Not as safe as it looks. Photo credit www.pedbikeimages.org / Judi Lawson Wallace
A friend of my fiancée got his bike stolen a while back. It was locked up on the SJSU campus and he was away from it for about ten minutes while he peeked into her gallery to offer her a hand. It was also this man's birthday. Surprise - your bike is gone!
While getting a bike swiped on your birthday is especially upsetting, it's an act that always ruins my day - and I'm definitely speaking from experience. Here's a brief recap of the bike thefts I can remember:
- - When I was about seven, I left my bike on a friend's front yard while I ran inside to hustle a popsicle off his mom. When I returned minutes later, my yellow Huffy was gone.
- - A year or so later, the blue Murray I got to replace the Huffy was stolen out of my parents' garage. The thieves let themselves in our back yard, opened the garage, and grabbed my and my sister's bikes. We were all asleep inside. Stupid scary bike thieves!
- - I managed to hang onto my bikes through my teenage years, but just weeks after getting to college my sweet beach cruiser got lifted from the dorm bike racks. U-locks or not, UCSB is a dangerous place for bikes!
- - To replace my vanished means of transport, my dad graciously donated the Nishiki Manitoba he had ridden at least twice in as many years. That lasted a whole year, until it was stolen from my back yard. By this point, my mom was convinced I was on drugs and selling bicycles for cash with which to buy smack. I told her that smack was way too expensive to be paid for with a Nishiki. She didn't find that funny.
So what's my point? This is a blog - it doesn't have to have a point! Still, I think we can all agree that it's frustrating to rely on a mode of transportation that gets relegated to rusted racks, far away from any kind of security staff. While cars park in dry, secured, videotaped garages, our bikes usually have to sit out in the rain and wait for the next opportunist with a pair of bolt cutters to leave us on foot.
Don't let this happen to you! Bring your bike inside when you can. Tell your employer that, if they really want to be bike friendly, they need to provide someplace dry and safe to park. Most importantly - don't ever abandon your bike for a popsicle.