The Cycling Column: Bike Theft

There is no feeling worse than coming out of a restaurant, pub or gym and going to the railings were you locked your bike .. and finding nothing there, to the prepared thief, every rack is a buffet. The thief knows a simple pair of aviation snips cuts through that cable like butter.

Okay, in the context of world peace, famine, the saga which is Brexit this seem rather trivial, however if its your bike, then this a disaster, for most a bicycle is simply not just a bicycle, its part of your personality.

With nearly 400,000 bicycles stolen each year, it turns out you need more than just a good lock to stay safe. To date I have yet to be a victim of any bicycle related crime, apart from my brief donning of bib shorts (trust me, the image of twiglets dominates). I wouldn’t consider myself especially lucky in that respect but according to crime data over 380,000 bicycles are stolen each year, which is roughly one every 90 seconds. In fact my son (Eli) had his bike stolen from outside the Leamington Library on a busy Saturday afternoon, this highlights the blatant disregard we are fighting.

A new national survey provides an insight into bike ownership, theft profiles and the most popular security measures used to protect them including locking, marking and registration.

Commissioned by BikeRegister, the national cycle database, the survey exposes bike habits of nearly 1,400 cyclists across the UK including how much they spend on a bike, how they protect it and what their hopes are for cycling in the future.

It found that bike theft occurs from a wide range of locations, but most common is from home – 61 per cent – often from a shed or garage, outside shops –18 per cent – and outside work – 11.5 per cent. The survey shows that of the 1,386 respondents, 50 per cent have had a bike stolen. Of those, more than 43 per cent have had two bikes or more stolen.

Personally I feel the best way to prevent bike theft is to acquire the best approved lock money can buy, lock it to something secure, two locks are better than one and remove any accessories, ie lights etc. C’mon let’s make it difficult for the thieves!!

Scot Whitlock
Editor, CADENCE Cycling Magazine
Whitlock McCann Media Ltd

Twitter: cadencemag  Website:

Author, ‘Simple Words from the Saddle, Simply More Words from the Saddle & The Way of St James’
Twitter: @saddlescot
Columnist at Dorset Eye and Leamington Courier