My Pannier was stolen off my bike while riding uphill…

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gimpPAC
Participant
#

Yeah that just happened. I was riding up my hill in the rain, N Fairmount in Garfield. A kid (about 16?) about average height skinny with a dark gray hoodie and a ball cap (can’t remember colors, think I saw orange or red) asked me for a dollar. I said, I don’t have one sorry. Kept pedaling.

I suddenly feel resistance on my forward progress and felt something fall off of my bike. I turn around and the kid has my bag and is running down the hill! I chase with my bike, dump it at Broad, take off my helmet, contemplate throwing it at the kid, Screaming give me back my bag you fucker!

I’m too slow, I stop at Penn and he’s taken off between the houses at Broad toward ELB.

A lady stopped to help me call the police. I wish I had taken better care to identify the assailant. They came and took my story down, thought they caught the guy going into the gas station nearby. I poked my head in and it didn’t look like the guy…but I don’t know. My mind is a blur.

I had a wallet, keys and camera in there. This was the first time anything like this has happened to me in my neighborhood and it kind of shook me up. I’ll be ok, I don’t care about the money I just want the rest of my stuff back. :( I just got a sleeping pad that I was going to use this weekend too!

They gave me a report number or something, which is soggy and now drying on the mantle. Is there anything else I can do? I just kind of sadly walked my bike home…the police didn’t offer me anything after asking if I could identify the guy in the gas station. I wasn’t even sure if I should leave the scene, but I didn’t feel like standing in the rain.

At least I still have my bike! :


Kayla
Participant
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Wow. Sorry to hear that…but glad you’re okay.


Pierce
Participant
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Well I think that’s a first.

Had a bottle thrown at me Thursday night by that convenient store on Second Ave in Hazlewood. The hooligans are clearly back out

(Didn’t call the police because I had a paper to write and turn in before midnight)


gimpPAC
Participant
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Yeah if the kid would just take my money and anonymously bring back my bag with everything else I wouldn’t care… but yeah I don’t think that’s gonna happen.


stefb
Participant
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no way. how horrible. who the hell does that? i guess that kid does that. ugh i hope your things turn up. those bags are not cheap, either. to be honest, a few months ago someone in east liberty was approaching me trying to get my attention. the person seemed like she was on drugs or just not exactly normal and i ignored her and rode away through a red when it was all clear. i guess you can’t trust anyone. sorry.


jeg
Participant
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Sorry to hear this. Alas, one more reason to worry about being slow. :(


Tabby
Participant
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that sucks so much! really sorry that happened to you.


Gordon
Participant
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So sorry to hear that Tricia! That is ridiculously brazen and audacious, I’d want his head. Are you okay?

how does this affect your enthusiasm for our planned ride to ohiopyle and back this weekend? I have extra (nonwaterproof) paniers if you want some.


gimpPAC
Participant
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why didn’t I just hop on my bike and run the guy over?? No, I ran down the hill like a complete idiot. Man, I hate how irrational we get when under pressure.


gimpPAC
Participant
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@Gordon, I think I’m not up for an overnight. But a long ride in the rain is just fine. I have my other pannier, but not the rain covers I just got shipped to REI (along with a new sleeping pad).

I’ll reconnect with you and Quinn tomorrow.


joeframbach
Participant
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What sort of sleeping pad was it? If it was a Big Agnes Air Core, you can borrow mine.


gimpPAC
Participant
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generic REI brand…but that doesn’t matter. I don’t feel up to bike camping in the rain.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Helmet cams.


Pseudacris
Participant
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So sorry this happened to you. Be sure to call the bank a.s.a.p. and have new credit/debit cards issued immediately. Even if your bag gets dumped, some other person may find it and try to use/sell the stuff.

Even if the kid took your cash and returned everything else, I hope you would have still reported it.

It’s just not acceptable to go up to other people and grab anything from them.

Some super sketchy guys were closely observing me remount my panniers at the Penn/S Braddock Walgreens today, and commented on them.

Shaky, runny-eyed dudes in pairs who frankly seemed like they were fresh outta rehab or on prison work release. It made me super uncomfortable, even though no crime was committed.

There are some group homes in my neighborhood, so I need to be more careful and hope these guys keep a handle on their impulses.

[edit]

Also, if your keys and ID are together, it would be a good idea to change your house locks a.s.a.p. You can have a locksmith do it, or get new locks at Home Depot (probably cheaper & not too hard to install if you have basic screwdriver skills). Even if you just change deadbolts, you’ll be safer. PM me if you want to do this & need help w/ it.


