I walked downtown yesterday.
Normally, I would cycle but I needed a haircut, and wanted to explore the new, flagship Nordstrom store without having to worry about my bike. You do have to worry about your bike downtown.
Look at what is left of this bike.
Look carefully. Look what was stolen. Handlebars. Stem. Forks. Brakes. Seat post. Saddle. And, wheels. The thief came prepared with a toolbox. You might think this bike was locked in a lane way out of sight. No. This bike was locked in the heart of the retail district on the busiest corner in the city. You would think that would deter anyone. Apparently not.
There are over 2,000 bikes stolen in the city every year. During the summer months, 8-10 are stolen every day. More bikes are stolen than cars. And, the numbers increase every year.
I have had 1 bike stolen in 30 years. And, that was a long time ago. I suppose you could say that’s not bad. Or, that I’m a fast learner. How do I do it? How have I outsmarted the thieves for so long? It’s simple. I don’t lock my bikes outside. I take them into the office and park them next to my desk. I take them into stores when I’m shopping. Or, if that isn’t possible, I leave them at home like I did yesterday.
Chas: “I would have liked Nordstrom.”
I’m fortunate. I work in an environment that encourages and supports cycling. If I couldn’t take my bikes into the office, I likely wouldn’t cycle. That is what has always stopped me before. It’s not the infrastructure. It’s not having a shower or a place to change. I haven’t wanted to worry about my bike locked outside, unattended. They are too easy to steal.
I do ride and lock Thatch at the gym where I workout. I’m ok with that. The bike lock up area is right next to the main entrance to the club, out of site from the street traffic. I never take Lou or Chas.
Thatch: “What’s that mean? You don’t care if I get stollen.”
I would be upset if Thatch was stollen. We have spent many enjoyable years together. It’s just she would be easier, and less expensive to replace. And, that’s the thing. The strategy. Older, less expensive bikes are less likely to be stollen. I keep Thatch in good working order but she doesn’t get the attention that Chas and Lou get. She’s purposely nondescript.
Thatch: “Hey! Watch what you say. I look pretty good for my age.”