After a nice long bike ride, you pop into a café to grab a quick coffee. You lock your bike, order a latte, and head back outside. Your bike is gone! Someone has cut your lock and stolen your wheels.
Bike theft is a big problem in Vancouver. Police say on average nine bikes are stolen each day in the city. Most are stolen in the summer months. One of the worst areas in the city for bike theft is one of our most popular attractions: Granville Island. Shop owners have decided to fight back with Operation Rudy. The program includes offering free valet bike parking service with some shop owners loaning out high-end locks to bike visitors.
No matter where you bike, there are things you can do to secure your bike. The most critical thing is using a good lock. Thieves operate on speed and stealth. Locks slow them down. Make sure you have a strong lock and that you are using it the right way. Here are a few pointers:
- lock your bike to something sturdy – a street pole can be lifted and a tree can be easily cut
- find a spot that is well-lit and has high foot traffic – thieves don’t like to be seen
- always try get the lock around both the frame and a wheel
- get a tight fit – the tighter the lock fits, the harder it is for thieves to get in to unlock it
- position the lock off the ground, keyhole facing down
But don’t put all of your faith in your lock. They can fail. So put your name on your bike to deter thieves as it will make it harder to quickly sell the bike and will also decrease its value. Take a picture of your bike and record the serial number. And register your bike with Project 529, as recommended by the Vancouver Police Department.