Bicycling is a fun and healthy sport. However, bicycle owners must take certain precautions to guard against possible theft and damage of their bicycle.
Keeping Your Bike and Yourself Safe While on the Road
- A bike locked with a heavy chain and lock is less likely to be stolen.
- Proof of ownership must be established by registration, sales receipt, or record of frame number in order to recover your stolen bike.
- Unfortunately, the recovery rate on a stolen bicycle is extremely low.
One of the first things you should do after purchasing a bicycle is to record the serial number, model and brand name. The serial number is the only proof of identification that cannot be questioned and will speed the recovery process if found.
Besides taking precautions against theft or damage of your bike, a bicyclist needs to be aware of all traffic laws for their personal safety. Bicyclists are subject to arrest for moving violations just as motorists are.
Basic Bicycling Rules
- You, the bicycle rider, must obey all traffic laws in the same manner as a motor vehicle operator.
- You must yield to pedestrians on crosswalks, signal when making a turn, and not obstruct traffic.
- You should ride with traffic on the same side of the street, stop for all stop signs, and obey traffic signals.
- Bikes operated during hours of dusk, dark, or dawn must show a white light, or reflector in front and a red light, or reflector in the rear.
- When riding at night always wear reflective clothing.
After you have safely reached your destination and are preparing to park you bike, do so in a manner that will discourage potential tampering and keep your bike safe while you are away.
- Park your bike where you can keep it in sight, if at all possible.
- Park the bicycle in a well-lighted place at night, even if it is a little farther away from your destination.
- Always lock your bike with a heavy-duty chain. The chain should be put through all moveable parts, such as both wheels, the frame, and the pedal assemble. The lock on this chain should be case-hardened.
- Attach the chain at some point to a non-moveable object. (Bicycle rack, fence, etc.)
In Addition to Protecting Your Bicycle
- Register your bike. Check with the local police department about their registration program.
- Keep a file. Record your bike’s serial number. Include sales receipt and a photograph of your bike.
- Mark your bike. Engrave your driver’s license or other ID numbers on your bike. (The police may have an engraving tool you may use.)
- Consider insurance for your bike. Check with an insurance agent about coverage.
If your bike is stolen or damaged, report this to the authorities immediately, and have all registration information available to assist them in recovering your bike. Remember, bicycling can be fun and safe if you keep the above tips in mind. Prevent all possible thefts or damage from occurring, and don't become a victim!