So I was doing my usual perusing through Twitter this morning, when I came across this retweeted post from @MetroMorning.
@SineadBrown I just did this and then realized that I might be a crazy person. Toronto Bike Thieves, you have made me this way: pic.twitter.com/Zyz2GJPopn
I love this sign – both agree and disagree with it – but it really says a lot about the serious problem of bike stealing and how desperate some people feel after their bike is taken from them.
I’m not going to get into my own psychological analysis of why people steal bikes. To me their issues run a lot deeper than simply look at a Help Wanted Ad and get a job. However, stealing bikes is a serious issue we face in Toronto. Toronto police report that over 3,000 bikes were stolen in 2011.
But I want @SineadBrown to know that, maybe if she’s really lucky, the thief may return her bike because it happened to me.
The Story Of A Nice Bike Thief
I used to live on a main Toronto street on top of a store. I always locked my bike up right in front of my place (not Grandpa’s, my other one *see below). One day I locked it up by the front wheel only (never, ever do this). So someone came and unhinged the wheel and took the rest of my bike.
When I saw the lasting remains of my bike, I was devastated. This was my mode of transportation; it’s how I got everywhere, and it was my freedom! I remember being so upset I told everyone who walked by about my stolen bike and how pissed off I was. Some people cared, others just walked quickly pass me. Just like @SineadBrown, I felt like a crazy person. I’m pretty sure a single tear rolled down my cheek that day.
Later that day, I was supposed to meet up with a friend for dinner. I was mad because it meant I had to leave my house 30 minutes earlier than usual to take the horrendous TTC to College St. But lo and behold, when I left my house, my bike had returned! There, sitting on the post like it never left me, was my bike reunited with its wheel. I was thrilled (again I think a single tear rolled down my cheek).
I figured the person who stole my bike must have seen how much it upset me. And so the thief took the time to sit and think about what he/she had done. I was so happy I yelled thank you in hopes the thief would hear me.
I don’t know what drives people to steal bikes. But to help stop it – lock up your bike and lock it up properly.
Here’s some good tips from Kryptonite Lock website:
- Always lock your bike, especially at home. This includes your garage, patio, yard, college residence hall, apartment building, when carrying on a car rack, etc.
- Lock your bike in a well-lit area where there are other bikes.
- Do not lock your bike in the same location all the time.
- Make sure your bike cannot be lifted over the object it is locked to.
- Create a snug fit with wheels and frame so that there is little space in the u-portion of the u-lock for a thief’s tools.
- Do not lock your bike to itself – front wheel or rear wheel to frame.
- Always position your u-lock with keyway facing down..
- If you’re only locking one wheel, it is recommended that you capture the rear wheel as part of your lock-up. Replacement cost for the rear wheel can be up to double the cost of the front wheel.