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Uncle Dave's Ode to 10-Year-Old Knee Pads

What should I do when all my Bike Shit gets Stolen?

Words Dave Tolnai
Date Sep 27, 2019

For most of you, the confession that follows will not represent anything along the lines of a "surprise." In most situations I'm not known for having a super great bedside manner, so why would this situation be any different? So...here goes... When people get their cars broken into, I am (probably) the least sympathetic person in the entire world. I respond thusly:

If you leave something out that can be stolen, eventually it will be stolen, and it will be your fault.

People who have recently experienced auto crime seem to respond poorly when you say things like this. But it's a nearly foolproof plan. If you don't leave things in your car, then it is impossible for them to be stolen from that car. For years I never left anything in my car. Ever. EVER!

And then I...got lazy? Got tired of getting told to pick up my shit and not leave it heaped in a bag by the front door? It was just easier to leave my riding gear in the back seat of my truck? "Who is going to steal that shit, anyways?"

Somebody. Somebody is going to steal that shit, is the answer to that question.

I got the text. "The neighbour says your window is broken." I was already riding home, and it gave me a really good chance to think about all the shit I'd left in my backseat, and to battle the demons of somebody who realizes (just a tiny bit too late) that they've done something pretty stupid. My frustration grew exponentially the closer I got to the scene of the crime, as I remembered additional items that I had left in the back seat of my truck. This list of items included:

1 - Two brand new Maxxis tires! Why did I leave those in my truck for two weeks! Honestly, if you happen across a set of 650b Minions still in the package with "Tolnai" on the label in masking tape, let me know. This one really stung. I contemplated which tires to buy for many, many months, and to have them stolen is a real kick in the crotch.

2 - My trusty Park floor pump.

3 - Several pairs of shoes.

4 - My pack that I never ride with anymore, complete with: shock pump, mini pump, air pressure gauge, Y-tool, little tool roll full of all kinds of things.

5 - 3 sets of gloves.

6 - Two sets of knee pads, including one newish pair of Dainese pads I've been meaning to photograph so that they can be reviewed and one pair of going on 10-year-old Race Face knee pads. (Sorry Dainese!)

7 - One helmet.

8 - A whole bunch of other Dainese stuff that I've been meaning to photograph so that I can finish (start?) reviewing it. (Really, really sorry Dainese!)

9 - Various locks of dramatically differing levels of security.

10 - One pair of smith riding glasses complete with several lenses.

11 - One handy duffle bag, just to keep everything all in one place, for easy getaway.

Some of these things I even paid money for! All gone! Except my floor pump! This actually made me really, really happy, because I like that pump quite a lot.

So, yes, my own stupidity led to a number of items getting stolen. And back to posing my own questions and answering them... "Who is going to steal a sweaty helmet and a 10-year-old-pair of knee pads? Who even cares?"

Well, as we mentioned before, somebody will steal it...and as I'll mention now...Me! I care! I care way more than I should about a helmet that somebody gave me and that didn't fit all that well (the inspiration for this article, actually). I care way, way more than I should about my Y-tool and my shock pump and my gloves and all that shit. I kind of care about the glasses, but I never wore them but I should have! I really should have, and now I can't!

Most of all, though, I care about those damn knee pads. I actually remember when I bought those knee pads. They were a last minute addition to an order I put together while assembling a commuter bike in 2008. Seriously. 2008. Shit, those things are 11 years old, not 10! And I wore them on pretty much every single bike ride I've done since that time. I swapped in a few different pads here and there...I passed up on numerous chances to test other knee pads. They were the one thing in my rotation that seemed to never leave as there was no reason to. They fit me really well and didn't move around very much. The seams were all intact. The velcro was getting a bit ratty. They smelled terrible no matter what sort of "washing" they faced. I thought about replacing them several times over the years. But I didn't. They were in such remarkably good shape, it actually suggests that (possibly) there is no real reason for me to be wearing them, as they most certainly never were the first point of contact for any of the multiple crashes I had over those 11 years. Those knee pads were quite possibly the most consistent object I have owned in more than a decade. And now...they are gone.

And I say this as a guy who just sent an e-mail to Race Face asking them to send me a new pair of knee pads to replace the ones that just got stolen. Which, surprisingly, they did! If I'm this upset about my 11-year-old knee pads getting stolen, imagine how upset you're going to be if the same thing happens to you?

So, our lesson this week is simple. Don't leave your shit in your car! If you leave your shit in your car, it will eventually get stolen. If your street has 3-4 different spots that are littered with broken glass (and I live in the "safe" part of town!), pay attention. Don't leave your shit in your car! I'm looking forward to another 11 years of Race Face knee pads and I am most certainly not going to leave this pair in my car, ever again. I mean, I probably totally will, but we'll see how long it takes. And stay tuned for lots and lots of gear reviews in the near future, as I slowly replenish my rotation.

