Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

Horrible Horrors: Bike Theft

Photo: Chris Phan
By my reckoning, there are two kinds of horrors. Actual horrible horrors, and oft-overdramatized daily horrors which are excellent fodder for hyperbole. Let us forget the former, which are actually bad, and focus on the latter. Now, let us arrange our mesh-back hyperbole trucker hats and continue. Ready? On we go!

What could be more horrible than bike theft? Death? Dismemberment? Meeting Cheryl’s parents? I submit to you that there is a horror beyond even these, and it is bike theft.

Picture it. You’ve ridden over to the coffee shop in hopes that the cute one is working. You go inside without rolling your pants leg down because you want her to see that you’ve ridden your bike in hopes that it will make you somehow more desirable as a flirting partner (it doesn’t). Coffee purchased and flirting mishandled, you walk outside with a “Well, at least I still have my bike” frame of mind, only to discover that your bike has been… stolen! Nooooo!

That’s when the ninjas attack.

Okay, I’m lying about the ninjas, but people do get their bikes stolen all the time. So how do you protect yourself?

Check out this article from The Guardian, which is to England roughly what the Creative Loafing is to Atlanta. It tells the tale of Omar Aziz the bike thief and includes some tips from him on how to keep your bike. Here I have distilled it to its main points.

How to guard against bike theft:
1. Ride a shitty bike.
2. If you can not do 1, never lock your bike outside.

Some people advocate buying a nice bike and then shitting it up with filth or spray paint to hide its worth, but I don’t recommend it. Better to just ride an authentically shitty one and save yourself some time and effort, I think.

In the article, Omar comes right out and says that if someone wants to steal your bike badly enough, they are going to steal it and no amount of locking can truly protect it.

Owners of bikes costing more than a few hundred quid should always take them indoors. Whenever Aziz’s crack dealer got wind of an expensive bike locked up in the area he would send Aziz out to fetch it. Thieves also watch where expensive bike are regularly parked. For anyone with outdoor parking, he recommends riding a cheaper bike.

Incidentally, a “quid” is like a dollar, but its a coin instead of a slip of paper. It is worth more, but the people who take them also charge a lot more for things, so it evens out.

In the case of bicycle protection, there may be a third option. Behold!

Now, I don’t speak whatever language that is in the video — I think it might be Latin — but anyone can see that the gentleman pictured is using some manner of contraption to raise his bike up a pole and out of the reach of the teeming hordes of would-be bike thieves, not to mention ninjas.

I wonder what Aziz would think of the pictured contraption. Perhaps he has met his match!

2 thoughts on “Horrible Horrors: Bike Theft”

  1. Seth "The Hammer" Kingry

    That contraption is ridiculous. I like how it takes up the entirety of his satchel and the video makes it look like it’s all lickidy-split attaching it to the pole.

  2. Adam Moreland

    Your description of the quid in terms of the dollar couldn’t be more awesome.

    Also, riding a shitty bike has worked for me for 15 years. Yes, I have had the same bike since 1995. It’s ugly and never gets stolen – which is my favorite thing about it.