Loose Lips Sink Ships

I am guilty. It’s not a bragging thing, just informational . . . or so I thought. There is something that is picking up steam in my neck of the woods, and from what I can tell, it is happening in other places as well. When someone asks me a question, I am always as truthful as I can be. There was a saying during the Second World War that loose lips sink ships, meaning that many times an innocent conversation can cause great harm.

It wasn’t too long ago I was on my bike at a red light. A man of about thirty pulls up next to me in his truck and rolls down his window. He said that I had a nice bicycle, and if I didn’t mind telling him how much would something like that cost. I told him. He whistled and soon drove off. More than ever lately, I have had that question thrown my way from total strangers. Now, I might be a tad slow at adding two and two, but bike theft is also jumping up quickly in my area, not the average Wal-mart bike but nice road bikes. It does not take long for word to spread that you and others around you are riding on thousands of dollars.

This was a discussion the other day on a group ride, when one of the riders said that we could all pool our bikes together and buy a nice condominium on the beach . . . cash. He was right. Take ten bikes, averaging between $2,000 and $12,000, and you’ve got a chunk of money. Don’t get me wrong. I watch my bike like a hawk, when I’m stopped at a store or whatever, but there are now incidences of riders being assaulted and their bikes stolen by force. It is time that we keep the lid on how much our bikes are worth. If someone asks, just tell them $200. Let that be your standard answer. I know it’s hard not to blurt out how much something’s worth when you are so proud of it, but loose lips sink ships.

Please take this to heart. Be safe. Think of your fellow riders.

BON VÉLO

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2 thoughts on “Loose Lips Sink Ships

  1. Second hand (not stolen…!) is the way forward. I’d feel pretty awkward if a complete stranger asked me how much something cost… I guess in Europe it’s generally not the done thing. Is that common in the US?

    1. Well, not really . . . it’s more of a tiny conversation of how good my bike looks, how fast it looks, how far do I ride, and then how much would something like that cost. It is clever way to get information, because (as you know) a cyclist LOVES to talk about his ride.

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