Monday, September 17, 2012

Bicycle Safety and Security

Bicycles are enjoying a rebirth as a popular and practical choice of transport. Whether you live in an area poorly served by public buses and trains, or you live in the heart of city where traffic jams are a nightmare, or even if you’re trying to embrace the race to become green; bicycles are likely a big part of your life. They can also be a very expensive part and you should consider looking into something like swiftcover house insurance so that you’re covered in any incident. But good home cover doesn’t mean we should become lax with our bike security. Keeping them safe is your responsibility.

1.) Locking Your Bike
This should go without saying; you should always lock your bike when you’re leaving it unattended. Whether it’s just outside the shop for thirty seconds, or it’s in your closed and secured garage; bikes are inherently easy to steal and escape with. Modern bikes are a lot lighter than their predecessors and pulling one into a van or car is simple for even the smallest of burglars, failing that they’re built to be ridden! Lock your bike at all times to an unmovable object, lampposts, fences etc.

2.) Choosing The Right Lock
Locking isn’t always enough, unfortunately. Bikes are stolen every day that were “secured” and thieves are becoming increasingly familiar with how to disable this protection. Chains can now be pulled apart or even cut with smaller and smaller power tools. Your best option is to opt for a solid U-Lock design which has no engineered weak points and offers no stretches or changing of position, it cannot be manipulated into an easily breakable form.

3.) In Amongst The Crowd
This sounds a little defeatist, but you should try and lock your bike in an area where there are other bikes too. You can be fairly confident that there will be another bike nearby that will be less securely protected than yours will. Thieves are opportunistic and they will follow the path of least resistance.

4.) Change Your Routine
Try not to lock your bicycle in the same place, at the same time every day. Thieves will notice a pattern and know exactly when it is likely to be left unattended, and how long for. Switching it up every so often will likely put off any wrong doers waiting in the wings.

5.) Where Not To Lock
Don’t lock your bike to anything illegal. There are a lot of people who find their bikes being taken away by the police or the local authorities because they’ve been secured to private property. You’ll likely find it easier to get your bike back from these organizations, but you’ll find yourself paying a fine for its return.

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