The owner of this ride drove all the way across ‘Muricah, with love, only to arrive en la Mision to go broken into:
Things are different here.
That’s what everybody says, that they parked their bike for just five minutes and then when they came back it had been ripped off. Then the owner gives up and leaves the carcass there and then we have this, for day after day:
A quarter century ago, there were fewer bike thieves in Frisco, and they’d endeavor to steal your whole bike, instead of just parts off of your bike. It was a better era.
Anywho, if you took this mess into a Local Bike Shop, they might tell you to make an appointment, I’m srsly. And then they’d tell you that you’d be better off buying a whole new bike, most likely.
On It Goes…
4th and Market is a tough area for bicycle security, certainly
We don’t have any WalMarts here in SF, of course, but it’s easy to start over again if you’re only paying $99 for the bike.
Well, let’s go way back for starters, back when the Bicycle Thieves Of San Francisco aimed to steal your entire bike. They’d sometimes get caught with stolen bikes and car jacks.*
But these days, it’s bike parts thieves seem to settle for, so cyclists need to protect not just the frame but also the wheels, the saddle and the headset, and other bits too, if you can.
So that means that today’s bike thief needs room to store stuff and that’s where Division Street comes in. It’s been a good place to park a vehicle or pitch a tent without being bothered too much, plus it’s close to the action – it’s close to 7th and Market and the Main Library.
This is what things looked like under the I-80 before Fall 2015 as I remember things:
This is how I remember things being for a decade or two.
But then all of a sudden, instead of a few tents here and there, a bunch of tents popped up. They filled up practically every possible space in lines that stretched from Costco #144 all the way to South Van Ness. I’m guessing this occurred anywhere from mid-to-late November 2015 to early December at the latest.
This is part of the north (aka west) side of Division on Dec. 13th:
Compare that with this shot of the same place on Dec. 9th
And this is the other side of the street closer to 10th Street at the end of December:
I’ll tell you, most of these hundreds of people are NOT bike thieves.
So why did they show up here at the end of 2015?
The Holidays? I could see why the SFPD et al might want to ignore things until after Thanksgiving, Christmas and whatnot.
El Nino? This would be a good place to stay out of most of the rain, of course, and the forecast was for lots of it coming soon.
Super Bowl 50? The corporate party part of Super Bowl 50 had lots of knock-on effects for SFGov – it seemed like each and every SF Department was gearing up. At the time I thought, well, this doesn’t look too good either, if this is the alternative to homeless people hanging out near Super Bowl City in the Financial.
Availability of Tents? I remember seeing truck upon truck delivering stuff here, something like an FM radio station with “Chuy in the Morning” written on the side, something like that. So sure, food, but tents too? IDK.
Those are some ideas, anyway.
I don’t know, if SFGov cleans out all these tents in February 2016, will that end shoplifting at Rainbow Grocery?
We’ll find out soon enough.
Anyway, that’s your brief history of the tents on Division from 2015-2016.
*Stolen from the trunks of boxy Volvos. It was a thing.
Chop chop, always with the chopping, in this area:
If your bike hasn’t yet gotten chopped and it has a serial number on it, then there’s something the cops can do about it.
Otherwise, chop chop, always with the chopping, in this area.
I’m thinking this Bay Area woman will be ID’ed for the Mountain Police Department in about five minutes…
I’ll tell you, I actually got around to watching that five-minute clip from the Today Show about bike thieves in the West Coast Capital of Bike Thievery, San Francisco.
And I says, “1729, huh?” You see, that was the street address on the front door that that Today Show guy knocked on. And they showed the street itself, so I guessed a 94124 zip code and then excluded the first two hits (1729 Geneva and 1729 Sunnydale because they both didn’t make sense) by making this Google search: “-Geneva -Sunnydale 94124 1729 .”
And, lo, up pops 1729 McKinnon in the Lower Third:
It’s sort of funny how the bike thief made a bee-line to the Thieves Market at Civic Center – that’s what you could see when they showed the GPS track. Anyway, the next stop was a shed in the Bayview.
SF, you have a problem with bike theft – deal with it. Like, it’s national news, literally.