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Bicycle thefts make for uneasy riders

Enthusiasts have dark tales of thieves stalking cyclists, scaling balconies for bikes

VANCOUVER — Barry Gilpin, a fan of high-end bicycles for European cycling trips, could ride any bike he wanted. In the Lower Mainland, he chooses to ride a $100 junker because he’s certain his bike will be stolen.

“Vancouver is a very, very bad city for bike theft,” said Mr. Gilpin, owner of Cheapskates stores, which sells 4,000 second-hand bikes on consignment annually. “It’s a big black mark on our city.”

Most information about bike theft is anecdotal, but the Vancouver Police Department alone records $1-million worth of stolen bikes annually. The department says that’s a fraction of the real value because most owners lack serial numbers or identification and don’t report thefts. No one knows how many parts — such as handlebars, seats or wheels — are pinched from bikes locked outside.

“It sounds like such a silly thing, bike theft,” cyclist Bonnie Fenton said. “People don’t think of it as being as serious as car theft. But it’s part of the social question of where we are in our society — and the fact is, it’s an environmental issue.

“We’re trying to encourage people to ride bikes, and cities are creating bike lanes, but there are barriers, and [bike theft] is one of them,” said Ms. Fenton, the departing chairwoman of a Vancouver advisory committee on cycling.

Keep Reading.

I was lucky enough to have a job where I kept my bike in my office. Sucks for the folks that have to leave them unattended at a bike rack.

If You Use An Electric Bicycle, Is That Cheating on Your Commute?

I used to own an electric kit for my bicycle, and I have to say, it was a blast to ride around! But the thing was, I felt like I was cheating on my bicycle commute. I mean, when you commute by bicycle, it supposed to be some sort of work. Or at least in my opinion, it is.

But wouldn’t an electric bike defeat the purpose of commuting by bicycle? Actually some may argue that the purpose of commuting by bike is to save money on gas, save the ozone layer, reduce green house gases and etc.

Sure those things are great reasons to commute by bicycle, but if you’re commuting for the first reason, to save money. Then a $400 electric bike kit negates that savings.

Let’s say your commuter bike cost you between $300-$500, then your electric kit from $200-$400, then that could potentially add up to $900! That doesn’t even include the costs of recharging your batteries everyday, or the cost to replace them if they go bad.

So if you ask me, are electric bikes like cheating on your commute? Maybe, but I think you’d be cheating on your wallet more than anything. A good non-electric commuter bike doesn’t cost that much, and every time you get on your bike to commute to work, school, the gym, grocery store, you automatically save money!

Pedaling their way to sustainability

Scott Bricker, a member of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, stops his bike on the Sellwood Bridge, which BTA member Michelle Poyourow describes as “very difficult and unsafe to cross as a bicyclist or a pedestrian.?


Courtesy of Lake Oswego Review.

There are thousands of ways to be sustainable, which makes sustainability not only the right and smart thing to do but also fun.

Certainly, one of the most fun ways is riding a bike. It may have been a few years, or even decades, since you traveled by the two-wheel route. Still, the old saying goes that you never forget how to ride a bike.

But if you have, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance can get you on the right track.

The Portland-based organization has more than 4,500 members, with more than 100 of them coming from Lake Oswego and West Linn. The BTA is ever-increasing its effort to promote bike riding, and last fall it sponsored the first Bicycle Commuter Challenge in Lake Oswego. The event attracted an outpouring of 6,000 bike riding enthusiasts.

Read More HERE.