Lack of Lycra Lout? Police stop cyclist not wearing "appropriate clothing" on suspicion of stealing bike

Rider gives thumbs-up to Avon & Somerset Constabulary as it proves determination to stamp out bike theft

by Simon_MacMichael   May 23, 2013  

Tim gets pulled over

A cyclist in Bath was yesterday stopped by a police officer for not wearing the “appropriate gear” while riding a fixed gear bike, due to suspicions he may have stolen it – proof of Avon & Somerset Constabulary’s determination to stamp out bike theft.

The cyclist, Tim Burton, while a little taken aback by the incident in Keynsham yesterday afternoon, said on Twitter that he was happy to see that the force is taking the issue of bike theft seriously.

"Just got stopped by the police for 'not wearing Lycra' but being on a road bike," he tweeted.

"The PC said I wasn't dressed in appropriate gear to be riding my bike so had I stolen it?

"I was clipped in. No scruffy trainers but clean(ish) SPD shoes.” Burton’s bike is equipped with Crank Bros Candy pedals.

“Maybe I didn't look hipster enough? Apparently there have been some shed break-ins locally. The bike looks too good for me to own, obviously!"

Due to the hills around Bath you don't see as many fixies as in some places with flatter terrain, and we're guessing that Burton's bike had drop bars and so at casual glance would look like a road bike, which have been the subject of targeted thefts in the area.

After checking the bike’s frame number and performing a background check on Burton, he was allowed to go on his way.

The cyclist, who admitted that the sight of him on the bike probably looked “dodgy” said: "It is nice to see them looking out for pinched bikes, I told [the PC] I appreciated it."

He added: “I'm not saying they were wrong. It's amusing that I've been stopped for no Lycra!”

PC Keith James, who did the stop check, said: "Bike thefts are a priority for us in this area as we've had a number of garage and shed break-ins. I'm a cyclist myself and it was unusual to see an expensive bike being ridden by someone in non-cycling clothes and without a helmet. It soon became clear that Mr Burton was the genuine owner and I'm glad he's supportive of what we're doing to try to catch bike thieves."

44 user comments

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If that bike was *your* stolen bike, you'd be pleased the Old Bill stopped him! Its good to see but realistically not all Police officers are experienced in bikes. This cop knew his bikes and realised the rider wasn't in what would be reasonably considered appropriate cycling gear... until he spotted the clip ins, I guess. Another Cop would have perhaps not even paid any attention unless they stop everyone routinely during a crack down. But its really good to see that level of pro-active Policing. My main bike cost me nearly £3k. I'd cry if it got nicked.

posted by Critchio [110 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 17:26

2 Likes

How does one go about getting their trusty steed "branded"?

Pepita rides again!

posted by pepita1 [177 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 17:29

3 Likes

I saw some chap in baggy jeans and an Afro (no helmet, non-aerodynamic clothing and hair) cycling a Specialized Allez with a saddle bag. Lets just say the juxtaposition of all those things looked quite odd to me, including the loping, on pavement, off pavement riding style he adopted. It all looked very odd for someone who supposedly spent upwards of £700 on his bike (which, at the look of him, would seem a significant outlay). That is judgemental of me, but I don't care, it looked odd and he would be a prime example of the sort of person I would think the police should do a spot check on.

Why buy an 'expensive' geared racing bike if you're just going to dawdle around town? It was the saddle bag that caught my attention. Useful for punctures, but something that only proper road cyclists would go for (most riders who bike around town aren't worried about getting caught with a flat and don't have them). This guy didn't look like he could tell his top tube from his chain stay.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1143 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 17:41

2 Likes

pepita1 wrote:
How does one go about getting their trusty steed "branded"?

Good point - why doesn't road.cc do an article on bike security and add it to 'what to ride when it's raining' etc.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1143 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 17:42

3 Likes

pepita1 wrote:
How does one go about getting their trusty steed "branded"?

Most police stations offer the service.
Sometimes local police will tweet or otherwise publicise some event or other that they're going to (local fairs are a common one) where they'll do bike marking. A local cafe round here has regular "police days" where anyone bringing a bike in can get it security marked.

As above, great to see the police being pro-active in the issue of bike theft, well done that officer. Smile

posted by crazy-legs [518 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 17:42

2 Likes

I wondering if he would have been pulled over had he been wearing a helmet.

posted by thelimopit [119 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 18:06

2 Likes

Anyone based in or around Manchester could go to popupbikes on Corporation Street. Free and instant! Plus good Mancunian roasted coffee!

