Tag Archives: Theft

It’s a Hard Bike Life for Me

It always amazes me how the mind of a bike thief works. My bike means so much more to me than it will to the thief for the part they stole. For the last three months, I have used my bike to get everywhere- to work, the store, to meet a friend for a drink- simply because I can’t afford to fix my car. I actually am starting to enjoy commuting by bike- I save lots of money on gas, get some exercise and don’t add more pollutants to the air. Luckily, most places I need to go aren’t too far away. The reason I purchased a bike a few years ago was to make getting around Tempe much easier and it’s been wonderful! But nothing seems to stop a bike thief. They are out looking for an opportunity. As much as I think I take precautions to avoid this, I’m not as careful as I should be. I guess I thought it wasn’t really fair to spend extra time whenever I need to lock it up to make sure all parts are secure and double locked. But even so, my bike has been the victim of theft many times on the Tempe campus or light rail stations, but also now in front of my own apartment. This time it was my seat that went missing, which makes a bike ride very uncomfortable. I also noticed that my cup holder was cut, not missing, but only tampered with. It just gets so very discouraging! I don’t really want to buy anything cute or expensive for my bike to make it stand out to a thief or anyone else walking by my bike.

But I guess when parking my bike at home, I should just carry the bike up to my third floor apartment to minimize theft risk to almost zero. I can handle a little more exercise! Plus it’s worth the feeling of insurance that my bike will be there when I need to get to work or school in the morning.

I sort of wish there were bike theft detectives to help with this problem because police really are too busy to worry about this and have a very low recovery rate for stolen bikes and probably also for parts. Tempe is one of the worst cities for bike theft. I don’t even have to look it up! (See my video interview with the Sgt. Stewart, Tempe police officer.)

So I’m back at the tireless circle of what prompted me to start this blog- theft. Ugggh! What’s a cyclist to do? It’s sad to say but nothing more than vent and take more action against bike theft in the future.

Preventing Bike Theft at ASU

I decided to get acquainted with the cyclists on the Tempe campus. I wondered around with my camera in the heat and sun. Well actually, I rode my bike and that’s not easy when carrying a tripod. So I set up a video camera in various locations and watched as people flew by on all sorts of bikes. Not just bikes though. I saw scooters, skateboards, mopeds, motor-assisted bikes, even roller blades! But I just wanted to see and talk to cyclists for this video. So after a few days of filming, I started asking questions to any biker who had a minute to talk. Over a week and a half, I interviewed many students and an ASU police officer specializing in crime prevention. Check out the video below to see what they had to say.

Started the school year with stolen wheels

Editors note: Minor corrections made on 9-6-11.

The fall semester at Arizona State University started last week. In preparation I pulled my blue Schwinn out of hibernation. In mid-June, I fell on gravel leaving a deep gash on my arm and painful road rash. Now I felt ready to hop on my two-wheeler again. Last school year, I was seen peddling as my primary transportation around town, on campus and to the light rail.  I take pride living in a bike friendly city, not to mention enjoy saving money on gas and a pricey parking permit.

Thursday was the first day of school. Within five minutes, I reached the light rail stop at University and Rural roads on ASU campus. I walked over to the bike racks and choose chose a spot to lock up. After securing the bike frame to a rack with a Kryptonite U-lock, I considered its safety for only a second and walked off to catch the train. Read more