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“just moved to DC for an unpaid internship as a graduate student and can’t afford to replace it”

by Prince Of Petworth September 26, 2016 at 1:45 pm 35 Comments


“Hi, my friend’s bike was stolen today [Thursday] outside of her office on M and 20th downtown. She just moved to DC for an unpaid internship as a graduate student and can’t afford to replace it, so I was hoping the PoP community might help and keep an eye out for it–especially if it shows up online.

Frankly, I’m shocked that someone could have gotten away with clipping a bike lock in such a high traffic area … the Golden Triangle BID should be concerned about this.”

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  • DCjoe

    It sucks, but if I had a bike that looked expensive like that, I would never lock it up outside in DC or any other big city. Here’s why:


    • Mike

      Yeah, definitely sucks, but I would never leave a bike as nice-looking as that one appears to be locked up outside in DC. It’s a target. Doesn’t really matter how well it’s locked up. My suggestion is to buy a non-descript looking used bike for daily commuting in the city.

      • ***

        Sad but true. I keep 2 bikes – an inexpensive, basic commuter, that while I would be annoyed got stolen, it would be easy to replace and I would chalk it up to urban living and a nicer road bike that I use for long rides on the weekend that would be devastating if it got stolen because it is irreplaceable.

      • Kevin

        Spot on. I’ve had a good bike jacked the same way.

        Now, I bike to work (and bring my bike up to my office) and home. If I ride on the weekend, it’s just a ride: I don’t stop anywhere and I don’t lock up anywhere. Way too easy for thieves to snap and ride.

  • Ben

    Ouch! Does she have the serial # on hand to file a police report? Stolen bikes can be covered under renters insurance, which might help her replace it (if she has it).

    Curious how it was locked. One should always follow the Sheldon Brown method with a proper, hefty, U Lock.

    Keep searching craigslist and look at MPD’s recovered bikes, here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mpd_evidencecontroldivision/sets/

    Best of luck!

  • Dash Newton

    Not surprised at all. Stopped a thief in the act for a women’s roadie that was locked to a tree at Penn/12th NW just around lunchtime today. Dude wasn’t all that creative, quick, or inconspicuous, but didn’t have much more than a few more seconds left before getting through a crappy cable lock. So many people walking by at the time, too. Sorry about your bike, will keep an eye out!

  • spookiness

    PSA. Don’t take unpaid internships. Everyone’s work has worth and at minimum you should be paid enough to have grocery money even if you have a source of income for other living expenses. Sorry about the bike.

    • BC

      ^^^most annoying comment ever

      Sorry about the bike, I’ll keep an eye out for it.

      • stacksp

        Yeah. Never fails. Guy asked about getting his bike back and someone offers up their unsolicited 2 cents on his career/occupational choice.

      • Cleveland Park runner


      • FridayGirl

        Yup. I’m late to the party but that was literally one of the more privileged comments I’ve read. There are enough wealthy people who have connections and can work for free that you stand a slim chance at future social mobility if you can’t compete with them by taking an unpaid internship.
        Not to mention that comment had nothing to do with finding a bike.

        • spookiness

          Oops I shouldn’t have posted, but anyway the point is the prevalence of unpaid internships favors the privileged, who are the ones who can afford to accept them. Working class first-time college attendees, and working adults who might be going to college later in life are disadvantaged by this. It is bad enough that employers benefit from uncompensated labor, but universities don’t miss an opportunity to line their pockets too. I hope this practice gets more attention.

          • FridayGirl

            Well of course those who are financially privileged get an advantage, but that doesn’t mean those who are not privileged shouldn’t take one because “everyone’s work has worth and at minimum you should be paid enough…” If I had taken that route and insisted on being “paid enough” then I’d be working at some fast-casual place forever. That’s the point I was trying to make.

    • anon

      Unfortunately, there is more to this than “everyone’s work has worth.” I had to complete two, TWO UNPAID, internships for the graduate school program. If I was paid for them, I did not receive the course credit. So, not only did I have to work for free to get course credit, I had to PAY for the privileged to work for free to get course credit. As a graduate student.

