We regularly hear of people having their bikes stolen, and while it is a shame, it is usually very preventable. Almost all of the incidents we hear about have gone against one of more of the suggestions below.
1) Lock your bike!
This might seem like a no-brainer, but most of the instances of bike theft we hear about are due to a lack of locking it. While Nanaimo is relatively safe in terms of the frequency of bike theft and the degree to which it is a concern, if you walk away from your bike, even for just a few minutes, make sure it is locked. Make sure your lock is at the very least going through your frame, or frame and a wheel, and secured to an immovable object.
2) Location and Duration.
Try to lock your bike in a high traffic or secure area. If you lock it in public somewhere out of the way or in a dark corner, there will be less people able to see if anything suspicious is going on. For similar reasons, leaving a bike locked overnight in public or for days at a time is going to increase the chances it will be preyed upon.
3) Your bike should be more secure than the bike parked next to it.
There is old adage, if you are camping in the woods with a friend and see a bear, you don’t have to outrun the bear, you just need to outrun your friend. Similarly, you will never be able to completely secure your bicycle, but you can make your bike the least accessible target as possible.
3) Use multiple locking mechanisms.
With one u-lock, there is no possible way to secure all the components on your bike that a thief might steal. You can use a cable lock and/or locking skewers to secure your wheels and seatpost.
4) Make your bike ugly.
The uglier it is the less attractive it will be for a thief to put effort into stealing it. Cover up brand and model names if possible.
5) Remove accessories from your bike.
Accessories are an easy grab for a thief. Take with you everything that is not bolted on to your bike; lights, bell, pump, water bottle, bags, seat/seatpost, etc.
6) Document your bike’s serial number and description.
Take a photo and keep this and your serial number in a secure location. You may also have the option to register your bicycle with the local police and National bike registry.