Not everyone appreciates or respects cyclists and their bikes. Some people will go out of their way to vandalise and steal bicycles that have been left unattended.
Here’s some advice for those of you trying to keep your bicycle safe from thieves, or opportunists.
Cycling is a brilliant way to stay fit and healthy. Whether you commute to work on your bike, cycle as a hobby, or just ride to the shops, there’s no doubt that it’s a handy way to get around.
It also helps to reduce the risk of health problems associated with an inactive lifestyle.
As cycling is a low-impact exercise, it’s perfect for people of all ages and abilities; from young children to professionals, to the older generation.
It’s also a great way to reduce your impact on the environment, save some money on petrol costs and of course, avoid the ever-dreaded queueing traffic.
All cyclists should feel safe in the knowledge that their bikes are as secure as possible against thieves, vandals or other opportunists. Here are some tips.
Take your bicycle indoors
When possible, the safest option is to take your bicycle indoors with you. That way, you’ll be able to keep an eye on it, and it won’t catch the attention of the wrong person.
Hopefully – if taking your bicycle inside is not an option – there’s a secure bike rack that can be used in external spaces. Try to avoid locking against fences, lamposts or other makeshift locking points, as the local council may remove your bike for not using a dedicated area.
Also, if your bike is alone, while it may be secure, it’s more of a target to passers-by.
Park it in a busy, well-lit area
If, for any reason, you’re unable to take your bicycle inside with you, make sure you park it in a busy, well-lit area. The more people walking by will reduce the chances of a person being able to vandalise or steal your bike and go unnoticed.
It would also be a massive plus if there were CCTV in the area, as this could act as an extra deterrent. And of course, if anything were to happen to your bike, you’ll have more chance of catching the person responsible if you have video evidence.
Lock it or lose it
Invest in a secure, safe bike lock and use it every time you leave your bike unattended.
While it may sound like an obvious thing to do, it’s surprising how many people will pop into the shop, or a friends’ house, and simply leave their bicycle outside with no lock attached, trusting that nothing will happen.
It only takes a few seconds for a thief or vandal to grab your bike and cycle away when it’s not locked up.
Admittedly, no lock is impenetrable, but some are close. It’s most definitely worth getting one as the amount of effort it takes to break a good-quality lock means that it will act a major deterrent for vandals.
Is there a severe lack of safe cycle parking in your area?
If you’re plagued by poor cycle safety due to their being little to no safe cycle parking in your area, why not write to your council?
We work with councils to help keep societies safe from cycle thieves.
There’s a variety of secure, indoor and outdoor bicycle storage solutions that will help to protect your bike against vandalism and theft. Feel free to get in touch today if you’d like any more information!