“I know locking your bike anywhere in the city is “at your own risk” but I feel that that particular area is being targeted.”

by Prince Of Petworth July 25, 2016 at 2:30 pm 12 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

I ride my bike from my apartment to the Woodley Park metro pretty regularly. I lock it up and then take the metro to work. For the past month, my bike has either been damaged there or somehow abused. Here is a listing.

-Someone tried to steal my bike, couldn’t do it, so they undid my chain and then broke my bike bell.

-They tried to steal my bike again, couldn’t do it, so they stole my bike pedals (for some reason).

-My helmet was stolen.

-A LED light was stolen.

I know locking your bike anywhere in the city is “at your own risk” but I feel that that particular area is being targeted. Everyone who locks a bike up there should do so with extreme caution and never leave anything on it that you care about.”

  • anon

    I would be curious to know who owns the land and if any warning signs are posted explicitly stating the ‘park at your own risk.’ If land and racks are provided by WMATA there is no reason they can’t point a security camera on the bike area to feed to security control below ground. They don’t need to patrol it, but they can provide information to police if there are known issues and possibly provide a deterrent to theft. If you’re getting hit repeatedly there is clearly little deterrent to theft/vandalism.

  • P. Lecheval

    Transit Police used to be stationed in the box right in front of the Metro escalators, but that stopped abruptly a few months ago.

  • JH

    Yeah, this particular spot is bad. I stopped parking my bike there after I saw all the saddles, wheels, lights, pedals, etc. that had been ripped off. I secure my wheels and saddle with a steel cable attached to my U lock, but even then I don’t want to take the chance. Unfortunately people will take anything that’s not welded on, even if it has no resale value.

  • Greg

    Just curious is your bike expensive I purposely ride $100 bike and people really don’t bother it. I don’t park there but I park in other heavy traffic areas downtown and I’ve even left it overnight down at farragut north and archives and its always there unbothered

  • DRC

    I cannot even hope to fathom why people basically deconstruct bikes that are locked up on the street. Like a bike locked up outside my old building would start off fine, but after sitting for a few days would lose it’s seat, wheels, pedals, handlebars, etc. Basically anything that didn’t need a specialty tool to remove. Who the hell does this? And these are expensive bikes or parts, I’m talking Wal-Mart style bikes. Is there a resale market where someone is selling bike wheels for like 3 dollars and seats for 2?

    Or if not stolen, why is someone just randomly vandalizing bikes? Who the hell would just walk up and cut someone’s chain? You either need a special chain breaker or a set of bolt cutters to even do it, why put forth the effort to screw someone’s day?

    • Effie

      Yes, thieves do take those parts and will sell it for whatever they can get. You may not think anything of a walmart style part, but in the streets you can trade all kinds of things for something like that.

  • MtPForMe

    I park my bike there every day, and recently I’ve had my helmet clearly tampered with (but not stolen) and my bike seat one day was severely twisted. It doesn’t inspire confidence.

    I did lose a rear bike wheel there once, it was a quick release wheel so I suppose I was “asking for it” despite the bike next to mine having lights left on it, and there being several other quick-release only bike wheels around. It wasn’t a nice wheel, but it had hardware no longer made that wasn’t easy to replace.

  • Anon

    The part about breaking your bike bell just sorta made me sad. Like they stomped on your PB&J or something.

  • Effie

    Sounds like you’re doing a good job locking it, so congrats to you. The downside is that Metro stops are notorious for thieves to try and take bikes. Especially depending on what area you leave your bike. My suggestion would be to look into switching over and using the bikeshare bike if you are going to leave your bike every day for extended periods of time out of your eyesight.

  • SEDC

    I really don’t understand why people think this is so crazy to hear about… It happens all the time, and usually it is to people who think their bike is locked up safely.

    Step 1: Dont leave your helmet on your bike, even if it is locked up. I really never understood this, one quick swipe with a knife and your helmet is gone.
    Step 2: Use a QUALITY U-lock. $50 is not quality.
    Step 3: Get rid of anything quick connect and change it out for locking sets. ie. Pinheads make great products.

    I have never had my bike messed with and I have parked it in some of the notorious areas that are always spoken about on here. I use a Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock, and have the Pinhead Locking Bicycle Wheel Skewers – 4-Pack Set. I just u-lock my frame and don’t worry about the rest since you have to use a special tool to get them off…. and if someone really wants it that bad, go for it at that point, I have the Uber app, and a Metro card.

    • eva

      Same, I’ve never had parts taken from my bike, but I eliminated all quick release vulnerabilities and I remove my LED lights each time I park the bike on the street, regardless of how long I’ll be gone. Someone once tried to steal my bell, but I happened upon them while they were doing it and they were all “uhhh cool bike!” Yes it’s a pain to carry the helmet sometimes, but not as much of a pain as constantly buying a new one.

  • Wane Brady

    Woodley Park and Cleveland Park metros stations are specifically targeted by bike thieves. I’ve had parts stolen at both stations. Definitely avoid locking up there.


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