Security question (newbie!!) ??Bike Locks??

So Im packing up with my family and I just thought of a question that I cant find an answer to. Im bringing several VERY expensive bikes with my family. How does security work? Should I bring a lock and hope for the best? For instance – on Saturday in Onawa – do people leave their bikes at the campground and go to the expo? Or should I take my bike with me everywhere? What about at night? Do I need to take my seat and post off and bring my front wheel into the tent and lock up the rest of the bikes out side? Any and all advice greatly appreciated!

13 Replies

Tim Downing, July 19, 2018 at 3:50 pm

You don’t need a bike lock. This whole week runs on trust in others, and if there was no trust then the whole society thing would come grinding to a halt. Maybe in Des Moines a couple of bikes got swiped by locals/townies (out of 10,000+ bikes).

Also, no matter how expensive your bike is, there will be hundreds of other people that have bikes that are 3X the value of yours. And they will just hang theirs up on a fence at the lunch stop and not think twice about it.


Greg Hunter, July 19, 2018 at 4:08 pm

That sounds awesome! Thanks for the input. ANYONE DISAGREE??


Michael Sharp, July 19, 2018 at 4:12 pm

I agree, in the years that I have ridden RAGBRAI or any other state I don’t think I am even seen a bike lock. You will be good without one.


jeffreydennis, July 19, 2018 at 6:00 pm

You rarely hear of theft. That said, I have a lock for my Madone


Brian Wallenburg, July 19, 2018 at 6:37 pm

Locks are just extra weight.


Geoff Butland, July 19, 2018 at 6:57 pm

I rode my first last year, brought a lock, and never used it. But if it gives you piece of mind, nobody’s going to be offended if you lock your stuff. Do what helps you relax and enjoy the ride.


BarryTantlinger, July 19, 2018 at 8:46 pm

I bring a very small cable lock, but would only use in the largest towns.

If you bring a lock, it doesn’t need to be much of anything – your lock bike is going to be surrounded by a sea of unlocked bikes for the taking.


Greg Hunter, July 19, 2018 at 9:18 pm

Thanks to everyone who replied. I appreciate all the input. This sounds like its gonna be awesome!


jwsknk, July 19, 2018 at 10:29 pm

If you can lean the bikes against each other when you stop do that. If you feel better locking a cheap cable and lock a couple together. One that’s easy to ride off with would go first. I have heard of someone riding off on the wrong one. Exact same model and near where they parked. Cover the saddle with a bag at night to keep it dry. I can get about half my bike under one vestibule, helmet and sandals stay put there too at night.


Anonymous, July 20, 2018 at 6:13 am

Years ago in Des Moines, the year of the big laser light show, in the main campground my bike was taken. There were 15 bikes of all values, mine happened to be on the outside of the stack, then a very expensive bike. The bus was camped on the main intersection of the campground. When I reported my bike missing in the AM the police said I was number 23. I was able to use another team members bike for two days of the remaining week. Kind of ruined my first Ragbrai. The following week DM policed located the bike. I had to drive 2 1/2 hours down then back to get it. In closing, someone just did not want to walk the mile or so to their campground. My bike was not stolen, just borrowed. I lock at night and keep the honest people honest.


Charles Gerding, July 20, 2018 at 6:13 am

I too bring a small lock. A friend told a story from many years ago about a theft so I thought it better to be safe than sorry.


pj, July 20, 2018 at 7:36 am

I would never leave my bike unlocked in Ames or Iowa City.


Mark Keele, July 20, 2018 at 9:29 am

Just like JefferyDennis said… theft is rare but I lock the Madone at night too–when away from campground–especially Ames and IC as pj says. Don’t haul the padlock on your bike keep it your baggage.


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