Sorry,

Uncle Dave

PS - We got a new dog. His name is Gizmo. He's from the mean streets of LA, and he's way smarter than me and that makes me a bit nervous for the things that he is going to get himself into. I think he has the potential to be a miniature trail assassin.


Uncle Dave's Music Club

I wrote this a month or so back for an Uncle Dave I ended up delaying too long to use. So it's late, but it deserves to be here. And, this selection feels pretty fitting for this article.

Man. It feels like all too often I'm posting about the music of someone who died. Unfortunately, with the passing of David Berman, here we are again.

I was never a super fan of the Silver Jews, but they were one of those bands that was just right at certain times. There was a depth to it that spoke to a particular feeling. I'd find myself scrolling through my music library and I'd just get hit with a sense of perfection when I'd re-stumble upon them at the perfect time when an itch needed scratching.

Random Rules

What were you listening to in 1998? I love this song so much for how from the heart it feels. Nobody writes a song like this to make a million dollars. No matter the time or place, it can take me to the weirdest combination of sadness, regret and hopefulness.

All My Happiness is Gone

Purple Mountains isn't the most accessible music you're likely to come across, but there's some real nuggets scattered about.

"Lately, I tend to make strangers wherever I go
Some of them were once people I was happy to know"

Jesus. Listening to these back-to-back, there's a lot of melancholy here. A lot of regret.

Trending on NSMB

Comments

DaveSmith
0
Dave Smith  - Sept. 27, 2019, 6:51 a.m.

bad luck. good tunes.

Reply

cooperquinn
+1 Bikeridenow
Cooper Quinn  - Sept. 27, 2019, 8:38 a.m.

MORE DOG PHOTOS.

Reply

jitenshakun
-2 Bikeridenow Kenny AJ Barlas IslandLife
Jitensha Kun  - Sept. 27, 2019, 8:40 a.m.

You know the "everything will get stolen" is largely a Vancouver/Lower Mainland phenomenon right?

Reply

davetolnai
+1 AJ Barlas
Dave Tolnai  - Sept. 27, 2019, 12:10 p.m.

More likely, sure...but "largely"?  I don't know about that.

Reply

dorkweed
+2 Bikeridenow Jitensha Kun
dorkweed  - Sept. 29, 2019, 3:12 p.m.

Largely true - Vancouver has among the highest property crime rates in North America. It was Miami when I lived there in the early 2000s (and got my bike stolen, house broken into, etc) but Vancouver appears to have won the war and superseded Miami's crime rates!  It's been a few years since I checked - latest data simply says Vancouver among worst three cities in North America.

Reply

Bikeridenow
0
Bikeridenow  - Oct. 3, 2019, 5:16 p.m.

Don't tell people shit like that.  Everybody stay in Vancouver, interior BC is the worst!

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 Cam McRae
AJ Barlas  - Sept. 27, 2019, 10:41 a.m.

GREAT shot of the new family member, Dave. Not only is he smart, he's a handsome little bugger too.

Reply

Brocklanders
+1 Cam McRae
yahs  - Sept. 27, 2019, 10:58 a.m.

Night ride last night, went to Bridge after for a quick one. Left my bike unlocked on my 1up rack thinking it would be fine parked by the front door. Decided to go out and lock it anyway, good thing I did.  Some sketchy dude was lurking behind my car just about to snatch it. He took off when I came out. Lock your bikes up no matter what, these scumbags are getting really brave.

Very Steve Malkmus-esque tunes

Reply

martyz
0
Marty Zaleski  - Sept. 27, 2019, 12:08 p.m.

My bike was lifted off my north shore rack a month ago or so. Similar story: stopped by somewhere briefly, had forgotten my lock, thought I had a good sight line. Checked the view a few times and it was still there. Except when I was leaving. Gone.

However - my insurance company was solid and paid me out. Which was good. Except that I was more or less rewarded for my own stupidity.

Moral of the story: agree with Dave. It's not if, it's when. I've come to accept that humanity is the worst and everything needs to be secured like you live in Fort Knox.

Reply

davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - Sept. 27, 2019, 3:05 p.m.

I was thinking of you as I wrote this.

Reply

martyz
0
Marty Zaleski  - Sept. 27, 2019, 3:20 p.m.

EGBC membership is good for employment opportunities and even better for enhanced home insurance coverage limits on bikes. Despite that, I'm now a bit more paranoid and lot more callous toward bike thieves. And am spending my retirement on bike locks for everywhere.

