A lot of bikes have been stolen here lately. I ran across another resource for trying to recover your bike: the web site http://stolenbicycleregistry.com/. You register your bike, and bike shops and others can easily search the registry to determine if a bike has been stolen. It looks like there’s not much traffic (yet) for Pittsburgh but I have a feeling that if we start using this more people will start getting their bikes back. At least, if your bike is stolen, you know it’s on a national registry, making it that much hard to resell someplace else.
Edit: actually there some Pittsburgh bikes up there already. Not nearly as many as have been stolen lately, though.
Also: lock up your damn bikes correctly! Every single bike in front of my office is locked incorrectly and could easily be stolen. Here is just a sample. I think I am going to write some polite and informative notes:
First of all, no one else can really use this rack. It is the only rack in front of the Office. Secondly, I wonder what the pole is for? Thirdly, cable lock.
This seems like a decent bike. Some stuff left on the bike to steal. Cable lock- nice try. It is next to a security desk booth with cameras pointed in that direction, but security isnt always in there, and I doubt the media is going to run footage on the news to catch a blinky thief.
Treat your bikes nicely, people.
second is easy to steal the frame from, since only the wheels are locked, but the first… undo the qr seatpost binder and pull the seat out, move the bike forward 2 inches, replace the seat, ride away, go jousting?
the second one has the frame locked through the rear triangle. so you’d have to cut the cable to steal the frame.
Who wants to start a “bike liberation” campaign? Steal everyone’s bike that’s easily steal-able, leave a claim ticket with an address, and put them all in a warehouse for them to claim.
It’s not stealing if you’re giving it back, right?
Buy a few palates of U-locks and you could probably sell a bunch too.
I’ve been leaving handwritten notes on improperly locked bikes near Pitt, but I should carry pre-printed slips to save myself time. I could probably steal the bikes faster than writing out the note in many cases.
Anonymous 09/11/2012 at 2:14am #
Just out of curiosity, what do people tend to leave on their locked bikes? I don’t leave my bikes locked long, or often, but I regularly leave lights, saddle bag and a frame pump. I don’t lock wheels, but they also need a special security tool to be removed, so I feel pretty good about that. I take my helmet with me for some irrational fear that a drunk person will pee on it.
i dont leave anything that can be removed without a tool. thats why i have a messenger bag and not panniers.
I also remove everything. At OTB I will leave a water bottle once in awhile. I do have a fear that someone will pee or spit in it.
I take everything, some people steal just because they can. Even if they have no use for the item if they can take it they will.
Also a good amount of the bike thefts have been because someone ran into a store for a second and didn’t lock up properly.
Here we go with the peeing again. I leave everything except any luggage I have mounted on the bike, and my sunglasses. I’ve never had anything stolen or peed on, to my knowledge. But if I was leaving my bike in an unsafe area or for a long time I would take everything off it.
Maybe some tags that are plastic twist tied?
A more aggressive approach would be to give them a U-lock by way of properly locking it up and showing them.
I leave things that it wouldn’t be a huge hardship for me to replace or that I think no one would really want (lights under $20, water bottles if I don’t want to drink water wherever I am, etc.). I often take my frame pump and fancy iPhone mount but leave them if I’m feeling lazy. Bags ALWAYS come with me, as do my nice headlight and taillight and my helmet.
I have cheap lights, so I don’t mind leaving them, although I’ll bring them in if it’s to rain. I also usually leave my helmet.
No racks or bags, though I usually left my old underseat bag; it was more work than it was worth to get it on and off.
I have high levels of confidence in my fellow humans- I leave it all when I do short stops (store or library) and almost never ride anywhere else. Sometimes I take off the lights and put them in one of the bags. My bike is inside overnight and at work.
I have lost the zipper to 2 rear bags to chipmunks (I think- maybe squirrels?) chewing in to get to apples I left overnight in the garage.
I usually leave my lights on and have a pannier with a spare tupe and pump in the nesh unter the flap and soem black rain pants in the pannier.
I’ve been doing this for years. This summer I had one (of two) headlights stolen when I was locked up at Pitt’ws Tree’s Hall. A few years ago, I came out of a shop just as some homeless dude was finishing off the OJ I had in the water bottle holder, but that’s been it as far as theft.
A couple years ago I had a light stolen outside of Rite Ade- then got it back from a homeless dude’s bike the next day. At which point I gained a stalker which was a little scary (This is the 3rd stalker I’ve had, but he only one who was scary. It’s evidently how the world outwardly recognizes my inner *ROCK STAR*)
I mark my name on my lights with metallic silver marking. I imagine if I found it on a bike parked somewhere, I would take it – and leave my Ulock on the bike, with possibly a note. It would be tempting to disable the bike.
Please don’t do that. I think most people would take great offense, whether you were planning to give it back or not.
Anonymous 09/27/2012 at 1:54am #
I snapped this a couple days ago. If a rope works for a horse, why not a bike?
They used to shoot horse thieves, didn’t they? Back in pre-Castle Doctrine days?
Anonymous 09/27/2012 at 2:49pm #
If someone “borrowed” my bike to teach me a locking lesson, I would be very upset. It seems each of us has our own level of what we can leave and how we are comfortable locking up. I have a very cheap cable lock that I have used all summer long all over the city with no trouble, but I agree a u-lock is the better option. I typically strip anything removable from the bike when I lock it, my bags, helmet, gloves, lights, and underseat bag always go into my panniers and over my shoulder when I leave. My new SUB 40 has no quick releases, but let’s face it, almost all of us have a hex tool with us. If you really want my wheels or my seat, that hex nut isn’t that big of a problem.
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