Let’s talk about how to properly strap down your bike and what measures can help you prevent your two-wheeled friend from being stolen. In this case, you will only need to remember a few simple but effective tips.
Parking your bike
- Find something sturdy to secure your bike. Make sure thieves can’t simply lift your bike over this object.
- Make sure the object you are locking your bike to is firmly concreted/buried in the ground. Shake it first. Your bike will be as safe from theft as the thing you strap it to.
- Wheel theft is the new mainstream. If you can’t lock both of your wheels, take one with you. Or have two locks to help secure all of your bike’s removable parts.
- Locks only help buy time, but they don’t protect your bike enough for you to leave it outside for hours. A good lock will deter thieves for 5-10 minutes, no more!
- Remove the front wheel, and then lock both wheels together to the frame. But this method is only convenient if you can remove the wheel quickly.
- Label your bicycle. A thief’s only question is whether he or she can sell that bike within half an hour. Thieves don’t want a bike that is easily identifiable. Write your initials on the tires, or better yet, on the frame. The thief will certainly be able to remove your markings, but it’s unlikely they will want to commit to that task.
- Prove that the bike is your property. Write the bike’s serial number on a piece of paper using a marker, and have someone take a picture of you next to the bike. Another thing to consider is taking a picture of your main ID – that photo shall be a nice additional proof if you carry it around. This will make it easier to prove that the bike is really yours.
- Prioritize new locks. Old ones may be of high quality, but technology is always advancing. New locks are made of stronger yet lighter material, and they may have additional features that your old lock doesn’t have.
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Knowing your area
- Study your neighborhood. Talk to local bike store owners and workers, as well as any former riders in the area. They should be well aware of the number of thefts occurring around the palace you live and ride in, and may have some specific advice on where it’s best to strap on, or conversely, not strap on your bike.
- Stay away from places that are too crowded: bus stops, underpasses on busy streets. It is very easy to steal a bike in these conditions as the crowd creates a smokescreen for the thief.
Following these simple tips will help you keep your bike safe. Don’t ignore them! And in case you only need to commute by bike or scooter occasionally, consider renting one instead of buying your own. In NYC a good Central Park scooter rental is always available for that matter.