Having your bike stolen has to be one of life’s biggest drags. Who would do such a thing? For days or even weeks afterwards you find yourself forlornly eyeing up passing cyclists. Could that be my bike? NO. What about that one? NO. No, it never is, is it. And sadly this is an all too common experience. Around 450,000 bikes are stolen in the UK every year.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to avoid that sinking feeling.
An insurance policy isn’t going to get your stolen bike back, but it can certainly lessen the pain. The national cycle organisation CTC offers a good range of schemes, among a growing number of specialist cycle insurers. And if you have one, don’t forget to check your household insurance policy, as many allow you to add a bike or two.
Did you know that if your bike is stolen and then recovered by the police, they may not be able to give it back to you unless you can prove it’s yours? Imagine how frustrating that would be. Here’s how to go about registering it:
- Take a photo of your bike. Whole sections of the internet are devoted to lovingly cataloguing photographs of bicycles in all their elegiac beauty, but this just needs to clearly show your ride.
- Next, write down the make, model and frame number. The frame number can usually be found underneath the bottom bracket (the bit that the pedals go into).
- Now you should register this information (for free) at immobilise.com.
- Now take some arty photos of your bike. You know you want to. Send them to us and we’ll put them on the blog.
Check with your local police to see if they’ll tag your bike for free. Usually this will involve an ultraviolet marking or indestructible sticker being applied to your bike, which will enable them to definitively identify it (although you should still register it, as above). Alternatively, there are a range of products to choose from, from simple postcode stamping to a GPS tag that enables you to track your stolen bike on a map. Check with your local bike shop for options.
First, get yourself a top-quality lock.
Here at Anywhere Working we recommend the two-lock method. Ideally these should be two different locks, such as a high-quality D-lock and a cable lock, used to lock both wheels and the frame to something immoveable. This means a thief would have to use different tools for each lock – too much hassle for most opportunistic bike wranglers.
Second, lock your bike in a safe area. That is, somewhere well-lit and public, (ideally) where you can keep an eye on it.
The excellent London Cyclist blog has more on locking your bike.
Happy – and secure – cycling!