Most of us have been through that awful feeling of coming to pick our bicycles only to find an empty space where it was initially parked. What normally follows is a sense of confusion and disbelief, mixed with wishful thinking and denial. In this sort of situation most of us start questioning our own memory and ask the question: “Did I bring my bike with me today?” Bicycle theft has become a serious problem, and as a matter of fact, no one wants to become a victim. So here are some tips of how to keep your bicycle safe at all times:
- Use Strong and high-quality locks
Most bicycle thieves look for a quick and easy opportunity as this reduces their chances of getting caught. If you have a very strong and high-quality lock this makes their task incredibly difficult which may result in they giving up altogether. Normally U-Locks are recommended. The cheap cable locks can be easily cut with bolt cutters.
- Park your bicycle in a safe place
It is important that when you are parking your bike you lock your frame against an immovable object. Also choose your parking area carefully. Avoid places like train stations as this may give thieves the impression that you have gone away for a long period of time. Always chose a location with a lot of movement such as a busy high street. Well-lit areas, with a lot of foot traffic and video surveillance are the best. At home, store your bike in a shed or garage.
- Mark your bicycle
It can be quite useful to mark your bicycle, take a picture of it and note down the serial number. Also be sure to make a record of your bicycle description so you can describe it in the unfortunate event of it getting stolen.
- Make sure your bicycle parts are also secured
If a bicycle thief sees that your bicycle is expensive and he/she cannot get away with stealing it entirely, the thief will opt to take parts such as your wheels, seat, etc. So make sure those are also reasonable secure.
- Register your bicycle
If you live in Sweden, it is now possible to register your bike in a national bicycle register such as BIKETRACE. Registration is fast and easy and one of the advantages is that BIKETRACE stores details of your bicycle frame number, model, colour, and other features. If your bike gets stolen this information can be passed to police and is publicly available from a website so that individuals can check serial numbers before buying second hand bicycles.
Most bicycle thieves will only consider stealing your bike if the value of your bike outweighs the difficulty and risk involved in stealing it. Make sure your bicycle is well secured so that thieves do not see it as an easy target.