I have run a few stories about preventing bike theft here - and Gail Newland recently wrote an article that I think shares from a different perspective which was worth sharing. I hope you enjoy the guest posts I bring from time-to-time
In the UK a bike is stolen on average every minute, with less than 6% being returned. Research studies show that cyclists are more likely to have their bicycle stolen than car owners or motorcyclists. Bicycle theft has also doubled since the 1990’s. A good combination of equipment, common sense and a bit of luck will ultimately help keep your ride exactly where you left it.
An unlocked bicycle is the most common reason a bike gets stolen; it acts as an invitation for a thief to steal and only takes a few seconds to do so. Never leave your bicycle unlocked, under no circumstances!
A poor quality lock can easily be broken. It pays to invest in a high quality lock, usually around £30-£50. It’s a smart idea to lock your bicycle to something immovable or for maximum protection use two locks.
It’s a good idea to lock your bike in a public area where there are lots of people around. Most train stations and public buildings have designated areas for bikes with bicycle racks. Plan ahead and check out the facilities in the places you are planning to leave your bicycle.
When at home it’s still important to lock your bicycle, in the garage is the safest place for your bike. If you don’t have a garage, you could invest in a ground anchor, allowing you to attach it securely to the wall or a concrete floor. Keep your bike out of view, as it could act as in incentive to break into your property.
Another idea is to lock it next to better bikes, so it appears less valuable to those surrounding it, so is less likely to be targeted.
If you own an expensive bike, then bicycle insurance is definitely worthwhile. You can do this through your home contents insurance; however don’t forget to cover it for thefts away from home. If it’s a highly expensive bike then you may need more specific insurance cover against both theft and accidental damage.
Less than 6% of stolen bikes are returned due to police being unable to identify the owner. It’s fairly simple to register your bicycle, just take a photograph of it, along with any details about its make and model etc. If possible, mark your frame twice with your postcode, in two different places, one place must be hidden. This will be stored in your account, so will make it easier to recover your bike if it’s lost or stolen.
Your Bikes image
A good idea is to make your bike less attractive to the eye, which may not be a solution for some who value their bikes appearance over its function. Some ways to uglify your bike is bad paintjob, use of duct tape, made it appear muddy and removal of brands names etc. all helping to act as a deterrent.
This post was written on behalf of www.allabilitycycling.com by Gail Newland, a freelance writer.