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Bicycle story April 20, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Earlier this year I had my bicycle stolen. This was on a busy street, outside a coffee shop and where it was tied to a bicycle stand by two locks. I came back after five minutes in the supermarket beside the coffee shop to discover that the bicycle was gone and only one sheared off lock remained on the ground. The bicycle was about two and a half years old, purchased through the bicycle scheme and I liked it. I’d figured I’d get years out of it and was pretty careful with it.

Up until then I’d never had a bicycle stolen, and I’d used it morning, noon and night – cycling home from town after meetings, or having met people or whatever. Since then, well, I’ve been using more taxi’s, though truth is after getting a credit union loan and purchasing a new bicycle I also got three, count ‘em, three, locks, two of which are pretty heavy duty.

I think that would be sufficient, but… I want the bicycle to age, as it were, a bit before leaving it locked up in town or wherever.

But reading this the problem is now very widespread. I hadn’t got the chassis number of the bicycle I had stolen – that’s a mistake I won’t make again. And in a way I was lucky. I was only off the bicycle for a short time. Moreover I had sufficient funds in reserve. But given the volumes of those on bicycles now no question about it, not everyone will be in the same position.

Comments»

1. rockroots - April 20, 2019

Bit of a touchy subject for me. My brother gave me his bike when he emigrated in the late 80s. He’d used it for a few years but he’d bought it second-hand so it was pretty old. I used it a fair bit through the 90s but it had ‘issues’. I got it fully restored by the great team at Rothar to get another lease of life out of it, used it once, then it was stolen. It had cost quite a bit to get it road-worthy again but the biggest kick in the teeth was the sentimental attachment. We live in a small flat so I’d made use of the ‘secure’ bike shed provided by the complex. Our two bikes were chained to each other inside a room with a locked door and keys held only by bike owners, but this is where both were stolen from. That was a few years ago and I’ve thought about getting another one since, but really what’s the point in shelling out if I half expect it to be stolen again?

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WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2019

That’s my problem too, the issue is the feeling it may be robbed too – it’s weirdly limiting

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2. polly - April 20, 2019

My strategy on this is to stay under the radar with a bike of no money value whatsoever, AND an intentionally uncool paintjob, but even still I’m not complacent.

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WorldbyStorm - April 20, 2019

Definitely – I figure ayears wear and tear will do the trick and it’ll look sufficiently battered

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3. NFB - April 21, 2019

I work in a city centre educational establishment, and this is a absolutely an under-reported issue. Our students know they’re taking a risk any time they chain a bike up at one of the nearby public racks, and more than once I’ve had to go classroom to classroom looking for the owner of a bike that’s been locked up inside the building at the bottom of a stairwell, blocking a fire exit. They know they shouldn’t, but they also know that if someone wants to take the bike parked outside they’ll take it, not many in the area would attempt to intervene and the guards wouldn’t be of much help, whatever it claims in the linked article. Our student body, non-nationals mostly, have no faith that police can, or are interested in, helping them with such things.

Its not limited to students either. A lecturer had a bike stolen, and on a hunch went into a not very pleasant looking local bike shop. They saw the bike in there, but did nothing owing to the intimidation of the owners/clientele. The Guards were called, but nothing came of it. I witnessed another lecturer suffering an attempted extortion from two locals, who basically told him if he didn’t given them 40e in cash the bike wouldn’t be there when he got back. He scared them off, and the bike was fine, the two were more bark than bite. Guards were informed, but what could they do?

You can have all the racks you want, but that won’t fix those kinds of problems.

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WorldbyStorm - April 21, 2019

And that’s true of locks too. I’ve a heap now, but I have this sense of what is the point – if they take the saddle etc leaving the rest. It really is true as polly notes above, the only bicycles that survive are those that look too wrecked to be stolen as you say.

And the provision of racks at places where they are reasonably secure is just completely insufficient as you say NFB. And those outside so vulnerable as to be often useless.

The thing is with so many people now cycling, visibly more in the past 12 months than prior to that, this isn’t just a minor issue – it’s a daily issue for many many of us.

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4. Sam - April 22, 2019

I think the only way to go for Dublin city cycling/commuting is spending about 300e on a decent bike and about 50e on a lock. I also try to avoid locking the bike for long periods around town. Sad state of affairs.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - April 22, 2019

Very true. It’s only half a solution but the best there is

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