Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Vandals are winning

Ever since my recent bout of vandalism, I decided to hide my bike out of sight in a more secured area "off the street". It is just too much work to dig it out every day so I stopped commuting on my bike and just take the car. Every morning I circle the car to make sure the tires haven't been slashed before I get on my way.

Since Monday is a Stat Holiday and this is a long weekend I decided to ride my bike Saturday morning to meet the guys for breakfast down in Steveston


It sounds simple. Ride my bike into the back yard using the narrow sidewalk on the side of the house. Then jiggle the handlebars to squeeze through the gate which is narrower than the width of the bars


I have to make sure that my bike is exactly in the middle so I can clear the gate. The ground is flat so moving 550 lbs is not that bad


I can only roll it a few more feet as then the ground rises


From here you can see what I am up against . I have to detach my side cases to make more room


That's about as far as I can push my bike. From here I need engine power and throttle control. I don't like to make too much noise as it echoes between the houses and I don't wish to annoy my neighbour. I start my bike and ride it


across the front lawn back onto the street. It is not easy to push my bike manually over the soft grass. There is too much grass resistance. It was just minutes after 7am when I started this maneuver, but when I was getting my side cases I met one of the neighbours who was walking her Pug (dog)


I'm usually very good with animals, but Susan (My neighbour) said that her dog was recently spooked by that recent thunder storm a couple of weeks ago and has recently started acting nervous towards strangers. Susan tried to calm her dog down but it didn't work


We talked for quite a while and before you knew it half an hour had passed. I was trying to get a head start to Steveston, but now I was going to be late for breakfast


You know that I am a sucker for anything PINK and I kept focusing my eyes


to be continued . . .


  1. No doubt the pug recognized the thunder of the VStrom.
    I left my bike on the drive for three weeks because backing it out of the shed over soft grass and rutted gravel(with tons of room) seemed like such a pain - I can't imagine having to squeeze it through the eye of a needle to park it. Don't let them get to you!

    1. Karen:

      Moving my bike in and off the street isn't that bad except for the narrow gate, and lack of room to turn it around as the carport is full of contractor tools and storage cases. Before I could leave all the side cases attached and just open the automatic garage door. I worry that the vandals will come back

  2. Bob: Not sure what the big deal is, just move your fence over a foot or so. Problem solved! :)

    1. Canajun:

      our construction includes a landscape architect once our project is finished, so it may involve a new fence so I can't do this ahead of time, I have to be patient and wait.

  3. Dear Bob:

    I have always thought that Vancouver was one of the most beautiful and therefore safest cities on earth. I am shocked to discover that you, who live in a really nice neighborhood, are having problems with vandals. Then again, I had a confrontation in Vancouver's China town 15 years ago that I found very unsettling.

    May I make two suggestions.
    1) Wear your boots whenever you move your motorcycle. Wearing solid, steel-toed footwear is always a great idea when rolling anything that weighs 500 (plus) pounds. You'd be amazed at the odd things that can happen which might put the weight of that bike on your foot. Or you could find yourself stepping on a stinging insect unaware of its presence until the jolt that causes you to drop the bike.

    2) Get a weed whacker with a saw blade on it and remove all the vegetation encroaching on the bikeway. Install spotlights and motion detectors that light up if anyone approaches the house from that angle. Consider the wooden gate. It might be a pain in the ass to replace it with a metal one that goes up like a garage door (rolls up), but it might give you another six inches in width.

    3) As a more drastic measure, you might want to get a nice German Shepherd that weighs in about 100 pounds. The dog will doubtedly love you and your family to the point where it would rip the legs off anyone screwing with the vehicles.

    Life in the city is always a bit of a challenge.

    Fondest regards,

    1. Jack:

      Our area is not known to have problems, hoping that this is just an isolated case by some transient person who just happened to walk down our street by chance

      1) I usually wear boots/shoes when moving my bike
      2) I like the idea of hidden access. We used to have it neat and tidy but one day we found our gates opened, so we like the overgrown option
      3) After our first burglary 20 years ago, we installed an alarm sensor in our garage, and got two dogs. But having animals was a deterent to having free time on the weekends when you wanted to go away but needed to have a dog sitter.

      as you say, every city has its share of bad people who don't respect the property of others. I hope you are getting better

  4. Looks like it's time for a chainsaw and a brush cutter (more tools is always good!) maybe even remove the gate and the short section of fence for a while. Or maybe simply park next to the front door...

    1. Richard:

      I like hidden access so I will leave it overgrown. As for the gate, I have to wait until our construction is finished as they have to replace all of our fencing which was torn down. The plan is to widen our gate, eventually

  5. This sucks that the vandals have altered your lifestyle! I hate makers of mayhem and hope they are caught by the coppers. I agree with Jack about wearing shoes when moving your bike, you have cute toes and why put them at risk? Our poor doggis was totally neurotic after our bout of thunder, now she thinks a bike engine rev is thunder.

    1. Dar:

      Actually I am more worried about my car than my bike. When I get my car back in 2 weeks I worry that the vandals will be back, then it will be an insurance problem to get my top replaced again. I could be refused coverage. you're right about changing my routine and having to lock everything up, or keep them out of sight.

