You would think that it was when your bike was parked in the middle of town that you’d be at the greatest risk of theft, but you may be surprised.
We’re writing this on the back of a spate of thefts around the Pontcanna area, but there is a risk having your bike stolen wherever you live.
It’s all about time…
With many people relegating the bike to the back garden or the shed, it stands to reason that your bike faces a surprisingly great risk at home. Even the greatest lock on the market is simply buying you time.
Out in the centre of town, a solid D-lock that requires an angle grinder to break through will hopefully buy you enough time for the thief to be disturbed, particularly as angle grinders tend to attract attention.
However, in your garden shed a thief has all the time in the world to work on your lock, sheltered from prying eyes by not just the shed but your garden wall too.
The other thing to keep in mind is that you tend to go home to the same property every day, meaning that your movements become easy to predict.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep your pride and joy safe. First of all, buy a lock that represents just how much you love your bike –those Kryptonite New York locks are great if you really, really love your bike. At the other end of the scale, those cable locks are great if you definitely never, ever want to see your bike again.
Whilst you are shopping for a jumbo lock, pick up a second lock too, preferably of a different type from a different manufacturer. You can lock the frame and back wheel with one and the front wheel with the other, buying you even more time.
If you must keep your bike outside, those really heavy & small D-locks like the New York locks are ideal, particularly if it is tethered to something solid. However, if you can possibly bring your bike into the house, definitely do that.
Strava is a great tool and many of us use it to socialise and monitor our progress, but if you are not careful it can also lead people straight to your bike. We have a full post on Strava privacy that you should read but put simply, you need to set your home zones in the privacy settings –one zone for each location your bike is regularly stored at –home, work, usual shopping place etc.
Secondly, we do like using the gear function to monitor the mileage for our bikes and the components on it (particularly chains), but you need to be careful with this too. If you have a £9,000 Pinarello Dogma F8 and the name you give your bike on Strava is “Pinarello Dogma F8” you are asking for trouble. You can give your bike any nickname you like. Give it a human name, perhaps.
It’s also worthwhile setting your account so that you have to accept people before they can follow you.
The big problem here is that many homes simply lack the space or the facilities to store bikes safely and securely. Very few residential streets, particularly the rows of terraces you’ll find in Roath, Cathays, Canton, Riverside and Grangetown have any kind of cycle provision. However, there are solutions out there that the council can provide if it was motivated to do so.
The trouble is, as is so often the case with anything related to cycling around here –if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So, just as we’ve suggested with the 20mph zones, the winter route maintenance and pretty much everything else…
You’ll find your councillors by ward on the Council website. All you need to do is find your councillor and just drop them a quick email to their council mailbox asking that they please provide secure residential bike parking for your street.