I recently read an article on bike theft. It’s a good chance you know someone who had a bicycle stolen. Maybe yourself. Losing a faithful steed is tough. Preventing it from happening can be a tougher. A determined thief is just going to win. This leaves doing your best to dissuade said thief.
A big part of securing your bike is knowing the potential for it’s theft. Looking at how other bikes are locked is a good way to measure how secure you need to be. Keeping your bike in view is ideal. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can bring it inside.
There are many types of locks, the heavier is usually the better.
-Short stops: Usually fine with a light type of lock (unless the area is known for aggressive bike theft)
-Longer stops: Secure the bike to something solid with a solid lock.
-Overnight: Lock everything you don’t want taken with very strong locks.
I have never had a bike stolen (use your favorite method for scaring away the evil spirits). I am very conscious about security and will go out of my way to secure my bikes.
If your bike is taken:
Having information on your bike is a really good way to help get it returned. Registration is a good dissuader to the potential thief, makes it a hard bike to sell.
There are two bike registries mentioned in the article. One has a smartphone app, the other is web based but accessible via smartphone web browser.
The first registry site, Bike Index was started by a bike mechanic in 2007. It has been integrated in 2014 as a nonprofit still mostly using dedicated volunteers. They have over 50,000 bikes in their registry. It is free and easy to use, but you must create a login with an email address. They claim to find a stolen bike each week throughout the summer months.
This other site is very new, but sounds like it has the right idea and tools to do the job. This is a quote from their website.
“About Project 529
Founded in 2013, Project 529 is a diverse team of software professionals in Portland, Oregon that believes that technology can enhance the cycling experience. Their first product, the 529 Garage is simplest and most complete bike registration system created to date, having helped secure approximately $15M worth of bikes since its introduction last year. Recently, J Allard was appointed to the newly formed Portland Police Bike Theft Task Force by Portland Chief of Police Larry O’Dea to help attack the growing frustration with bike theft in Portland.
For more information or questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org”
Project 529 requires a social media login (Facebook, twitter, Google). It is a security measure to prevent thieves from creating a registry on a stolen bike by simply making a new email address for it. As we all know, it takes time to create a social media account.
The site has a shortcut for a quick registry by having an active member of Project 529 register your bike using your email. I tried this, it does work. They will send you an email on your bike registry and invite you to register (with your own social media account) at your leisure, or not.
Bicycles are fun, having to secure one, isn’t. Taking time to gather the info on one dissuades most owners from registering their steeds.
These registry sites are easy to use. With a smartphone, you could register your bike in a couple of minutes anywhere you have service.
I’ve registered all my bikes on both registries and am planning to get some of the 529 stickers for my favorites.