Bike Theft: The Silver (and Gold) Lining

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If there’s a silver lining to having your bikes stolen, it’s the growing anti-theft network.

Cyclists are banding together digitally to help fight bike crime. Online tools can be exceedingly effective for not only getting the word out but getting the bikes back.

And then there’s the social aspect to it. Once I posted my loss on one list, I started hearing back from friends and associates all over. Most of them are connected with the bike culture, but I also got pinged by non-biking folks.

Jenny Oh’s San Francisco-based site is particularly wired. It seems that clubs, shops and bloggers are plugged into Jenny’s Google group. I heard about it from Epicenter Cycling in Santa Cruz, posted my sad tale, and within minutes was hearing from bike compatriots all over the Bay Area.

I also blogged here on BikeIntelligencer, of course. And tweeted. And linked to Facebook’s BikeIntelligencer page.

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz hosts a bike theft page as well, with lots of great tips. But beware: I followed each and every one, and my bikes still got stolen. A shop friend told me he locks his 4 bikes together INSIDE his apartment with a New York Fuhgettaboudit lock under the assumption that there’s no way 4 bikes would fit through a doorway.

The gold embroidery of the silver lining to bike theft: The sympathy factor. It’s a good feeling to know so many people have your back. Plus it just boosts your chances all that more of your bikes being found.

So far, nothing yet. I’m checking Craigslist and eBay. My friend Dave Smith at has the local posse out. All the shops I know are keeping an eye out as well for a fully tricked Pivot Firebird and Ibis Mojo SL.



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1 thought on “Bike Theft: The Silver (and Gold) Lining”

  1. Hi Paul,

    You can add Bike Shepherd to that mix. BS is a free to cyclists platform where they can register, list stolen bikes, view stolen and recovered bikes, send out stolen bike alerts, link up with our Bike Detective army on FB and T and…buy a Pulse ID set of tags, if they’re motivated. The tags are scannable using free mobile apps on smartphones. Scanning a tag gives instant status of the bike: stolen/not stolen. The user of the phone (police, Good Samaritan, potential buyer) can immediately see the bike’s status, and from the phone, contact the real owner through the BS platform. The entire platform is geo-coded showing where bikes have been stolen…and found. Check it out. Bike Shepherd is in Canada, US and the UK. Soon, they will have sites in France, Spain, Portugal, Brazil and Germany. To buy a Bike Shepherd tag, you can go to your nearest REI, MEC in Canada, selected stores in the US and any of 1800 stores in the UK. Or you can buy them online from the Bike Shepherd website. Sales of the tags provides all the free stuff to cyclists and they’re an excellent deterrent to cycle crime as they’re very difficult to get three of them off. Any questions, email me.


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