This month has seen the launch of the new Barclays bike scheme in London. With docking stations located throughout the city, you can now jump on a bike any time of the day or night, all year round. It’s self-service and there’s no booking, you simply turn up and cycle off. What’s more the first 30 minutes are absolutely free!
The new scheme is a secure, easy, environmentally friendly way to travel around the city. However, the news isn’t so great for actual bike owners – as cycle theft remains an ever increasing problem. The Home Office reported that 109,581 bikes were stolen in Britain last year.
London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has some good advice to offer cyclists to help them beat the thieves and keep their cycle safe.
Here are some good security measures to consider:
- Use 2 secure-rated locks and lock both wheels and the frame.
- Lock the frame to a solid, immovable object like a bike stand.
- Use 2 different types of lock (chain/cable and D-lock).
- Take all your bike accessories with you when you leave it unattended.
Try not to leave your bike in a dark, secluded location. Also, don’t leave it locked to something where it can be raised up and lifted over a post (remember that signs can be unscrewed). Drainpipes are not a good option as they can be easily shattered. If you leave a lock lying at ground level, it can make it easier to smash open.
The LCC website has lots of useful hints and tips, including some handy videos on how to lock your bike. You could also consider security tagging your bike – so police can trace the ownership back to you if it’s lost or stolen. For more information on security marking your valuables, check out Immobilise – The UK National Property Register.
Alongside efficient bike security, it’s also wise to have adequate insurance to cover your bike. If you already have home contents insurance – it’s normally simple to add your bike to this policy. Some home insurance providers might automatically cover bikes under a certain value (within ‘possessions taken outside the home’) so it’s worth checking. Also, as mentioned above, always lock your bike to something strong and solid. Some insurers will deem your claim invalid if you did not secure your bike to something immovable.