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Bike security?

First time rider. Can’t seem to find a forum thread about this, so I’ll just ask:

What security measures do you take to prevent your bike from being stolen? Should I bring a lock with me? When should I lock it? ALL the times I’m not riding? or just overnight? or not at all?

I’m riding with my father this year and we’re both first time riders. Don’t want to wake up to a missing bike. What is your solution?

11 Replies

mclousing, June 18, 2018 at 3:22 pm

I have done 9 Ragbrai’s so far and I have never locked my bike on the route, I sometimes lock it in the campground overnight. Bike theft on ragbrai appears to be a rare occurrence, and usually done in overnight towns.


hnschipper, June 18, 2018 at 3:26 pm

I have ridden 16 RAGBRAI’s and have never locked my bike up. I rarely hear about bike thefts. We do have a tent big enough this year that we can put all three bikes inside during the night.


Amanda, June 18, 2018 at 5:49 pm

This will be my 20th RAGBRAI. Never locked it. Have put it in my tent – mainly to keep it dry. Some hosts have offered their garages to our group for overnight storage. I have left my bike out, next to tree most of the nights. She is always waiting for me the next morning!

I heard you can put a $20 bill on your seat and walk away. When you come back, it will be there. I was going to try it but I was afraid the wind would blow it into the next county!


donhoppe, June 18, 2018 at 6:54 pm

This will be our 20th Ragbrai. Never locked up a bike until 2 years ago. That year someone stole our wagon masters bike during the night. It was under the gooseneck of our 5th wheel camper. Was a very sad day the next day of riding. However the police asked for a serial number and luckily the bike shop he bought it from had the number on file. The next day the police stopped a vehicle with it’s tail light out. They had several bikes on a bike rack. They checked the serial number and it matched. Wow, what are the odds of getting it back? I now have a photo inventory of all the bikes in our group along with there serial numbers. It was a $5000.00 dollar bike, an now that person got charged with a felony! I only lock them up overnight now and I also know that it is extremely rare to have one stolen.


jwsknk, June 19, 2018 at 12:14 am

They usually don’t go for the high end if it’s locals. They grab what they know and won’t stand out. Several “stolen ” bike turn up the next day outside a bar or beet garden. Overnight mine lays next to the tent. Rain fly staked over the saddle to keep it dry, handle bars usually make it too. Helmet and sandals usually live out there in the vestibule too. On top of bike that in thete


jdeutmeyer, July 4, 2018 at 12:13 am

During the ride bikes don’t need to be locked at stops in the country. Everyone else came in and leaves on a bike, so it would be hard to steal a bike. In small pass through towns my wife and I lock our bikes to each other. There rare theft is usually a local riding off. Over the night we lock to a tree or fence when available. We lock 2 bikes together when these are not nearby. It is hard to ride off on 2 bikes locked together.


Jason Stoller, July 4, 2018 at 2:09 am

I agree with just about everything that has been written above. I would tell you that I would go with your gut. I personally ride an expensive Trike so when I use the services of a Charter or travel with a Bike Club I do not worry as much at night. When I am on my own I worry a little more. Since I am a slow rider I do not have that much time to wander around and see the sights so most of the time I am right near my Trike. I do ride an expensive Trike so I usually keep a close eye on it when I am in a Pass through town. I do have a lock with me at all times and if I feel uncomfortable for any reason I will use it.

You know what they say, A lock is only there to keep an honest man honest!



tacook, July 4, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Our 7th RAGBRAI and we’ve never locked up a bike. Overnight we keep them in the vestibule of our tent.


bmyoungberg, July 4, 2018 at 8:34 pm

I bring a lock but usually only use it if I am at someplace public like McD (I need to use the WiFi a couple of times for work). Otherwise usually not.


RDaryl Daryl, July 4, 2018 at 8:56 pm

Did you just say WORK during RAGBRAI ?
We all feel sorry for you . . . . . . .


bmyoungberg, July 4, 2018 at 10:49 pm

Agree but no way around it. In finance and many companies report June quarter results. Use WiFi from 6 til 8 or so on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday mornings plus Thursday evening. Actually carry an iPad and 2 cell phones all week in my backpack. Last year in Cresco, met some great folks in the coffee shop on the square on Friday morning.


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