It is estimated that an average of 26 bikes are stolen each day in Amsterdam. The aggravation, financial impact, and sense of violation that this can bring is clear from the many mamas who report their losses on our Facebook page. In response, we have rallied round with our top tips for reducing the risk of bike theft.
Our Top Tips for Deterring Bike Thieves
1. Have at least two locks.
2. Always attach your bike to something fixed. Otherwise, thieves can simply lift it up and pop it in a van.
3. Put the air valve next to the rear lock. Though thieves may be able to bust open the lock, they will not want to risk deflating the tyre in the process.
4. Spend more on the lock than on the bike. If the bike is just for you and doesn’t need to transport the family, buy a tatty second-hand bike and an expensive lock.
5. Customise your bike so that it is easily identifiable and less marketable. A thief needs to be able to sell the bike on quickly; lurid spray paint, engravings, stickers, and crazy flower adornments will slow them down.
6. Lock your bike through the frame. Never lock through the wheel alone as it can be unscrewed and the bike released.
7. Get your bike engraved. This is sometimes possible for bakfietsen too.
8. Install wall or floor anchors outside your home.
9. Splurge on a GPS Bike Tracker.
10. Try an ear-piercing theft alarm.
11. File photographs of your bike, along with the purchase receipt and the bike’s make, frame number, and chip code (if it has one). This will make it easier to reclaim a stolen bike if found, or claim insurance if not.
All of the above and also...
12. Padlock the bike cover on in at least two places. If the thief has to damage the tent too much to release it, they will move on.
13. Buy the heaviest, longest chain you can carry. The potential inconvenience of losing ‘the family car’ to thieves makes it worth every penny.
The Mamas Recommend is a series generated from responses on our Facebook page from multiple sources.
Deborah Nicholls-Lee is a British national who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. A former French and English teacher, she now works as a freelance writer and editor while raising her two children. Follow her on Twitter.