Taking a Bike Out of Crime, By the Numbers

by J Allard May 7, 2014   Bike Theft

An oft heard quote among cycling circles is attributed to Greg Lemond: “There are two types of cyclists. Those who have fallen and those who are going to fall.” It’s a pithy way of saying riding your bike is a numbers game. Odds are, if you ride a lot, eventually you’re going to lose the battle with gravity and hit the dirt (or the pavement).

bicycle locked to curb stable post

Right now, the growing tide of bike theft seems to be almost as inevitable as crashing. Bike shops hear it all the time when customers come in for a new bike. They look at the different styles, materials, and features, but choose the least expensive bike—even when it is not the bike they really want. This choice is sometimes a budgetary limitation, but more often than not a customer’s reason for buying the nicer bike is simply “It’s just going to be stolen.”

A pernicious sense of apathy and acceptance has settled in. People expect to be robbed of their bikes. It’s easy to see why, when you look at it by the numbers.

1 bike stolen every 30 seconds

2 every minute

120 every hour

2880 every day

1,051,200 every year

In case those numbers still don’t seem big enough, how does this one strike you?

$400,000,000.

That’s the current estimate of annual sales of stolen bikes each year. Anecdotal reports place the odds of a cyclist having a bike stolen at over 50%. When you look at it this way, it would seem there are two types of cyclists: Those who have had a bike stolen and those whose bikes are going to be stolen.

This is unacceptable to us at Project 529. We are committed to leading the charge to create wholesale change in this criminal “industry” that’s been running rampant in our country. To this end, we are collaborating with law enforcement agencies, and forming alliances with industry manufacturers and bike shops around the country. We believe that we can take many of those zeros out of that $400,000,000 stolen goods industry. We are determined to redefine the odds of theft, but we need your help.

We need you to decide you will no longer accept bike theft as inevitable. We need you to remain silent no longer. We need you to demand your bikes be as protected and secure as any other vehicle. We need you to register your bikes to protect them and assure their safe return in the unfortunate event they are stolen.

Join us. Sign the petition. Spread the word.


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