Bike security by Gregg Richards
Bike security is an issue all over the world because bicycles can be a very high-ticket item and many people don’t know how to properly secure and protect them. Bottom line: no bike should leave home without a lock in tow, and that lock should be used each and every time you step away from your bike.
But just having a lock isn’t enough: you need to know how to use it. The first step is buying a quality lock. Your best options here are either a steel U-lock or a steel chain and padlock. It’s even better if you use both of these options because it means a thief would have to use two different sets of tools to make off with your bike.
You never want to lock only the wheel or only the frame to something because this makes it easier for someone to get away with a piece of your bike. Instead, hook or loop your lock through both the front wheel and the frame of your bike, and if you have a second lock, attach the back wheel as well.
Lock the bike by Jim Crocker
Now, it isn’t just about what lock you have — it’s also about what you’re attaching it to. Avoid attaching your bike to things like wire fences and trees because these can be cut. If you are attaching it to a pole, ensure that the pole is firmly fastened into the ground. Also ensure that the lock and bike cannot be lifted over whatever it is attached to. The basic rule of thumb is to look for something that is sturdy, immovable, and firmly bolted to the ground. And also aim to lock your bike in a busy, well-lit area.
Securing Racing Bike
When it comes to a racing bike, all I can say is this: no security is enough security. The majority of racing bikes are made with the specific intention of allowing for the trading of parts and the quick dismantling and reassembly of its frame. This means that an experienced thief can have quick access to your wheels, your seat, your handlebars, and many other valuable pieces of equipment. Your best bet if you still want to use a bike for commuting purposes is to buy a second-hand, inexpensive bike that will be less appealing to a thief’s sticky fingers and ride that into town. This way you can leave your expensive, quality bike safely locked up in your garage or home and not have to worry about your used one sitting in front of your office.
Register Your Bike
Serial number by Joshua
It is also wise to register your bicycle with the Toronto Police so that if it is ever found, it can be returned to you. All you will need to know is the make and the serial number, which can be found on the frame. You should also report a stolen bike or stolen parts as soon as possible.
In 2010, there were 3,247 bikes reported stolen in Toronto, and as of August of this year, 2000 bike were stolen (however, around 1,500 recovered bikes lie unwanted in Police warehouses). Whether the final tally will be higher or lower than last year is up for debate. But so long as you know what you can do to combat theft and keep your bike safe, there’s no need to fear what could happen. You can’t refuse to bike simply because of the fear of getting it stolen, just as you shouldn’t avoid driving out of fear that a thief will get away with your car. So long as you know what you can do to lock your bike up properly, you should get out on the roads and enjoy cycling!