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Do you lock your bike?

Last time I did RAGBRAI (1989?), several bicycles were stolen overnight in one of the stops. One of the group I was riding with lost her mountain bike.
So is crime a thing on RAGBRAI these days?
BTW, she managed to borrow a bike from one of the shops and she did get her bicycle back something like six months later.

9 Replies

jwsknk, June 28, 2016 at 4:22 pm

in almost all towns no. Depending on the stop in a large city like DM, CR, CF\Waterloo, maybe if I’m downtown away from the camp.


RDaryl Daryl, June 28, 2016 at 7:33 pm

We lock our bikes in overnight towns. Simple lock. So many people. So easy to grab & go & blend in. Especially if camped near major pedestrian walkway. Slightly different demographic in overnight town compared to pass-through town.


SFC JKL 2, June 28, 2016 at 11:17 pm

No. If it gives you peace of mind, please do. I prefer to leave the good bikes at home.


navychief01, July 7, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Locks keep honest people honest. At night we lock the bikes up and we remove saddle bags, water bottles, electronic devices, cameras etc. Those are in the vehicle recharging. I didn’t hear of any bikes stolen last year, but why risk it?


Mike Murphy, July 7, 2016 at 9:14 pm

I never lock my bike on Ragbrai, at night I keep it in my tent. I do that for several reasons, one so no one will steal it, also no one will step on it, it won’t be wet from dew in the morning and it keeps me company….. It is an expensive bike so during the day I usually have it real close to me in the pass-through towns. I have left it while I grab something to eat but usually can keep an eye on it. The first few years I did Ragbrai I never worried as the bike I had was just a normal bike, I looked around and realized if someone was going to steal one it wouldn’t be mine. Now I look around and realize if someone is going to steal one, it very well could be mine.


Gypsy Rose, July 9, 2016 at 10:49 am

I carry a light “keeper” lock in my rack trunk. I’ve only used it on a few occasions over the years. Most of those I ride with don’t carry a lock, though.



carlball, July 21, 2016 at 6:31 am

All the bike thefts I’ve heard about happened away from the route and campgrounds and typically at bars late at night. If you plan to hop bars at night, bring an inexpensive bike and lock it.


Craig Parson, July 21, 2016 at 7:25 am

I have never locked my bikes. I am not saying nobody has had a bike stolen over on Ragbrai, but I have never met anyone who had it happen. Friend of a friend heard that some guys sister had it happen..

I don’t think the educated thief who knows which bike has better components is the guy who you need to worry about. It’s the impress his friends teenager or the random guy on his way home from the bar. Do what makes you feel better. I have seen a luggage lock used. A cable thinner than pencil lead will make the bike next to it more desirable.



scootsup, July 21, 2016 at 11:25 am

Just throwing this out for possible thought. There are three in our group. We turn ours upside down (to help prevent being stepped on), arrange them next to each other, and lock all three together to help deter them getting taken. We often run one of those locks through the tent tie down. It might help them turn away to find another easier prospect for theft. I would like to believe it never happens, but I’m sure it has and will continue…in imho.


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