Published: February 1, 2023
5 Ways to Keep Your Wheels Secure
Spoiler Alert: All locks are not created equal!
You did it – you ditched your gas-powered car and instead are throwing a leg over the seat of your bike (or your feet atop a scooter or skateboard) and using pedal power to get where you need to be. There’s sunshine on your face and your shadow stretching behind you. Do you know one way to quickly lose those feel-good vibes, though? Having your bike stolen outside your favorite coffee shop or local grocery store.
We never, ever want that to happen to you. So, let’s talk about getting your bike locked up and safe – and how to make this part of your ride a habit. While these tips are not 100% guaranteed to protect your bike or other wheel-powered equipment from theft, they will minimize your chances of becoming an easy target.
- Don’t ever (ever) leave your ride unlocked and unattended. Even for a few seconds. Even in your own garage or the front yard…or, yeah, in front of that cool coffee shop.
- Not all locks are created equal. Lock your bike or scooter with a U-lock or metal-linked chain, not a flimsy cable lock. Better yet, use multiple locks! Do some digging. Many new locks offer added anti-theft protection insurance as a bonus.
- Lock your frame properly to a secured object (a post, fence, etc.) or rack and through the wheels. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen someone not actually lock their ride to the rack or run a cable through the wheel that can easily be released.
- At home, keep your alternative ride in a secure, locked storage area or room if you can. And lock it up with that same trusty heavy-duty lock. You can never be too careful. The inconvenience of locking your bike or scooter at home is nothing compared to the inconvenience of replacing a stolen one.
- If you need to put your bike or scooter inside your car, definitely cover it and keep your car locked.
Yikes! Your ride has been stolen. Now what do you do?
These are a few tips that we’ve found helpful, along with some preventative steps to make recovering your lost property a lot easier.
- Report the theft to the police as soon as possible. It’s helpful to give them a picture of the bike or scooter along with a thorough description – the color, make, model, unique characteristics, and serial number. The City of Santa Cruz Police Department has an online bike registration process, and so do other local Santa Cruz County jurisdictions.
- Spread the word by posting the picture and description of your bike or scooter on your local dedicated social media community pages.
- Check Craigslist or other virtual marketplaces, especially if your ride is worth more than $500.
- Keep an eye out for your ride – a lot of stolen bikes or scooters don’t travel far!
With these tips, hopefully you’ll never have to experience the pain of your ride going missing. But in the event that it does, you’ll have it returned in no time. If you have other helpful tips, please let us know, and we can add them to our list. The more informed we can all be, the better. Keep your wheels secure!