I was with a friend on a Friday evening not too long ago and we were enjoying a delicious burger and fries, and of course having a beer to cap off a night ride along the West Side Greenway Bike Path.
Our bikes were locked up and within eye site the whole time we were eating.
We finished our beers and headed back to the bike rack when we both noticed that my friend’s bike had been stolen.
All that was left were remnants of an old lock cable cut into pieces. It took us less than a minute to realize what had happened and that even having the bike in eye site could not prevent it from getting stolen.
If this has happened to you, we know that feeling and we’re here to help. Here are several ways to cope with getting your bike stolen and tips on how to prevent it from happening again.
1. Cheer Up Pal, It Can Happen To Anyone
Bike theft is apart of a cyclist’s life – plain and simple. This can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. The best thing you can do is accept that it’s gone and start your search for a new bike as well as a quality bike lock.
2. Join A Bike-Community Support Group AKA - Your Friends That You Ride With
They will be able to walk you through what you’re feeling. There’s a good chance some of them have had one of their bikes stolen in the past and they know what you’re going through.
3. Start Riding Again!
Whether it’s riding your friend’s back up bike or hopping on one of those sexy Citi Bikes, get out there and ride again. The best kind of therapy for losing a bike is to ride a new one.
4. Don't Forget Why You Started Riding Bikes In The First Place
Think back to the days when you would cruise the city with friends and grab a beer off the bike path. And remember how the best part of it was that you were not at work!
5. Purchase A New Bike
Although the pain of losing your bike is still fresh, you can purchase a new one that you’ve had your eye on. Maybe this time around you get the make, model, and bells and whistles that were perhaps missing from your previous bike. Who knows - you might even like this one better than the other one?
6. Invest In A Quality Bike Lock
U-Lock, U-Lock, U-Lock!
I can’t say it enough. I highly recommend purchasing a quality U-Lock for your bike, maybe even two. Okay two is a bit excessive but they are the strongest bike theft deterrent in my opinion. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
7. Stay With Your Bike At All Times
I’ve heard of people who don’t even bother with purchasing locks for their bikes and just take it with them wherever they go.
Whether it’s at a desk at the office, walking it through the store to pick up a few items, or even eating outside with it right next to you, always having a close eye on your bike is a foolproof method for preventing theft.
8. Check Craigslist For Your Stolen Bike
I wouldn’t put my hopes in this but then again, you never know. There is a very small chance your recently lifted bike has been listed for sale on Craigslist.
However if you do find your exact bike for sale, do not exchange information with this person who listed it for any type of meet up like this woman did a few years ago.
Instead file a report with the authorities and let them handle it and stay safe. If a person is low enough to steal your bike they’re probably not someone you want to meet up with.
9. Learn How To Properly Lock Up Your Bike
I am guilty of doing this wrong on so many occasions but once you learn the proper technique, you'll never lock your bike up any other way. Check out Kryptonite's full breakdown for a proper lock-up here.