DB Vancouver Broadway
A bit about bicycle theft
Posted: Jan 25 2011 in Commentary
It’s a fact that it’s a hard world out there as a cyclist in the city. Dodging cars, braving bad weather and avoiding having your ride outright stolen, can be a bit daunting. We’re a hearty lot though, and I’ve found a little knowledge goes a long way to preventing catastrophe. It’ll even keep you on two wheels!
It seems like every day I talk to people who have had a bike stolen. Theft seems rampant with no sign of slowing down so I thought I would pass along a small amount of knowledge that has been imparted to me – the hard way.
Insure your ride…
There are many places where a bike can get stolen. I discovered this a few years back when I was moving back to Vancouver from small town Ontario. I had already spent a few years in the lower mainland and had only moved east for a short while. When I planned my trip back I wanted to be sure I had a pristine new ride when I landed. After a winter of building my bike up, I was ready to send it west. I decided to ship it ahead so when I landed it would be there waiting.
Much to my dismay I soon discovered it hadn’t arrived as planned. Long story short, it wasn’t arriving at all. Somehow along the way it was intercepted – never to be seen again! Through this I learned the value of insurance and was at least able to get a few dollars back for my prized steed. Although I was still pretty annoyed at the whole situation, getting some of the value back was a bit of sweetness in a bitter situation.
My advice if you’ve got a bike you love – Get some insurance coverage as it’s the only sure thing if your bike gets stolen. Homeowners or renters insurance will usually have some ability to cover the cost if you find yourself without wheels.
Always use the right tools for the job…
Basic logic and common sense warrants that buying a good lock can be one of the best investments you can make. If spending $130 means not to have to spend $1200 in the future it’s a good investment. I do say this with some hesitation however as it is important to understand that no lock is impervious to attack.
Even the best locks can be compromised quickly if the thief has the right tools and the knowhow. Bolt cutters, 6’ pry-bars and power tools are all tools of the thieves’ trade. They can render any lock broken if given the right amount of time.
More often than not however it’s what we’re locking our bikes to that fails before our ‘impervious’ lock! Understanding this simple fact is important and taking the time to check the condition of that corner store bike rack can definitely save you a walk home. Check the nuts/bolts – if it looks like someone with a pair of pliers could undo the nuts then choose a different place to lock up.
Street signs are terrible places to lock your bike as well. Many thieves will loosen the bolt at the base and wait until an unsuspecting cyclist locks their bike up. When you leave, they simply lift the pole out of the ground and ride off.
I personally use parking meters wherever possible as they tend to be securely anchored, but keeping your bike in view and minimizing the time it’s left alone can be the best policy.
There are many different types of locks available, each with a different level of security in mind. From the cable (designed for the bike that no one will want to steal) to the Kryptonite New York lock (designed to ward off a pack of zombies) there’s something for every situation. Some of these locks will even provide anti-theft insurance.
Matching the value of your bike to where you have to lock it up is something that should be well researched. Keep in mind that no lock is 100% guaranteed - hopefully by getting the right equipment and using a few of the suggestions here you can avoid the expense and hassle of having to replace your bike.
Try to avoid locking your bike up like this!Read more DB Vancouver Broadway Store Blogs »