Lenny
Participant
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I know this won’t help Gimpac,but within the last few years, I now only cycle by myself in very select neighborhoods.It’s really too bad,but I also know I’m much more inclined to get assulted or robbed in high crime neighborhoods such as Garfield,Rankin,Hazelwood,parts of East Liberty and Parts North Side.I’ve learned that also from personal experience. Hope they catch this guy who robbed you,and glad you weren’t physically hurt.


gimpPAC
Participant
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Lenny, I’m sorry but I beg to differ. I may have been robbed, but within a minute I had two people come to my aide. Try that in Shadyside.

Thanks for your concern and I’m glad I wasn’t hurt either, but I hate that people use this as a wedge for certain neighborhoods. ANYWHERE, ANYTHING can happen to you. It was night and dark, I was going slow…I should have been watching behind me instead of concentrating on the hill. I know now to be more aware in general, and particularly after I’m approached for money. But this won’t stop me from cycling in certain areas…I’ve been cycling alone at night in this area for 5 years and nothing close to this has happened. I can see your point, but sorry that just pisses me off.


gimpPAC
Participant
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Thanks Pseuda, I did have all of that taken care of, cards cancelled, phone changed to an old one, and my housemate changed the locks. It’s just really annoying…I’m going to ride around this morning and take a look around some dumpsters and such to see if the bag was trashed… I wish the police was more helpful, but they would have had a better time if I had a better description.


gimpPAC
Participant
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oh and I did report it…some lady helped me call the police… I have a report(?) number… I think I gave them my number but said the phone was stolen too…should I call to follow up and say I activated another phone if they need to call with more developments?

WHAT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED:

I noticed what happened. Calmly give a two-second count while taking details of the guy. Mount my bike and fly down the hill after the dude. Jump off my bike and tackle the guy. Grab my bag while I use my helmet or freshly retrieved u-lock as a weapon crouched over my bike like a mother lioness protecting a cub, grab phone and call 9-1-1.

Nope, did the idiot running with her bike thing.

Though there was another male with the kid off to the side, I have no clue where he went…so that might not have been smart either. I just should have been more aware after approached. He would not have done that if I was watching my back.


Morningsider
Participant
#

Don’t take this the wrong way, but I would much rather read about this in your words than a news reporter’s. People are crazy and desperate people can be dangerous. You are right that these things are less likely when you are paying attention, but once the situation starts the criminal’s adrenaline is flowing just as fast. If he had a weapon, this could have been worse.

It sucks but it’s just stuff. Keep the important stuff on your person.


gimpPAC
Participant
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Thanks Morningsider. I know, I’m glad it wasn’t worse and it is just stuff. I still have my bike!

Keep the important stuff on your person.

That’s the problem with tiny pockets on women’s shorts these days. :P Also it was pouring down rain so I had everything in the bag to protect it from being soaked.


Morningsider
Participant
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Yeah. No matter how hard I tried, it came off kind of “Monday-morning quarterbackish.” Glad you’re ok.


mr marvelous
Participant
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I believe this is why we need to increase the number of cyclist on the road. Hearing about cyclist being harassed may make you feel like giving up the bike but I feel the opposite is true. The more of use that are on the road the safer it is. I am still going to bike in East-lib and Garfield, not that I’m fearless but because we need to stick together. Btw I glad your ok and It was smart not to chase him down who knows what the guy was carrying.


bikeygirl
Participant
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This royally sucks chicka :(

Glad you are ok. I’ll keep my eyes peeled since that’s my hood now too :/


gimpPAC
Participant
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Thanks all, the bag is black, Axxiom brand, with a shoulder strap, red tape around the rack attachment parts. There is/was a rolled up sleeping pad in the gray bungee part at the top of the bag… The bag has a drawstring enclosure with a flap that clips overtop…a zipped front pocket and mesh side pocket.

I had a brown leather wallet with a Steelers logo (I know, I know, it was on sale!) with about $40 and my credit cards/etc (cancelled), a black camera bag with shoulder strap with a Canon SX2100 Powershot inside, my bike computer, two new yellow Camelback rain covers I was going to try to use for the panniers, locks, pump, random bike maintenance stuff, keys (replaced lock to house), my LG Ev Touch (cancelled) and a change of clothes. I think that’s about the inventory if you see any of those scattered about East Lib.

Probably lost about $200 – 300 right there.


ejwme
Participant
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That is totally ridiculous. frigging sucks. I ride around with a cable lock and U-lock all the time, I guess I’ll start locking my panniers to my bike when I’m on it. I’d been wondering about that lately. Very VERY glad you’re ok, and it’s just the pannier the brat took.

will insurance cover any of it? Or is it all too far below the deductible?

That is total ass.


sloaps
Participant
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@gimppac did you get my PM? I can lend you waterproof panniers for your Ohiopyle trip.


Noah Mustion
Participant
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That is some bold-ass shit. Wow.


gimpPAC
Participant
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@sloaps, Hey thanks anyway, I do have my other pannier and that should suffice for an overnight…though I think I’m really only up for a one-day long ride, there and back.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Please take this in the way that it is intended…..

