09:08:37 AM »
I was thinking about this the other day after having my bike stolen.

And by thinking I meant fucking fuming while riding the bus home.

My bike was locked up in the same place I had been leaving it everyday for over a year. It was definitely worth the few seconds inconvenience to lock it up to not have it stolen.

Was this the blog that had the comment "If you can't afford to have it stolen, you can't afford to buy it?" because I call bullshit. I bought my bike and rode to work. The money saved on bus tickets meant my bike was worth a 300% return.
Well, if losing something brings you in financial trouble, it was too expensive.

If you live in an area where bikes get stolen frequently, then you need to consider this when buying and get a cheap used bike.

But I also think that locking your bike yields a good hourly wage, at least where I live.

LadyFIRE didn't mention financial hardship, just that it sucks to have a bike stolen.

I'm tall with long legs and an improperly fitting bike is hard on my knees. There are very few bikes in the XXL/64cm size that work for me and I've never found one used. I'm already FIRE and having my bikes stolen would not be a financial hardship, but it's still a pain in the ass to replace and would rather not have the financial loss. So I always take a few seconds to lock my bikes.