Bicycle security tips
There is much joy in riding a bicycle. It’s an efficient way to get around the inner city. Parking is easy. It’s a great way to keep fit, as well as keeping close to the sights and sounds of the street. There’s also joy in playing a small part towards decreasing carbon emissions and helping to reduce traffic congestion. One joyless experience for many cyclists, however, is the deflating realisation that a beloved two-wheeler has been stolen.
It turns out that February-March is a prime season for bike theft and related wheeling and dealing. At the start of the academic year criminals take advantage of many students and would-be cyclists preparing for uni life. Bargain bikes, like affordable rooms in share houses, are in high demand. So, a few security tips.
When possible, keep your bike indoors, undercover or out of direct line of sight. At other times, park it in a well-lit public place with security camera coverage, for example, alongside other bikes at the railway station.
It may seem extravagant to fork out up to half your bike’s value for a quality lock, but it’s worth spending a little extra for the peace of mind a high-quality lock brings. The D-shaped locks can be heavy but are certainly not easily tampered with. Check the lock’s security rating – eight out of 10 or higher is what you’re after. There’s no absolute safeguard but a basic deterrent is an essential investment.
You may want to remove any quick-release seats, wheels, lights or other gadgets from your bike before leaving it unattended.
For the more technologically-minded, why not consider an electronic tracking device to conceal beneath the seat, inside the handlebars or somewhere else. These are available from some luggage stores and come with software for your phone or tablet. In the unfortunate circumstance of a missing bike, you then have information as to its whereabouts to share with the police.
Of course, keep a record of your bike’s serial number – usually to be found on the underside of the frame.
Happy cycling! See you out on the road – or bike path!