2 wheels please!

posted by mancsi [119 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 18:10

2 Likes

Colin Peyresourde wrote:

Why buy an 'expensive' geared racing bike if you're just going to dawdle around town? It was the saddle bag that caught my attention. Useful for punctures, but something that only proper road cyclists would go for (most riders who bike around town aren't worried about getting caught with a flat and don't have them). This guy didn't look like he could tell his top tube from his chain stay.

Possibly because not everyone has multiple bikes?

My road bike was my commuter, errand runner and weekend steed for a couple of years. TBH, it sometimes comes out with a Carradice on the back & me dressed in baggy shorts for the commute even now, if the tourer is out of service.

I've ridden the same bike in jeans & t-shirt when I've been on holiday and only had that one with me to run errands.

These town riders who aren't worried about punctures, incidentally, I'm guessing they're not from Manchester - our bike paths double up as glass collection faciities...

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [421 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 19:46

4 Likes

pepita1 wrote:
How does one go about getting their trusty steed "branded"?

As others have said, the local Police will either have events where they offer the service, or be able to do it. Local bike shops may know of upcoming events as well.

Registering your frame number on a service like Immobilise is a good idea too. I'd also suggest asking the local force what (if any) methods they favour - ours was fairly dismissive of RFID based systems, as the stations didn't have the chip reading equipment on hand (that may have changed, it was a few years ago).

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [421 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 19:50

2 Likes

I've never seen a fixie rider in Lycra.

But kudos to PC James for being concerned and checking out his concerns. And for doing it in a manner that left Tim and people here supportive of what he did. Good community policing.

I'm a human being, God damn it! My life has value. I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.

posted by Carl [135 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 20:00

1 Like

John_the_Monkey wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:

Why buy an 'expensive' geared racing bike if you're just going to dawdle around town? It was the saddle bag that caught my attention. Useful for punctures, but something that only proper road cyclists would go for (most riders who bike around town aren't worried about getting caught with a flat and don't have them). This guy didn't look like he could tell his top tube from his chain stay.

Possibly because not everyone has multiple bikes?

My road bike was my commuter, errand runner and weekend steed for a couple of years. TBH, it sometimes comes out with a Carradice on the back & me dressed in baggy shorts for the commute even now, if the tourer is out of service.

I've ridden the same bike in jeans & t-shirt when I've been on holiday and only had that one with me to run errands.

These town riders who aren't worried about punctures, incidentally, I'm guessing they're not from Manchester - our bike paths double up as glass collection faciities...

I know how my comment sounds, but you'd have to be there. I doubt he would know what his bike was called. I come from an area of London where they recently dug up loads of stolen bikes, and this chap is not the only person I have my suspicions about.

This guy didn't look, from his cycling, that he spent much time changing gears.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1143 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 20:38

2 Likes

I used Bike Register gold kit

You get

Database Registration and Secure online account
Tamper Resistant Warning Label
Logbook (printable via online account)
Permanent Etched Bikeregister ID
Electronic Datatag kit
Free photo upload

Its a proper weeny datatag glued inside the frame. The ink kit is a label with a phone number and an id number. Its quite amazing how it goes on.

posted by dunnoh [175 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 20:58

2 Likes

When I went to Enigma's open day a couple of weeks ago they told me that the Police had seen someone riding one of their bikes who didn't fit with the type of person you'd expect to see riding one and because of how well Enigma knew the customer, they actually apprehended the thief and recovered the bike before the owner even knew it was stolen.

Municipal Waste's picture

posted by Municipal Waste [190 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 21:11

3 Likes

That's awesome!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3198 posts]
23rd May 2013 - 22:30

3 Likes

Upholding The Rules.

Iration Wheelers's picture

posted by Iration Wheelers [5 posts]
24th May 2013 - 6:23

2 Likes

I saw one of the temporary Police bike marking operations and stopped to get my bike done. They use Bike Register and dismissed Immobilise and said that they didn't use RFID tags anymore. They marked the frame invisibly and registered it on BikeRegister, so when I went to the website it I could create a password free and augment the decription with all the details.
They publicise the locations via the web, look out for them as it's certainly worth doing.

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [315 posts]
24th May 2013 - 7:41

2 Likes

Is the police going to issue guidelines on what one should wear when riding a bike? Honestly!!!
Do they arrest Ferrari drivers wearing torn jeans? What does this mean?

Francois.L

posted by Francois [9 posts]
24th May 2013 - 8:57

2 Likes

It means that the police are taking action about bike theft and stopping people who appear not to fit the "norm" for the bike they are riding.

