FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Portland Bike Shops Offer Free Bike Registration on 5/29
in Partnership with Local Startup Project 529
On May 29th, participating bike shops throughout the Portland metropolitan area will be offering free bike registration, in partnership with Project 529—a local start-up that is targeting bike theft by merging a high tech mobile app with community activation.
PORTLAND, OR, MAY 23, 2014—Portland-based Project 529 aims to put a dent in the stolen bike market through an innovative registration and recovery service called the 529 Garage. The 529 Garage merges a high tech smart phone application with good old-fashioned neighborhood watch community participation to target the bike theft problem.
Using the 529 Garage app, cyclists can quickly capture identifying features of their bikes which can be broadcast to the 529 community and social networks in the event of theft in just a few minutes. The 529 Garage was designed with input from local law enforcement who support the community engagement and activation process as a major component in combating bike theft.
“We’re software developers who love bikes,” said J Allard, the company’s founder. Necessity being the mother of invention, Allard conceived of the 529 Garage after having his bike stolen, then recovered, then struggling to get it returned from the police evidence room. “Through my personal experience I discovered the pervasiveness of bike theft, and was astounded to learn it’s a $400 Million problem annually.” After spending entire days painstakingly tracking down the thief electronically, Allard realized there was an opportunity to harness the collective power of the Internet and the cycling community and industry to more effectively thwart bike theft.
Through strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as SRAM—a leading manufacturer of bike parts—and actively engaging local bike shops, Project 529 is pioneering an industry-wide approach to thwarting bike theft.
The 529 Garage is more than just another bike registry service; beyond merely collecting serial numbers and other identifying details, the app connects usersin a growing and engaged network of like-minded cyclists, all dedicated to stamping out bike theft. Since the beta release of the iPhone app four weeks ago at the Sea Otter Cycling Classic, over $2M worth of bikes have been registered and the service has already helped recover a stolen bike. As more riders opt-in and register their bikes and the network expands, both the level of theft deterrent and the likelihood of recovery exponentially increases.
To enhance the 529 Garage service, the company has developed the 529 Shield—a sticker that provides a serialized, tamper-proof identifier. The 529 Shield offers multiple levels of protection: it provides unique identification as well as a psychological deterrent, the way an home security sign might deter a burglar looking for an easy target.
On May 29th local bike shops throughout the Portland metropolitan area, will provide free bike registrations, in partnership with Project 529. The event is a pilot program in which participating shops will receive training and support, as they register bikes using the app and place Shields—normally a $10 product—free on customers’ bikes. It is the first step in a national bike shop rollout. Registration in Portland will take place in more than a dozen locations on 5/29, in anticipation of a West Coast tour and national bike shop rollout during 2014.
In addition to registrations, pilot bike shops are also collecting signatures for the petition requesting eBay and Craigslist require serial numbers on all bike sales. While listing serial numbers won’t prevent criminals from selling stolen bikes, it would put a speed bump in their path by throttling these large scale channels.
“A bike is stolen every 30 seconds, on average,” said Project 529 Founder J Allard. “As we were working with local law enforcement agencies developing the 529 Garage, we were astounded to hear their anecdotal numbers for stolen bikes finding their way to Craigslist and eBay. We think it’s utterly ridiculous thieves are able to use technology to easily profit from our losses. Including serial numbers is a simple change that will allow victims to effectively search for their stolen property and for potential buyers to make more informed purchasing decisions.”
Cyclists are encouraged to visit the following participating bike shops during normal business hours on May 29th to register their bikes, free of charge:
Bike N Hike (Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Milwaukie locations)
Crank 2725 SE Ash Street, Portland, OR 97214
Cyclepath 2436 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212
Hi-5 Bikes 3935 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212
The Lumberyard 2700 NE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97220
Revolver 6509 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR 97217
Sunset Cycles 15320 NW Central Drive, Portland, OR 97229
The Bike Commuter 8301 SE 13th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202
West End Bikes 1111 SW Stark St, Portland, OR 97205
About Project 529
Founded in 2013, Project 529 is a diverse team of idealists in Portland, Oregon who believe technology can materially enhance the cycling experience. Their first product, the 529 Garage, aims at keeping more bikes where they belong—with their rightful owners. For more information or questions, contact Jason Scott at Project 529 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the latest from Project 529, visit us at www.project529.com
Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/project529
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/project529