So this is the third time my bicycle has been knicked in London. This time partially my own fault. I had it inside a locked building but not locked up. I had kept it in this same place for a few years so there was no reason why i should think that it would be vulnerable. However, my luck ran out and this morning when i went to get it, it was simply not there. My heart sank and i walked home, keeping an eye on the bikes and dark corners of hackney in the off chance that it may have been disgarded. No luck.
As my bicycle was not insured, i had purchased it from a friend who built it about 10 years ago, i do not have any receipts for it. My attachment to my bicycle goes way beyond the monetary value of the bike, it has been my constant ride, my friend, my companion for over 10 years and now its gone, probably in the hands of a crack addict (yes the location where it was stolen is pretty dodgy).
So this blog post is not about what to do if your bike is stolen but what to do to avoid it being stolen in the first place.
1. Have 1 or two good locks
2. Lock it up even if its inside and you think its safe. If there is nothing physical to lock it to, then lock the frame to the wheel so at least if its stolen it will be more difficult to ride off on it. (it would have to be carried until the lock can be broken/cut)
3, Have it tagged, in case you can recover it through the police or a tracking company.
4. Attach an airtag to it, i did have one on, but then took it off for something i really wish i still had it on the bike so i could track it down. That is my biggest regret. We sell these bicycle bell airtag holders here
5. Decorate your bike so it looks ugly. You can use tape or sharpies. Make it look as unattractive as possible.
6. Don't have a brooks saddle. These saddles have a high re-sale market. So people steal bikes with these saddles to sell them. Just keep the saddle and parts as anonymous as possible. Refrain from buying expensive brand-name parts unless you always keep your bike inside somewhere very safe where it can't get stolen.
7. Lock your bike up correctly, use up to two bike locks, and make sure they are of a high standard. see video below
8. Remove your saddle, this makes it less attractive to ride away on.
9. Drop your chain, as above, it makes your bike look like it could be broken and deter the thief.
10. Thieves don’t like an audience, so lock your bike in a public place rather than down an alleyway. Try to lock your bike somewhere covered by CCTV. Always choose a place that is well lit.
11. Make your bike inconspicuous to bike thieves for example remove all lights, computers, cameras, and anything else that can be easily taken, and take steps to make it as inconspicuous as possible.