Monday, February 9, 2009

I Just Locked Up My Bike, Again*

What kind of world do we live in when a woman can't retire her pink bicycle for the evening and find it where she left it in the morning? I have theorized that femininity is a deterrent to bicycle thieves--and I'm not the only one--but I wonder if that's true in these trying economic times? Or maybe pink is no longer regarded as overtly feminine? Or maybe bike theft is becoming a less male-dominated field (if you can call it a "field")?

While I'm all for gender equality, I don't want to see a rise in the number of female criminals, or girly bike thefts, or bikeless women cyclists. (I don't wish bike theft on any dudes either). Therefore, I implore everyone to lock up their bikes even if they are pastel colors and have streamers and flowers and whatever else on them. I would think customization of any kind (not just the ugly kind) would scream, "I am loved; don't steal me," but I guess some hard-hearted thieves just don't get the message.

*I have been pretty lax about bike security lately--I've been leaving Praline on the carport unlocked--but, apparently, the new people next door have sticky fingers so after reading about Pinkie, I went outside and locked up Praline.


le homme au la velo said...

While it is true that most Bicycle Theft is done by Males I suppose it is not impossible for Females to wish to rob Bikes as well although very unusual. Where I live in Dublin Bike Thieves mostly go for the Super Duper Highly Priced Road and Racing Bikes costing over € 1,000 or more nearly $ 2,000 and leave the Ordinary Commuting Bike and Female ones alone. However because of more People taking up Cycling because of the Recession there is more of a Market for Bikes now and so also for Stealing them. These People Steal to Order if they think they can get Buyers,so unfortunately they will also go for Females Bikes now.

I would never leave a Bike out in the Open unlocked even in my back Garden. There are certain Areas in our City that you would not leave a Bike for long after Dark even if it was locked with a couple of heavy Chains and Padlocks.
Saying that we are not to bad for Bike Theft but it stll happens and apt to get worse now because of the Recession.
I do not like Cable Locks to easy to be cut through with a Bolt Cutters. You would need several Locks if you intend leaving your Bike Day and Night in the Street. Over Here in Dublin a lot of People use a big Chain and Padlock as a main Lock and a Cable Lock for securing the Wheels and anything ele like Saddles for instance,especially if leaving there Bike in the Centre of the City after Dark.

Several Years ago a Friend of mine was in Moore Street in Dublin. He went into the Butchers to buy Meat and left his Bike outside without Locking it as a lot of People do sometime if in a hurry. The Bike is usually alright most of the time for a few minutes ,but this time it wasnt and a Thief ran off with it. He saw them and took off after them but was not quick enough because of the Crowd of People in Moore Street,and they had a Head start. When they saw him coming they eventually got on the Bike and got away.
So after he told me that I always Lock my Bike with the Strongest Padlock that I can Afford if in the City. I hope she gets back Pinkie. my Regards Jack.

Anonymous said...

Yes, lock up Praline! Sad when women's bikes are disappearing left and right. We need those bikes! I hate the thought of them going from cherished hands to greedy hands that don't care about or need them.


Anonymous said...

Definitely lock it up! I wish that I had. I do think that the state of the economy suddenly made my pink bike a lot more appealing to someone, but I also should have been more careful.

Thanks for posting about my bike (though I am in Nashville). Can't hope but think I'll see her riding around one day.

The Bronze Bombshell said...

Jack: That's the thing that really smarts about having your bike stolen when you're a commuter. You're not out playing around, you need your bike and someone steals it from you for a few measly dollars.

Dottie: I can't help but think about some statistic I saw that said women ride less than men as it is so when a woman loses her bike it really burns me up.

Trisha: I was wondering if the Schwinn brand name might have made your bike more attractive to thieves. My stolen bike was also a Schwinn. I'll correct the location for Pinkie and I hope you do see her around Nashville some time soon. I hope on that day you are carrying a big stick with you so you can bop her thief on the head and take her back!

2whls3spds said...

Bike thieves AFAIK are indiscriminate, they will steal anything. I lock all my bikes, even the ones stored in my locked shed. I have a few bikes stolen over the years and managed to recover a couple of them. I would have been less upset if they MIGHT have been stolen by someone that needed them to ride, not to trash and destroy.


le homme au la velo said...

Over here they usually end up in Bike Shops being Sold as Second Hand Bikes or on a Bike Site, Gumtree .ie A lot of People Buy Bikes from these in Good Faith not kowing that they are Robbed Bikes.
So I suppose the same thing in USA,the Person who is Cycling around on your Bike probably has no knowledge of it being Stolen. So before you Clout them on the Head ask them where they got the Bike from. It might be a good Idea to go the Rounds of Bike Shops with the Reg Number and Photo as the Bike Shops are usually very Honest. If they try to Con you Tell the Police and The Newspapers about them if they Refuse to give you back your Bike. Where I live People sometimes leave their Bikes outside their Doors and nobody Touches them but these would be Low Cost Bikes and Childrens.I hope you get your Bike/s back Trisha and Dottie .

nicomachus said...

There is a special place in hell for bike thieves...

The Bronze Bombshell said...

I still can't wrap my mind around bike thieves--their methods or their madness. Why would anyone want to undermine such a simple act as riding a bike? Even the fanciest bike isn't as ostentatious as a BMW and it certainly doesn't yield the same sort of payoff for a thief. Why bother? And if said thieves really needed a bike, they could buy one so cheaply it doesn't make sense to steal one. They might even receive a bike for free from someone cleaning out a garage or on Freecycle or something. Bike thieves must be devoted to thievery itself more than other kind of thief. They must love thievery as much as cyclists love their bikes.

Rob E. said...

Definitely lock up. I got sloppy with my bike, putting it in the back yard where no one would see it and thinking it was safe until the day it wasn't there. Sad thing is that you can be lucky 100 times, but the one time you are unlucky, it's over, and the bike is gone.

But you may be right about feminine bikes being less attractive to thieves. A pink, fendered, cruiser-style Schwinn sat in the rack on the campus where I work for months with the lock going through the front fork. Take the front tire off, and the lock would only be attached to the rack, but the bike remained for quite a while. It disappeared while I was at work one day, and because it was the middle of the day and when students were heading home for break, I'm assuming the owner returned home with it, but it could be that someone finally succumbed to the easy target, in spite of the pink.

The Bronze Bombshell said...

Too true, Rob. You only have to be unlucky once--that's such a good way to think about it.

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