Dear PoPville – How to Make Your Bike Thief-Proof? Plus A Christmas Miracle in July

by Prince Of Petworth July 7, 2011 at 10:30 am 69 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

“Dear PoPville,

I’m looking for some advice on safe bike storage. Yesterday, I discovered that my entire bike had been stolen. I keep it in the alleyway behind my Bloomingdale house, and it is always U-locked. I used my bike everyday, and it is essential to my transportation needs, so I am planning to buy another cheap bike sometime soon.

My question is: What are some best practices on safe/thief-proof bike storage? Should I use a certain type of lock other than a U-lock, and more than one? At my old house, I would store my bike inside. However, my new place in Bloomingdale has less space and very narrow stairwells, so it is really difficult to carry it up and down the several flights of narrow stairs everyday. Should I just (wo)man up and store it inside, despite the aforementioned daily obstacles, or are there better ways to store it outside that your readers can clue me in on?

UPDATE: In a twisted turn of events, my stolen bike was recovered. The man who bought it was literally sitting on my front stoop with said missing item. You can’t write this stuff.

YES! I still cannot believe it myself. I filled out the police report just yesterday, and with a heavy sense of acceptance that my bike was in ether.

I arrived home around 7 pm, lo and behold, I see one older man sitting on my front stairwell and one younger man on a bike right next to it (which in and of itself is weird since it’s not their house). I take a closer look at the bike, and I realize that it’s mine. I somehow stammer out the words, “That’s my bike!! Where did you get it?” The younger guy replies that he bought it for $20 yesterday. The older man is yelling at him to give it back to me, and he finally gives in. My suspicion is that someone in the neighborhood must have stolen it and sold it to this younger guy. But seriously…what is the probability that my stolen bike reappears right in front of my doorstep at the exact time I get home for the day?? Unbelievable.

The truly bizarre thing is that my ulock is still intact on the bike. There’s a little dent on the side, which makes me think that they tried to cut it, but were unsuccessful. However, it was locked to an iron fence, and yet it’s still completely on my bike and usable…So strange!

So, I am still in the same conundrum (but more so now since I have my same bike to lose): Given the circumstances that I described to you earlier, how do I make sure that my bike isn’t stolen…again?”

Any guesses on how the ulock is still intact? Sadly, it seems the best solution is to take the bike inside everyday.


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