Friday, 19 June 2015

Bike Safety Solution?

Our company built a locked bike cage this year to ensure bike safety for employees. A heavy duty padlock on the gate, video cameras recording from both sides and individual bike locks should provide adequate security. Unfortunately, it does not.

My bike was stolen June 5th when thieves removed the bolts on the latch and cut my cable lock. You can read all about that here. I was shocked to see how quick and easy it is to steal a bike. The latch bolts have now been welded in place.

Another bike was stolen June 15th. This time the thief ran up the stairs, jumped over the fence and tossed the bike over the gate before climbing out and riding off. Thieves are fast. 

The cameras show us when and how the bikes are stolen, but hats and glasses combined with blurry video images make face recognition impossible. Thieves know this. They also know there are very few consequences if they get caught. Bike theft is their sport. They like it.

How can we make this cage safe? I don't think it's possible. If we put a top on the enclosure, the thieves can cut the fence. Apparently, chain link opens like a curtain once it is cut. 

Perhaps, If the bikes are cheap and old, thieves will leave them alone. I don't own an old clunker and I don't want one. I want to enjoy my ride on a bike that functions. 
I've been riding my oldest bike to work this week and parking inside the office. My boss returns from vacation on Monday. Since I don't want to lose my bike to thieves, I'll drive and see if parking inside is allowed now. 
This is my oldest and most compact bike. It fits nicely between and behind the cabinets across from my desk. Can you see it?
These photos show my view of the door and front windows. I have to stand up to see my bike and pack.
My bike is also hidden from view from my boss's office.
You might wonder who is impacted by bike parking at our location. There are approximately 250 unionized plant employees both full-time and part-time spread over two shifts - days and afternoons. There are 20 administration staff including managers and supervisors. The bike cage has been available for use since April - only four keys including mine have been signed out. The cage is big enough to hold four bikes.

The other bike that was stolen belonged to a part-timer. He borrowed it from his Dad for the summer. Biking to work takes him 20 mins. The bus takes much longer, plus it stops service before our afternoon shift ends. He replaced his stolen Raleigh mountain bike with a Super Cycle which Canadian Tire sells for $99 new.

One full-timer on the afternoon shift was riding to work and getting a ride home, so she wouldn't have to cycle in the dark.

Another part-timer has a key. I think she lives within walking distance, but riding is faster. I'm not sure if she is still riding.

I know one other person who had his old bike stolen from a bike rack in our parking lot last summer. He would like to ride, but will not risk leaving a good bike in the cage and has not replaced his old bike.

One supervisor expressed an interest in riding his son's bike which cost ~$500 new, but he doesn't want to risk losing it. 

So about six people are interested in riding. That's it out of 250+ people. 

Parking inside was OK up until a couple years ago. Finding space inside the plant to store multiple bikes is difficult, if not impossible now.  

realize my solution for the front office is self-serving, but I really don't want to lose another bike to thieves. Let's hope my Bike Safety Solution is approved. I'd like to get back to worry-free riding.

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