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Dude! Where’s my bike?

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Spring is upon us and in case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot more bikes out.  As far as some people are concerned, that means a lot more opportunities too.

Now, I’m no expert on the matter.  So do some research and make the best decisions for you and your bike, but here’s what I see.  The majority of bikes that get stolen in my area are primarily thefts of opportunity.  If there’s something that makes your bike special, and someone has it in their sites, there may not be a way to keep them from getting it.  They’ll watch you and figure out your habits and what they need to do to get around any security measures you’ve taken.  It’s just a fact.  If you’re bike is a target, it’s a target.  If your bike isn’t a target, that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods and can relax.

Take some steps to make sure your bike isn’t a victim of opportunity.  One guy with a small selection of tools can make your bike a memory within a matter of a few minutes.  Two guys with a pickup or a trailer can do the same in a matter of seconds.  These guys are less concerned with that special bike down the road.  They are trolling for the easiest one to steal that fills their particular needs.  Joy rides.  Part it out.  Resell it.  Whatever.  The quicker they can get it out of your sight, the more likely a target of opportunity it becomes.

Take heart.  You can lessen that opportunity by making TIME and VISIBILITY their enemy.  It’s a fact that the longer it takes someone to steal something, the less likely they are to try.  You have to take steps to add Time and Visibility to the equation.  There are a large assortment of devices you can use.  Chains, cables, disk locks, and break lever locks are just a few.  One of these devices that’s small enough to carry with you could save you some grief.

Imagine that you’ve stopped with your group and are inside grabbing a bite.  Little did you know that a bike thief is trolling the area and sees a group of bikes hidden just enough from view.  They walk around looking for the easiest one to steal, but it’s not yours.  You have a disc lock on your bike that has an audible alarm.  That makes the target of opportunity someone else’s bike.  One that they don’t have to take the time to get the lock off of and risk it sounding off.

Well that’s awesome.  You cut the risk when you were out riding in town, but what about at home.  You don’t have a garage or somewhere indoors to keep the bike, so it sits there in out in the open.  First, this calls for a cover.  Yes, people can still tell it’s a bike, but can’t tell if it’s anything they want to mess with.  You can also use one of those huge hardened steel chains with a lock that has a protected shank.  Don’t put that chain through the wheel.  Put it through the frame if you can and wrap it around something that is anchored to the ground.  Maybe a light pole or a bike rack.  Remember, it’s all about Time and Visibility.  Visibility also counts for your security devices.  If they are plainly visible, they provide some deterrence to someone looking for the best opportunity.

One last thing you can do, but it’s something that’s not visible.  Maybe you should have a backup plan in the form of something they cannot see.  There are several GPS tracking devices out there these days.  You can even get alerted by an app as soon as your bike moves and be able to see where it’s going.  The point is, you have options and ways to secure, and even recover your bike.

All that having been said, I wonder how many Facebook posts I’m going to see this year where someone’s looking for their stolen bike that was parked out in the open and didn’t have any security devices on it?  Probably a lot more than necessary.  The ball is in your court.  Don’t find yourself asking “Dude! Where’s my Bike?”

Here are some examples of security devices for your review.  I have no experience with these.  They are just examples.  Do some research before making an purchases.
Disc Brake Lock
Brake Lever Lock
Monimoto M7 GPS Anti-Theft Tracker

Here’s a great article to read that talks about anchored security devices.

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