      I feel so free without shoes, and this may be the last good weekend of the summer. Between having to wear riding boots and shoes for work, there is little warm weather left to enjoy

  6. It doesn't sound simple at all. I can barely push my Ninja around under the best of conditions. Heaven forbid trying to thread my way through that skinny little needle!

    You're quite the wild man riding through the grass and over curbs. Be careful with them bare tootsies!

    1. BlueKat:

      It's not too bad as long as I use the engine to get it to the house. It is hard to push it over the grass as it sinks. Once on that narrow sidewalk I can push it to the back. turning it around is another problem due to little maneuvering room.

      riding "down" the curb is okay, but riding "up" I use two blocks of wood to use as a ramp which makes it easier. When I had my SV650 I used to cut the curb on an angle to force the front tire onto the curb, but if you misjudge you would go down, so now I use the wood

  7. Those are some pretty fancy pink toes your neighbor has.

    1. Trobairitz:

      It must have taken her a lot of time to do this. Those Pinkies caught my attention immediately

  8. This won't work for you long term, I can tell! Why let the vandals win?

    Why not consider renovating that wooden gate entrance and making it wider


    get a scooter to use for short hops around town and commuting. It will be so much easier to maneuver out the gate and out onto the street!


    is there an alarm you can put on the motorcycle that will sound if anyone touches it before it is de-activated?

    Just thoughts...:=)

    1. Deb:

      Our gate will be widened, but later when they replace the fence. I do have an Xena Alarmed disc lock, but I seldom use it, but I do bring it with me when I am travelling.

      I thought about a scooter but we do not get discounts due to our Government insurance. Your insurance is much cheaper than ours. A 250cc scooter could cost $500-600. per year.

    2. Wow! That's high. I pay $200 a year for my 49cc with Progressive.

      I'd better check into that alarm you mentioned for myself. At my new apartment my scooter will be sitting back of my deck and I will chain her to a tree there as well, but an alarm would be great too.

      I hope you can figure out something. I'm sure you miss riding to work on your baby!

    3. Deb:

      Insurance is expensive here as there are NO discounts for multiple vehicles. Each has to pay full rate, so for two cars and one bike I pay $3,700.+ per year, and that is only insuring my 'Vette for the summer months. I used to have scooters too but I was trying to cut down my insurance expenses.

      I have a disc alarm from Xena, but I don't know the model number, but make sure it fits your bike

      I would have ridden this morning, but it is just too much trouble to move it out. Maybe tomorrow . . .

  9. I like the scooter idea, otherwise you could rent a storage container or enclosed trailer and put it in the front yard or street during construction. You may want to keep the Vette in an offsite storage unit until construction is complete.

    1. Trobadour:

      In two more months, all will be back to normal. This is just a temporary inconvenience. I am working on a couple of options . . . I haven't really used the 'Vette at all this summer and I won't get it back for 2 more weeks. It will be Fall by then

  10. Looks like a huge pain in the butt to get the bike out. I'm sure things will get better once construction is done.

    Nice toe nails on the neighbor.

    1. Erik:

      I have few options as parking in the city is hard to get. No one has extra space

  11. Hey Bob, I got the idea that parking the bike there was just during the renovation work and you will be able to go back to the garage eventually, I hope that's the case. I understand how you feel about the vandals, we havent had anything as bad as you but we live on the edge of a bad part of town so are constantly worried about the bikes even though they are safely locked up round the back of the house. I got a disk lock with an alarm, not expensive and easy to put on/off. It goes off with any movement and for peace of mind it's been a godsend.

    1. Brenda:

      It's only temporary, 2 more months then I can access the carport and garage. Right now the driveway is a ditch and a pile of dirt. I do have an Xena Alarmed disc lock and when it is parked on the street, I secure it to the construction trailer, and under a bike cover

  12. Bob, I think that Troubadour's got you covered. The idea of a shipping container for the bike is genious. Throw a motion sensor alarm on there somewhere and you're good. Storing the Vette offsite is good too. Is there a safe place at work?

    I'm surprised that no one commented on the obvious storyboard quality of your blog post. Were you working with a script? I'm guessing that at least some rehearsal was required. Who did the camera work? If it was a one-man show, I'm even more impressed. Tell me more! Great post, lots of fun. Shows that the vandals have left your sense of humour intact.

    Warm regards,


    1. David:

      Some of my blog entries are orchestrated as you noticed. I come up with an idea then I have to work out the logistics. Once I have my rough storyboard in my mind, I snap the photos and they are usually out of sequence. This is the same way they shoot scenes in a movie. My video editing is done this same way.

      When I leave home and come back I shoot both sequences at the same time as it saves time. So I film myself leaving, and then coming back as the tripod and camera are already set up. It would make no sense to shoot the leaving and pack it all up, and then unpack it and set it up again just to shoot the coming home.

      I do all my own camera work, I rely on no one. I have wireless remote controls for two cameras and with video I just edit out the sequence I need.

      Thank you for noticing. I find these projects relaxing but time consuming.