A number of years ago, I wrote an article that was published in BIKE Magazine that referenced the sadness caused by individuals who steal valuable bikes. The article referenced my friend’s Merlin mountain bike that was stolen at a race, no less, by some individuals who apparently were not willing to save and earn the right to ride a bike of that value. Theft is a common occurrence in most areas but to have a theft at a venue where everyone has the same interests and values is intolerable.
When I worked up at Sugarloaf, Maine after college, there was an incident at the ski area where a large number of skis were stolen at one time and the management called in the State Police who blocked the northbound roads to Canada and the southbound roads out of the area. There was a massive traffic jam but the police caught the culprits who had all the skis in one van headed south. This incident sparked the area to work with the local police to register skis and give individuals a sticker that referenced the fact that the skis were registered with the police department. Not much of a deterrent but maybe someone would think twice before lifting that particular pair of skis.
When I was a teenager, my friend’s ski poles were stolen and he immediately went to take another pair of poles. When I asked him why he was doing that he responded,” well someone took my poles so I can take someone elses. It is only fair.” I talked him out of that flawed logic and wondered how he could possibly think that was the right thing to do.
In the article for BIKE, I referred to the fact that in today’s world, there is too much emphasis on instant gratification. A lot of people want things right now and are not willing to save and earn them so they max out a credit card or in the more base cases, they steal what they want. People want things now and they will do whatever it takes to get things……….NOW!!!
My friend called me the other day and told me that the cable lock that he and I have used for a while was easily cut and both of his bikes were stolen from his bike rack in Florida in a matter of 6 minutes while his wife was in a convenience store. The police told him that close to two hundred bikes are stolen each week in the Fort Lauderdale area and unless you have a really good lock, you are at risk.
So- what is one to do in this day where you really have to watch your stuff or it will grow legs? One of the more ingenious technical advances has been created by a company called Dropcam. http://www.dropcam.com/home-security These small portable cameras can be mounted in your office, home or vacation home allowing you to monitor issues by activating the cameras in your wireless network and actually seeing the activity on a PC or a hand held I-Phone or other form of smartphone. Dropcam equipment can be used to send you a message when activity is viewed on the camera. Dropcam can be used to give you full view of your sports equipment in your garage or anywhere where you store your valuable equipment.
After the incident in Florida, I began researching bike locks and although any lock can be breached by a really good professional, there are locks made by Kryptonite that are very hard to beat. I bought myself the New York chain lock. They also have a U lock which is named the “Fugheddaboutit” to honor the New York lingo of not happening. Although I know that any lock can be beat, I also know that if you protect your equipment, most thieves will bypass you and look for easier prey. The real purpose of bicycle or any equipment security is to thwart the possibility of theft by making it as inconvenient as possible for the potential thief to run off with your stuff.
Instant gratification is something that we all have begun to accept as a flaw in our modern times. Most people want things right away but are not evil in their motives. However, there are those who are and in those cases, items like the Dropcam and Kryptonite locks can bring some peace of mind. I have another friend who never locks his stuff and says that if it is stolen, his insurance will pay for the replacement. Personally I don’t want to go through the hassle and in most instances, I like my skis and bikes and don’t want anybody taking them. But that is me. Bottom line, be aware and know that there is some help out there if you value what you have earned. Thanks for reading and watch your stuff will ya?