“In most large cities, a bicycle is stolen every thirty seconds. In 1994, the FBI reported that bike theft was up 10 percent…”
– Bob Mionske, Bicycle Law Specialist
Bicycle theft is a major problem, and, if you ride very often, your bike will most likely be eyed by thieves at one time or other. Have you secured your bike or is it an easy target? If you bicycle is stolen, have you taken the necessary steps to establish ownership and verify worth?
Unfortunately, most casual bicyclists, and even some serious cyclists, forget to complete these crucial steps until it is too late and their bike has been stolen. At that point, insurance claims will be very difficult, and bicycle recovery will likely be impossible.
To avoid all this trouble and confusion, simply complete these three simple steps: document, register, and secure.
Without the proper documentation, you are very unlikely to ever see your bike again. Not only are you unlikely to recognize your bike, but, even if you do identify your cycle, you will be unable to prove ownership!
In addition, you will have trouble trying to prove your bicycle’s pecuniary worth if you decide to file an insurance claim for your stolen bike.
Thankfully, documentation is both fast and simple, so there is no need to risk being unable to establish possession or value.
To learn how to properly document your bicycle ownership read “Document Now Or Regret It Later”.
Besides building your personal documentation database, you should register your bike.
When you register you bicycle, the registrar will record your bicycle’s serial number and your personal information. In addition, you will most likely be issued a “license number” sticker that you can apply to your bike. Not only will this sticker potentially deter thieves, but it will also make it much easier for the police to recognize and return your stolen bike if found.
In addition to your local police station, you can register your bicycle with many other organizations and businesses such as lock companies, college campus police, and national bicycle registries.
For more information on where and how to register, read “The Cyclist’s Guide To Bike Registration”.
Once you have documented ownership and registered your bicycle, you are almost done, but you still need to complete one more step – securing your bicycle!
After all, preparing for the worst is important – even crucial, but prevention should not be forgotten.
To make your bicycle difficult for thieves to steal, you need to use strong locks, employ proper locking methods, and choose your “hitching post” carefully. Although these techniques can never make your bicycle impossible for a determined thief to steal, they will encourage him to find an easier victim.
Read “Is Your Bicycle An Easy Target” to learn how to secure your bicycle better.
Start preparing for bicycle theft today. You will be richly rewarded with peace of mind, and, if you bicycle ever is stolen, a much higher likelihood of successful recovery!
Image Credit: Flickr