Florida Bike Month Positive Spin #4 – Proactive Prevention
Today we welcome guest blogger Lt. Katie Heck, Community Services / Public Information Specialist of the Punta Gorda Police Department:
March is Florida’s bicycle month, and the weather is just perfect for rides at all times of the day. As you may be pulling your bicycle out of the garage now that winter is past, now is a good time to review some good practices for theft prevention so you can enjoy your rides.
Most thieves are opportunists, so the easiest way to defeat them is making your bike hard to steal. In the vast majority of bicycle thefts, bikes were unlocked, improperly locked, or locked with inadequate devices such as lightweight cables. You should always carry a secure lock whenever you plan to leave your bike unattended. Always lock you’re your bicycle through its frame and both wheels to an approved bicycle parking rack, preferably one with a thick frame. Lock all free parts of the bicycle or take them with you – nothing is worse than returning to a frame with one wheel…or just the wheel and no frame.
Another step in properly locking up your bicycle is choosing a location by balancing protection and visibility. Use dedicated bike parking or a commercial parking area as those areas are likely to have foot traffic by honest people, and won’t afford a thief much opportunity to work on breaking a lock. Also, use your lock at home. If you have an open garage or carport, your bicycle is as much at risk for theft as one left in a commercial area.
Most law enforcement agencies offer some type of bicycle registration, making a lost or stolen bicycle easier to identify. Registering your bicycle when it is purchased is an easy way to ensure you’ll have all the pertinent information needed for law enforcement should you ever need to report it stolen. (Editor’s note: You may also register your bicycle with Rejjee, see below.)
Following these simple recommendations will help ensure you are able to enjoy cycling through Florida without falling victim to theft. Enjoy the spring weather!
Rejjee, Inc., the smart way to manage all of your valuables, has been selected by the Florida Bicycle Association to be their official bicycle registry to help reduce bike theft and increase recovery of stolen bikes. Register your ride for FREE at SAFE Bikes – use code FLBikes and Rejjee will donate $3 to Florida Bicycle Association!
Complete Streets Savvy, or CSS, is a general, non-confrontational bicycle educational presentation. The purpose is to provide basic information with regards to the Florida Department of Transportation’s adoption of Complete Streets policy and how cyclists and motorists can share the road safely. This presentation runs 10 – 15 minutes and is designed for legislators, civic organizations and other entities that meet regularly and need informative content. There is no fee. Make your request for CSS today!
Do you have a bicycle story to tell? Photos to share? Be our guest and be our next guest blogger! Send your story and photos to Becky@floridabicycle.org. Speaking of stories, our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure. Visit the FBA website Home page or click here. Want a hard copy of our Messenger? Join Florida Bicycle Association or visit one of our bicycle shop members!