Feature image by Robert Prinz, Bike East Bay

According to Sam Cunningham of Manifesto Bikes, bike theft is horrendously common in Oakland and also totally preventable. People commonly make the mistake of locking their wheel, or the piece that connects the seat or the piece that connects the handlebars, but not their frame. All of these components can be detached, leaving the bike free for the taking. Another mistake is to lock your bike to a short pole– the bike can be lifted, lock and all, and slipped right off.

“You need two, good kryptonite U-locks – two of them. One goes around the front wheel and the frame, the other goes around the back wheel from a point on the wheel that’s inside the frame,” says Cunningham. It’s a lot of gear to carry around but the locks come with holders you can ask the bike shop clerks to mount on your bike for you. You also might want a cable lock to secure your seat, especially if you have an expensive one. That’s the fail-safe advice, not to be eschewed especially when biking at night. However, it is possible to keep your bike out of harms way altogether: bring it in with you to work or to your friend’s place, choose cafes with indoor bike hooks, use bike valets and don’t ever leave it locked outside over night. If you have to leave your bike at BART, use the bikelink lockers.

You need two, good kryptonite U-locks – two of them. One goes around the front wheel and the frame, the other goes around the back wheel from a point on the wheel that’s inside the frame.

If your bike does get stolen, file a police report and start keeping tabs on Craigslist. Cunningham says it is very likely that your bike will show up somewhere a few hours away from Oakland. If you do find it, notify the police rather than trying to negotiate with the individual reselling it. Having a picture of your bike that displays all of its distinctive components will come in handy in the event that you need to prove ownership. More tips from Bike East Bay about preventing theft are:

•  Write down your bicycle’s serial number (save and print out the image to the left, and keep the information handy) or put your personal information in the seat tube.
•  See if homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will cover your bicycle.
•  Register your bicycle at the following websites: Bike ShepherdBike Index
Don’t lock your bike in the same place each day. Thieves “case” behavior patterns and thrive on predictability. Lock your bike in a different location each day.
•  Don’t lock up your bicycle outside overnight.
•  Lock your bike to something solid in a visible place that cannot be easily broken, cut or removed. Avoid chain-link fences and wooden railings. Some thieves go so far as to remove bolts from sign posts.
•  Don’t lock bicycles within a big group. A thief can act as if he/she is unlocking a bicycle, but in reality could be cutting the lock and be obscured from view by the surrounding cluster of bicycles.
•  Keep an extra key to your lock in a safe place. Padlocks are the most vulnerable. Don’t use them.
•  Position the key entry of the lock so that it faces the ground, and place your lock as high as possible above the ground to make it harder for a thief to find leverage.
• Use pitlocks on your wheels.
Report stolen bikes in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties using the EBBC Online Stolen Bike Database.

ABOUT THE SERIES

Live Work Oakland’s bike series is brought to you by Hot Italian, the first LEED Certified pizza & panini bar and the first bicycle friendly restaurant in California, open daily 11:30 a until late night with weekend brunch, cocktails, wi-fi, curbside pick-up, and delivery by bike from Emeryville’s Public Market. HOT ITALIAN is a design-driven brand where modern Italy meets urban California and a 2014 East Bay Bike Bike-Friendly business winner.

VISIT HOT ITALIAN AT THE PUBLIC MARKET Open daily 11:30 am & weekend brunch 10:30 am-3:30 pm 5959 Shellmound Street, Emeryville, CA 94608 (510) 922-1369

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