I wanted to thank you for posting this.

It makes me feel less ridiculous about the way I feel about riding the Chateau Trail, or through parts of the North Side, alone at or after dark. I just try not to have to do it.

The root of my concern is my limited speed. I just feel that if confronted, especially on a hill, I’d have a hard time getting distance between the challenge and myself. Could be that the challenge is a drunk, an animal or a hostile youth.

Maybe we need to organize some sort of rational “self defense for cyclists” training program. U-locks, helmet cams, etc are all good, but what I really need is some training on how to build some explosive speed when the need arises. Hard to do when riding uphill after a long day.


reddan
Keymaster
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what I really need is some training on how to build some explosive speed when the need arises.

IANAC, but the only way I can think of to build some explosive speed at need is to, well, start doing some explosive accelerations on a regular basis. Good opportunities exist for such on most commutes; for example, full stops at stop signs, followed by accelerating as quickly as possible, will likely help get your legs more used to sudden bursts of effort.

On a hill, the ability to comfortably and rapidly make a controlled U-turn or other evasive maneuvers is probably your best bet…you may not be able to outrun ’em up hill, but you almost certainly can lose ’em if you can get yourself facing the other direction.


ejwme
Participant
#

in running my favorite term is “fartlek”, swedish for “speed play”. Like intervals, but more whimsical.

I do it when walking the dog, mostly because I can’t run as fast as she can for very long, but I think it’s good for her to really GO, so we mix it up and she seems happy about it (she won’t run off leash even at a park, doesn’t quite get it yet). I strained a muscle, but recovered. Ease into it.

On my own I used to sprint between lamp posts, or signs, or one driveway to another, then when I didn’t feel like dying I’d start sprinting again to some other arbitrary point in the distance. It’d work for cycling too, I think, but I’ve never trained for anything on a bike.

I like the evasive maneuvers idea… People on here have me pretty convinced that some form of mountain biking would be best for training for that, really knowing the limits of myself, my bike, and the combination. Just need to take an opportunity.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

*makes note to tackle Federal again, only with a few rapid U-turns*


Mick
Participant
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@gimppac This is shocking to hear and distressing for all of us. I’m glad you’re relatively OK.


Lyle
Participant
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only steevo can accelerate uphill away from an adolescent on foot.


gimpPAC
Participant
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It was more that I’d grown comfortable in my setting, which is fine, but I guess this is a sober reminder that one should always be on their guard in particular circumstances.

(Edit: but it was pouring down rain! The hooligans shouldn’t be out in bad weather dammit…)

Usually when people ask for money and I deny them, they back off. I didn’t think anything of it. I guess I’m just lucky he only stole my bag and didn’t clobber me on the back of the head. Next time, I will be looking behind me. I feel I would be able to evade if I were only aware of the situation… AND maybe I’ll keep a u-lock in arm’s reach just in case. :

That said, a self-defense for cyclists class sounds like a great idea. I’m wary of carrying any sort of weapon in the case that it might get turned around and used on myself. I like the idea of evasion/body as weapon….like a bike ninja!


gimpPAC
Participant
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UPDATE: I just went around the area and checked all the dumpsters/alleys I could find. Didn’t see anything. : Next step: cancelling checks (yeah my checkbook happened to be in there too…doh) and trying to get a new driver’s license.


Mick
Participant
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@ GimpPAC Yeah if the kid would just take my money and anonymously bring back my bag with everything else I wouldn’t care…

It sounds to me like this was more an anger-issue crime than a for-profit crime. Sure, the money in your wallet and such was a nice bonus, for him, but I’m guessing his main goal was to anger and intimidate you.

Good luck on the outrageous number of organizational tasks that you need to do now.


Pseudacris
Participant
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It sounds to me like this was more an anger-issue crime than a for-profit crime.

@mick, I’m wondering what about gimpPAC’s description causes you to think this, or if it matters?


Mick
Participant
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@gimppac – A u-lock in a heckuva good weapon. You won’t kill someon with it and it is a powerful dissuader.

Also if they don’t appear daunted by it? That, to me, is a clear sign that it’s time for me to flee.

Another natural bike “weapon” when you are moving is to ride directly at the person(s) threatening you. Don’t worry about them moving – only one of you has to worry about that.

I did that with one punk in the middle of 4 lined up across Reynolds next to Frick once. The results were gratifying, indeed.

But that was back when street punks had no experience with adults on bicycles.


gimpPAC
Participant
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who knows what it was? I don’t claim to know the inner workings of the average inner city kid, let alone THAT inner-city kid. Either way, he’s worse off than me. I’ll be fine, but he could someday end up in jail or dead at the worst scenario if he continues on this sort of path. Damn shame.

(PS: I never said on here that he was Black/African-American, but he was…along with his bushier headed friend)

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