Roosevelt Island Residents: Register your Bike!
Bike theft statistics
About half of all active cyclists have their bikes stolen at some point in their lives. - Breaking into bicycle theft
Each year, somewhere between 800,000 and two million bicycles – worth some $50 million – are stolen. – bicyclelaw.com
Even though 48% of stolen bikes are recovered by law enforcement, only 5% of stolen bikes are returned to their owners. - bicyclelaw.com
On average, only 56% of bicycle thefts reported to the police. - cops.usdoj.gov
Only 8.5% of bicycle theft victims had registered their bicycle, and of these people 26.8% did not record the serial number. - Breaking into bicycle theft
On average, bike thefts occur about 2 miles from cyclists’ homes. - Breaking into bicycle theft
Bikes worth between $150 and $500 are stolen more often than other bikes. - Breaking into bicycle theft
Bicycles are more frequently stolen during the night (37.0%) than in the morning (9.0%), afternoon (32.3%) or evening (21.7%). - Breaking into bicycle theft
Interview with BikeGuard’s Marketing Manager: Katelyn Gray
How did BikeGuard start?We started BikeGuard because we saw what we considered an urgent need for something like this, especially in cities like New York. It's a community service initiative that SmartSign employees have also been able to benefit from. Many times, we've commiserated over the frequency of stolen bikes in New York, especially when they're our own! Since we're lucky enough to work for a a company that produces asset tags, we realized there was actually something we could do about it.
When MyAssetTag.com first launched, the technological infrastructure for something like this simply wasn't in place. As both technology and our company have grown over the years, we are proud of BikeGuard's developments and the support it has lent to numerous communities, such as Roosevelt Island.
Because BikeGuard a free service and simple enough to use, it has caught on beyond the company and New York City, and has spread not only across the country, but across the world!
Why should people register their bikes? What kinds of people should register their bikes?People should register their bikes if for no other reason than to save themselves future inconvenience, including lost time and money. Especially if your bike is your primary mode of transportation, you should absolutely register it to save the hassle and heartbreak. Registering your bike, and making it known to possible thieves that you've taken that extra precaution is a positive no matter what kind of community you're a part of. It strengthens your sense of security, whether on your campus or in your city.
How did the new communities page come about?By creating the new communities feature, we addressed a growing need. More and more individuals a part of real life bike communities, whether all from the same college or a small cycling club, were using the service to keep track of each other. So we can't even really take credit for this! It's our savvy audience that established the need for an online bike community registry. This is an example of why feedback from your customers is key!
What kinds of communities are the best fit for BikeGuard?Any community! There's no group too large, too small, or too niche. There are no limits because we're willing to adapt our process to fit your needs. So far, we've had universities and community colleges, hospitals, police stations, cycling clubs, neighborhoods, and more register as BikeGuard communities.
How do you envision Bike Guard helping Roosevelt Island bikers?From spending time on Roosevelt Island and speaking to its residents, it's obvious they've created a very tight-knit community on this tiny island. I think they already help each other and look out for one another, but BikeGuard will allow them a new level of bike security and unity.
Do you have any general bike safety tips you can offer to BikeGuard users?In addition to registering your bike with BikeGuard, invest in a heavy duty, high-quality lock. Even if you're only leaving your bike for 2 minutes to run into the deli, LOCK IT! I recommend U-locks. Figure out a strategy that allows you to lock both wheels, the frame, and the seat. When you do lock up your bike, pick a secure pole or bike rack. And if you can help it, never, ever leave your bike locked up outdoors overnight.
Have you ever had a bike of yours stolen or lost?My bike was stolen in college. I was very disappointed when I left my dorm for accounting class, and couldn't find my bike where I had left it. So I was late for class and out a bike, which on a large college campus like mine, was a huge disadvantage. Though I had registered it using the university's system, I didn't even report it stolen because I figured it was a lost cause! That was a big mistake on my part, and a mistake lots of people make, because who knows, it probably went on to sit in storage for a year.
Story from Current BikeGuard User, Chris SullivanI'll tell you what led me to find out about BikeGuard: one of my bikes was stolen out of my parents' garage last August. I found it on Craigslist for sale, but as soon as it was posted, it was gone. I posted about how it was stolen on Craigslist myself and the buyer came forward - he had only paid $200 for a custom bike and knew something was off. I was luckily able to prove it was mine because I had hidden index cards with my name in various places in the bike (in the seatpost, the handlebars, etc.).
But afterwards, I thought to myself: there should be some sort of national bike registry where owners can register all their bikes by frame number so that, in the event of a theft, the owner can be identified and the bicycle returned. At first, I thought that maybe I should go about trying to build a website like that, but then of course I found out that this already exists in various forms, with BikeGuard clearly being the best (not only is it free, but it also has the best technology with asset tags). If one of my bikes gets stolen again, it might not be recovered as quickly, but I think it has the best shot with BikeGuard of eventually finding its way back to me - especially since I also put the second and third tag in a spot a thief might not see right away.