Reply

davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - Sept. 27, 2019, 4:03 p.m.

Ha!  That's why I originally went with that insurance too.

Now we're just e-mailing one another in the comments section.

Reply

heckler
0
heckler  - Sept. 27, 2019, 10:02 p.m.

Hmm do tell...   are you talking bikes included in the home policy without paying extra insurance riders?

Reply

davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - Oct. 1, 2019, 4:31 p.m.

Yep.  EGBC/APEGBC has a deal through Park insurance.  Can't remember the specifics, but decent bike coverage with no riders.

paul-lindsay
0
Paul Lindsay  - Sept. 27, 2019, 2:43 p.m.

Sharp ear, Malky was involved in the Silver Jews.

Reply

Brocklanders
0
yahs  - Sept. 27, 2019, 4:10 p.m.

Never even heard of the SJ's before.

Will check them out.

Reply

Pnwpedal
0
Pnwpedal  - Sept. 27, 2019, 1:09 p.m.

Ermahgerd that's a cute pupper.

Sorry about your stuff, though I agree 100% that if you don't want your stuff stolen don't leave it in your car.

Reply

morgan-heater
0
Morgan Heater  - Sept. 27, 2019, 2:21 p.m.

Or in a locked garage, in my case.

Reply

davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - Sept. 27, 2019, 3:05 p.m.

Buddy got his bikes stolen a few years ago when somebody cut through his garage door!

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Sept. 30, 2019, 10:19 a.m.

WTactualF. Through the door?!

Reply

generationfourth
0
generationfourth  - Sept. 30, 2019, 5:12 p.m.

I know of many whom have had their bikes taken from their garage (albeit mostly the garage was left open/unlocked). I take no chances and even use my 30# chain and kryptonite lock on my bikes even if the garage is secure.

Reply

davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - Oct. 1, 2019, 4:34 p.m.

Ya.  Through the door.  There's not much to them.

Reply

dbozman
0
dbozman  - Sept. 27, 2019, 5:21 p.m.

Sorry your gear got jacked. And not to draw the conversation away from your victimhood. But ... what's the lowdown on making a pair of knee pads last for 11 years? That secret sauce seems to be missing. Do tell. The funk alone should have killed them before then.

Reply

davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - Oct. 1, 2019, 4:38 p.m.

Steps to 10 year old knee pads.  Not sure how important each of these steps are.

1 - Don't crash onto your knees.

2 - Wash them.  Once per year.  No more, no less.

3 - Don't wear them around your ankles on the ride up.

4 - Don't wear them at all on the ride up.  I think this really controls the amount of funk that they build up.

I also purchased these pads almost immediately before I stopped riding in bike parks.  So when you think about 10 years of strapping pads on for 20 minutes of downhilling a couple of times per week, it's actually not a whole lot of wear.  So, really, it's all down to Enduro that these things lasted so long.

Reply

jonas-dodd
0
Jonas Dodd  - Sept. 28, 2019, 10:27 a.m.

In 2002 I parked my old 4x4 Suburban on Howe and Helmcken to meet friends at the Sugar Refinery (RIP). I had come from a ski patrol shift at Mt. Seymour with all of my sweaty and gross gear in my grey and rust coloured Roach two strap courier bag (RIP Ingrid) on the back seat. It was old-school even then but was one of my prize possessions. I contemplated bringing it with me but foolishly decided against that out of sheer laziness. I knew that the doors of the suburban could be unlocked with a table knife or flat head screw driver and apparently so did the thief who took my bag, as it was long gone when I returned. I regretted my mistake for many years to follow.

Reply

davetcc1
0
davetcc1  - Sept. 30, 2019, 11:37 p.m.

hope this doesn't happen to me.

Reply

extraspecialandbitter
0
ExtraSpecialandBitter  - Oct. 1, 2019, 5:13 p.m.

Only one solution.  You need a robot dog that lives in your truck to protect your stuff... preferably with some sort of taser system built in.

https://www.bostondynamics.com/spot 

Reply

davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - Oct. 2, 2019, 8:51 a.m.

Naw.  You'll just end up with a stolen robot dog.

Reply

UFO
0
UFO  - Oct. 3, 2019, 2:13 p.m.

I once had my car broken into Nov.2. They jacked my stereo with the detached faceplate safely stored in the door's side pocket; my school bag (though they kindly dumped out and left behind my Bible); most annoying loss was the fresh box of unopened Halloween I had bought the day before at 50% off. Absolutely savage

Reply

UFO
0
UFO  - Oct. 3, 2019, 2:13 p.m.

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