Posts Tagged ‘bike theft’
Thursday, September 8th, 2011
You put a lot of thought into keeping yourself safe while you’re biking – you wear a helmet, you wear reflective material so motorists can see you easily. But, do you think about how to keep your bike safe from theft?
Consider these five tips that can help you avoid filing a police report for a missing bike:
1. Carefully consider where you park and store your bike. Lock your bike anytime it’s not in use, even when it’s parked in your driveway or porch (if you can, keep it stored inside at home, when possible). If you’re locking your bike in a public area, choose a well-lit, high-traffic spot. Secure your bike to a large, stationary object; remember, chain-link fences can be easily cut through. And always take easily removable accessories, such as lights, with you. If you’re a bike commuter, the City of Minneapolis and City of Saint Paul also have great resources and maps for bike racks and lockers to stow your bike safely.
2. Buy a U-lock. Why? Because the U-lock is the best single lock to use, if you lock your bike properly. For even more protection, use both a U-lock and a chain or cable that’s at least 3/8-inch thick. Visit the Bike Walk Twin Cities site for more about the different kinds of bike locks.
3. Learn how to lock your bike. For maximum security, try removing the front wheel of your bike and fastening the U-lock around it, the back wheel, the seat tube, and the object you’re locking your bike to. If you don’t want to remove the front wheel, fasten the U-lock through it, your tube, and the stationary object. Then, wrap a cable or chain through both the front and back tires, as well as the U-lock. For detailed instructions and diagrams, check out the Bike Minneapolis’ Downtown Biking Guide slideshow (see page 8).
4. Lock size matters. Don’t use a lock that’s longer than you need; any extra space is just more room for a thief to maneuver and gain leverage. Try a few configurations to determine which setup leaves the least amount of slack. Avoid letting the lock rest on the ground or a wall, too; a thief could use those surfaces to smash the lock with a hammer.
5. Register your bike. In the case that your bike is stolen, having the serial number registered can help track it if the culprit tries to sell it. The National Bike Registry offers several types of registration at various prices. Also, write down the serial number, make, and model and keep the information in a safe place, along with a few photos of the bike.
Worst-case scenario, follow these guidelines from the City of Minneapolis to report a bike theft in Minneapolis. If the crime occurred in Saint Paul, call 651-291-1111 to report it.
What other tips do you have to prevent bike theft?
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