Tips to Protect Your Bike
Your bicycle is among your most precious possessions. As such, you should take good care of it, and we’re not just talking about maintenance. Every time you leave your ride out in public, there’s a risk that your bike attracts the wrong kind of attention, from people who are desperate or callous enough to jack it and leave you sad and stranded.
Fortunately, you can stop your bike from ever getting stolen. It just takes a combination of common sense, proper equipment, streets smarts, and, let’s face it, a little bit of luck. Use the tips below to help keep your bicycle where you left it:
- Lock it up. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people leave their bicycles unlocked, if “only for a few seconds.” Whether you’re grabbing a snack at the corner market and dropping off a package at the post office, always, ALWAYS lock your bike!
- Be sure to secure the frame. Don’t just lock the front or back wheel. Otherwise, you may find yourself coming back to a lone wheel with the rest of the bicycle missing.
- Lock smart. If a bike rack is available, use that. If not, try a street sign or a non-chain-link fence. Just don’t lock your bike to a headless pole (the thief can easily lift the bike over the pole). And NEVER, EVER lock to another person’s bike without permission. That is just plain rude.
- Quick release parts can contribute to easy thievery. If you insist on keeping these features on your bicycle for the sake of convenience, at least take the parts with you.
- If allowed, take your bicycle inside. It’ll be much safer inside the office or even a parking garage.
- A good lock is worth the investment. A strong U-lock may be a bit pricey, but it’s still cheaper than having to buy a replacement bike.
- The more visibility, the better. Thieves love operating where they can’t be seen. Accordingly, park your bike where there are a lot of eyes.
- Give your bicycle a distinct look. Generic looking bikes get lost in the noise. Give your bicycle a few signature design touches and it’ll be easier to recover if stolen.
- Park next to a nicer bike. This might sound like a bit of a dirty play, but you’re not causing any actual harm. You’re just doing whatever it takes to divert any attention away from your ride.
- Switch it up. Don’t park in the same exact spot each and every time. Thieves exploit routine to make their next grab. Keep it inconsistent in order to avoid making yourself an easy target.
- Inconvenience potential thieves. If you frequently park in an especially high risk area, make your bicycle extremely unappealing to target. Rig the chain, loosen the rear, turn your seat backwards – just don’t do anything that could potentially injure the thief or else you could get into legal trouble, even if he or she deserved it.
This guide has been brought to you by the experienced California bicycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm. If you are injured in a collision caused by another person or party, we can help you get compensation for your losses and get on the road to recovery. For more information about the legal services we provide, call (800) 522-7274.