Chances are if you’re an avid cyclist, you’ve had a bicycle stolen from you. Or you know someone who has been robbed. Bike thievery is a nefarious plague that spreads to all corners of the planet; no one is safe. Here’s what you can do to try and project yourself from these insidious criminals, and what you can do in the event of a theft.
- Take lots of photos of your bicycle and note what’s unique about it.
- Write down the serial number or put your personal information in the seat tube. Some individuals engrave their driver’s license number on their frame so that police can readily identify it if it’s retrieved.
- Get it insured.
- You can also register your bikes with the National Bike Registry, a fee-based service.
- Be vigilant at all times. Lock up your bike securely when parking in a public space. You can find examples here:
If It Gets Stolen:
- Get a police report.
- Start spreading the word on your social networks, email cycling groups, see if you can get the attention of the local media, do whatever it takes to get everyone on high alert.
- Scan Craigslist and eBay to see if it pops up there. This online tool, IFTTT.com, is pretty handy to set custom alerts.
- There’s also this new resource, Racklove.com, which allows you to scan listings.
- Register it at stolenbikeregistry.com.
- Go to your local flea markets right away and see if it’s being sold there. You can also join this Flickr group if you’re in the Bay Area to share and peruse images taken at Laney College, Ashby, Coliseum and other venues. 7th and Market and the area behind Best Buy at Division and Florida Streets are notorious spots in the city.
Most importantly, remember that we have each other’s backs. So get to know your fellow cyclists and support one another. We’re the main ones who care deeply about our own well-being — which, in the end, means we’re riding happily somewhere on our own two wheels.