      • eva

        My grad school had this requirement and I raised hell about it and eventually convinced them to waive it for me. I was employed full time in a job that was 100% relevant to the degree and at a significantly more senior level than any internship I’d have gotten. I eventually convinced them that the contribution I would make to the program as someone employed at a mid-level position in the field (both in terms of a network point for students looking for internships/entry level jobs and in terms of bringing my day to day experience to the classroom) was greater than if I quit my paying job and took a low-level internship at the same organization or one similar. But it was ridiculous that they wouldn’t consider paid work to be a “practicum.”

      • Kevin

        Just so it is clear, course credit does not absolve an employer from having to pay a person for work that they derive benefit from.

        • anon

          I do not disagree with that, but unfortunately that is not the way my graduate program worked. It was especially hard as an independent graduate student to work for free, then go work at a paying job, and then do all my course work.

    • Hill Denizen

      If you want to work on the Hill, unless you can get in with a program or fellowship, you pretty much have to get an unpaid internship. It is very difficult to get hired without prior Hill experience, and competition is stiff enough that there are more than enough qualified candidates willing to work for free.

    • Kevin

      The unpaid internship is probably costing her more than the cost of the stolen bike.

      • FridayGirl


  • Anon Spock

    Hopefully she can afford a cabi in the meantime. Hope it turns up. Check Craigslist and the stolen bike group on fb.

  • MoldieOldie

    Go on to this thing called “CraigsList”, buy a bike for $10. Problem solved.

    • Anon

      Please post links to the functional bikes available for $10 on Craigslist. If you do this you will transform your comment from obnoxious and clueless to useful

    • hmm

      a $10 bike on craigslist is 100% stolen.

  • anon

    I’m not surprised. I once witnessed two guys having what appeared to be a conversation while standing over a bike rack in Columbia Heights/Park View. It was only when I stopped at the red light next to them that I noticed that the “conversation” was a ruse, and that one guy was leaning down furiously trying to clip the bike’s lock. Unless you were right next to them, you wouldn’t have given that scene a second thought. I’ve lost multiple bikes in my lifetime, and it sucks.

  • samanda_bynes

    HAH – mine got stolen in Dupont circle of all places, at like 4:30pm.

    JEEZ this sucks, you post to this group?

    might wanna join and check it out. I’ll keep an eye out for ya. sorry bout the comments are from jerks.

  • eva

    I know that it doesn’t help now, but most office buildings in that area have some level of protected bike parking in the parking garage. Some are nicer and more protected than others, but almost all at a minimum have a bike rack somewhere in a corner. You would probably have to ask the people in the garage if other cyclists in your office aren’t familiar.

    I worked in that area for years and I always parked in a garage. My colleagues that didn’t were constantly having bikes of all levels of quality stolen in mid day.

  • Huma

    Also keep an eye out on OfferUpNow in addition to adding alerts on Craigslist.

  • ah

    Slightly OT, but that looks like a pretty nice bike with tri-bars getting installed. Why are the pedals with toe clips?

    • ***

      Would assume maybe they changed out the pedals for commuting. Clipping in/out in commuting traffic is not worth the hassle.

      • TJ

        Toe clips are more dangerous in traffic (and in general) than cleats. Imagine, you have only one way to free your foot – pull it backward on a device spinning forward with a strap that might catch on your shoe.. Flat pedals allow a freestyle exit, and cleats allow exit with a twist of the ankle or sudden force.

  • hmm

    First, this sucks and I’m sorry. Will keep my eyes open. People want to victim blame and speak about how you should have locked differently or not have a nice bike. That’s BS and not constructive.

  • northeazy

    Here is some help: Your friend can get a brand new bicycle from Critical Bicycles for $199 free shipping plus they offer a 20% if you give them a police report stating your old bike was stolen within the past 90 days (it didn’t need to be a Critical Cycles bike either).

    Also, not sure what you kind of lock your friend had, and while no lock is 100% theft proof, Kryptonite is the best IMO. Either get the Mini-5 or the New Yorker. Both are sort of expensive (almost $100) but, if your bike gets stolen Kryptonite will buy you a new one.

    Finally, if the home your friend is staying in has renters or homeowners insurance, they can put in a claim. An item does not need to be stolen from the house (or even previously registered with the insurance company) to file a claim–although the deductible may be cost prohibitive. Hope this helps



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