I spent two week last summer teaching both of my girls how to ride their bikes. Last winter, our oldest daughter’s bike was stolen off of our front porch – so we went to the Recyclery to pick out a new-to-us bike. She got a great dirt bike with a frame that one of the bike techs went gaga over when we were taking it for a test ride.
The oldest (who I will henceforth call DJ) had problems believing that the bike will actually work for her. I teased her that she needed to trust her bike, and the first way to trust her bike was to name it. I mean, your bike is your friend, a friend who won’t let you down, so we must give your friend a name. She thought about it and chose the name Blue – short for Blue Cheese, her favorite cheese, the cheese that never lets her down. Yeah, she’s got our twisted sense of humor. After the bike naming session, DJ and Blue worked things out – and DJ was riding her bike.
This made the youngest (who I will henceforth call Indigo) sad because she was working on learning to ride her two wheeler before her older sister. We discovered her issue with learning was related to the fact her bike was too small. At a garage sale soon after, we found the perfect bike for her at the perfect price ($10). Indigo decided that she was going to name her bike Lola. Why Lola? Who knows. But, it was perfect….because it was boy’s bike with a girl’s name kind of reminds me of the song:
“Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
Its a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for lola”
Anyway, Indigo learned how to ride Lola soon after we got the bike. Lola was stolen the other day. The Hubby thought he had locked it up after a bike riding day at her school, but he hadn’t. The Hubby is heart broken because Lola is gone and because it is gone due to his error. It, unfortunately, is the problem with living in the heart of the city. Bikes are easily stolen.
So, for Friday’s Field Trip (see, I had a bigger point to this post than just telling the sad story of Lola the Stolen Bike)…..I give you the list of things to protect your bike and increase your chances of getting it back if it is stolen.
1. Lock it up. Yes, it is obvious, but it still should be stated on a list. I recommend a Kryptonite Lock. They are spendy, but they very difficult to break .
2. Register your Bike on the National Bike Registry . For $10 for 10 years of registration, you can register the serial number of your bike on this National Registry. The Registry will send you a “non-tamper proof” sticker to put on your bike to show it is registered. If recovered, police will be able to find you through the registry. They also have a family registry that registers 5 bikes in a family for 10 years. Oh, and if it is stolen and not recovered in 6 months, they will register your next bike for free.
3. Make sure you have a copy of the bike’s serial number in your records. If it is stolen, you can then file a police report & give them the serial number. If recovered, they can get it back to you instead of the police simply auctioning it off.
4. If it is stolen, list it with Stolen Bicycle Registry . This site offers, for free, the ability for bike shops, pawn shops, police departments, etc to search for serial numbers of bikes they get to see if they were, indeed, stolen. Again, not a guarantee to get the bike back, but raises your chances.
5. If stolen, file a police report. It seems pointless, but if they notice a string of thefts in the same area at the same time, they will react to it by stepping up patrols. And, if they do catch a thief and recover stolen items, they have a greater chance of getting it back to you. This is what our police department advised our neighborhood. Check your local police for their advise.
Another idea if a bike is stolen is to post a note on your local Craig’s List with a description and picture. Some of the local bikes shops who deal in used bikes also use Craig’s List and may see it if it comes into the shop. That, of course, assumes you are in an area with Craig’s List.
So there you go…not a fun Friday Field Trip, but a practical one.
Hope everyone is having a good Friday!