Letter to the Editors: Safeguard Your Bikes

Submitted 18 September 2019

Letter do not necessarily reflect the views of the Quest or the Editorial Board

We are four regular cyclists who work at Reed, two staff members and two faculty members, and we were sorry to see the rash of bike thefts reported in last week’s Community Safety Blotter. Unfortunately, bike theft is very common in Portland. There are some easy things you can do to minimize your risk, and if your bike is stolen, there are resources to increase your chances of recovering it.

First and foremost, never, ever leave your bike unsecured, even for a few minutes. The most common thefts are thefts of convenience, when a bike is left unlocked or locked but not secured to a solid object.

To repeat: Never Leave Your Bike Unsecured.

Second, always use a high quality “U” lock or a “New York” style chain lock. These locks aren’t cheap—they will cost you $40 or more—but anything cheaper is easily defeated by a thief with bolt cutters.

Third, take multiple pictures of your bike, including the serial number. Note anything unique or distinctive. Use this information to register your bike with Community Safety. Many also register with bikeindex.org, a national clearinghouse to help publicize and recover stolen bikes.

If your bike is stolen, immediately inform Community Safety. You may also want to notify the Portland Police, who have a special bike task force. Use bikeindex.org to alert other cyclists that the bike was stolen. And you can monitor @stolenbikepdx, a twitter feed that distributes pictures of bikes recently stolen in Portland.

Bikes can be recovered—one of us recovered two stolen bikes by working with the Portland Police and bikeindex. Using bikeindex leverages the eyes of thousands of Portland cyclists who are just as frustrated as you about bike theft.

Cycling gives you the freedom to move all around our wonderful city and the surrounding area. Just be safe and aware of your surroundings and always lock your bike.

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