Can you stop a bike from getting nicked?

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Sitting ducks
  • David Hawgood
  • Sitting ducks
Several of us here at the Reader believe in cycling to work. We also believe in jamming our bikes onto crowded freight elevators, riding with them up ten flights, and leaning them against our cubicles. And maybe sneaking a glance every now and then to make sure they're still there. I wouldn't say it's paranoia as much as it's . . . well, never mind, it's straight-up paranoia.

As far as I'm concerned, that extra attention helps keep my bike in my possession and out of the hands of a bike thief. Just this morning I considered locking it to the racks outside the building, but ultimately decided against it. I've been warned and warned again that thieves will chop or bash through cable locks, U-locks, and chain locks to get at a bike. Basically, it's just waiting to get stolen.

And after watching "Gone in 60 Seconds: The Bike Crime Wave," I'm just going to start sleeping alongside my bike. The 25-minute documentary produced by ITV London investigates the stolen-bike epidemic of central London, where an unreal 80 bicycles are "nicked" every day. It begins with a few demos from reporters on how easy it is to cut bike locks in congested, tourist-driven areas—sometimes with a hacksaw, even—and ride off while eyes look the other way.

Other features of the doc include bike-lock tests (or how simple it can be to bust through expensive chain locks), stings directed at bike thieves, and a look at London's black market of stolen bikes, where you can purchase brand new two-wheelers on a street corner at half their retail price.

Check out the entire program below:

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