Protecting Your Bike
A story hit the news in Boston, when I was in my late teens. Newscasters interviewed an avid local cyclist, who’s custom bike had been stolen. Around a year after the theft, he was on vacation in Florida & went to a bike shop to rent a bike. To his shock, the shop employee wheeled the man’s distinctive stolen bike out to him as the rental. What on earth are the odds? The excited man took his long-lost bike back to Boston with him when he returned home.
We’ve all been pretty lazy about protecting our bikes in the land of OZ. NWA is a pretty good place. Bike theft has not been an overriding concern for us. We transport our bikes & leave them on the car’s rack -- unlocked -- for a few minutes. In other locations, this would be unthinkable … & it’s getting that way here, too. So, now that NWA is a dangerous location for bike theft, how do you protect your beloved shred-machine?
Register your bike...
Start with registering your new bike with the manufacturer as soon as you take it home. Registering your bike means that there’s a “paper trail” on it. If the police find it, you have a way of proving that it’s yours. If a shop works on it, they can track it by its number.
Insure that machine!
Go to your insurance provider & find out what kind of coverage you have. I call Rusty Cramer, my insurance rep at American National, every time I get a new bike. Keep a spreadsheet of any mods or changes that you make to your bike. If it goes missing, it may be hard to remember every little mod that you did.
Lock your bike.
You need something to ensure that your unattended machine doesn’t get clipped by some local reprobate. Contemporary locks don’t have to be heavy or cumbersome like the stuff we had as kids. Let’s face it, you just need something to stop a crime of opportunity…& there are a host of robust locks that will ensure the safety of your property.
Don’t leave your baby unattended:
People have told me about having their bikes stolen from their yard (in one case...while they were outside mowing the yard!). Others have had bikes stolen from their open garage. Others report thefts from the backs of their cars or from a rack in front of their favorite restaurant. Don’t do it...even for a minute! Always have some form of lock. There are also companies that make Lo-Jack type devices that help you track your stolen property (a chip that’s hidden inside the bike’s frame). One shop customer used such a device to track his son’s stolen bike to the home of the thief.
There are numerous options when it comes to bike locks from combo locks to key locks. Some locks are minimal and act more as a deterrent such as the HIPLOK Z-LOK COMBO. If you want something more substantial then you could go for the OnGuard 8031 Doberman Coil Cable Lock or the Serfas Combination U-Lock w/cable. These two locks are great examples of a lock that, while heavy to carry, will make it difficult for someone to brake.
Whatever lock you choose, the best lock will be the one you remember to bring with you and use. Mention this blog from April 16-30 and receive 10% off the purchase of a bike lock.