How would you do it, Francois?

posted by alun [44 posts]
24th May 2013 - 9:31

3 Likes

SounDaz_7 wrote:
Proper copper, if something doesn't look right check it out. Smile

I couldn't agree more, its sensible things like this that could nab a thief and reunite the bike with its owner.

posted by qwerky [135 posts]
24th May 2013 - 10:22

1 Like

mancsi wrote:
Anyone based in or around Manchester could go to popupbikes on Corporation Street. Free and instant! Plus good Mancunian roasted coffee!

Coffee being grown in Manchester? Global warming must be accelerating! Seriously, it's a good idea, anything that can help is positive. If bike theft is increasing, and police are taking it seriously (good for them), then cycling is really in the public eye. Excellent.

Doc

posted by doc [167 posts]
24th May 2013 - 11:19

2 Likes

Walking through London just now and somebody cycled past me in a tiger-stripe onesie. That definitely justifies being arrested.

I'm a human being, God damn it! My life has value. I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.

posted by Carl [135 posts]
24th May 2013 - 12:32

1 Like

No one nicks bikes where I live. If they did they'd get their right hand chopped off (and so have to wipe their arse and eat with the remaining left hand.....and have no mates)
Sam (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)

Sam

posted by zagatosam [28 posts]
24th May 2013 - 19:22

1 Like

Carl wrote:
Walking through London just now and somebody cycled past me in a tiger-stripe onesie. That definitely justifies being arrested.

If it looked like this I want one!

_1982274_cippollinicut_afp.jpg



Suffering from Low Cadence.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1292 posts]
24th May 2013 - 19:38

0 Likes

zagatosam wrote:
No one nicks bikes where I live. If they did they'd get their right hand chopped off (and so have to wipe their arse and eat with the remaining left hand.....and have no mates)
Sam (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)

I'll take the risk of my bike getting nicked; you can keep your autocratic rulers, religious zealots and lack of rights for women.



Suffering from Low Cadence.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1292 posts]
24th May 2013 - 19:40

2 Likes

zagatosam wrote:
No one nicks bikes where I live. If they did they'd get their right hand chopped off (and so have to wipe their arse and eat with the remaining left hand.....and have no mates)
Sam (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)

I've always considered a great punishment for car or bike thieves would be to have a leg amputated.

Municipal Waste's picture

posted by Municipal Waste [190 posts]
24th May 2013 - 20:00

1 Like

G, you're right. While I dislike the thought of having my bike nicked I rather prefer the freedom to nick a bike if I want to. But seriously, no society is perfect. Where I reside at the moment is far from that (I'm from the UK and not a muslim!) at least I don't live with the fear that someone will pinch my gear. The trade off is that women are oppressed and the country is a theocracy.

Sam

posted by zagatosam [28 posts]
24th May 2013 - 20:15

1 Like

and I can't have beer after a long bike ride Sad

Sam

posted by zagatosam [28 posts]
24th May 2013 - 20:24

1 Like

zagatosam wrote:
G, you're right. While I dislike the thought of having my bike nicked I rather prefer the freedom to nick a bike if I want to. But seriously, no society is perfect. Where I reside at the moment is far from that (I'm from the UK and not a muslim!) at least I don't live with the fear that someone will pinch my gear. The trade off is that women are oppressed and the country is a theocracy.

Nice to hear your piece of mind comes at someone else's expense.



Suffering from Low Cadence.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1292 posts]
24th May 2013 - 21:04

2 Likes

I retrieved a frame and wheels for parts last week and while wheeling it - Lycra-free - through Victoria Station on the way home, attracted the steely glare of a transport policeman. But I guess the lack of handlebars and wonky rear wheel gave him pause, so I escaped without having to explain.

Ride your own ride

posted by CanAmSteve [144 posts]
29th May 2013 - 8:24

1 Like

My final comment on this. I blame it on Coleman Big Grin

http://innercitymobility.blogspot.de/2013/06/transformation-fashion-crim...

Coleman wrote:
Dr. Ko wrote:
Looking fashionable on a bike: Day Dreaming

http://innercitymobility.blogspot.de/2012/10/bad-boys-special-swiss-bike...

"Sorry, officer, the Ferrari is being serviced."

"Our new business policy is less red and more green!" Big Grin

Although I never run into trouble with the police, I'll have to switch to a Brompton for the next position. Sad

So any advice what to wear on a Brompton is welcome!

Regards,

Dr. Ko

A bowler hat and sock suspenders.

Nothing else.

Livens up the commute in the City.

posted by Dr. Ko [109 posts]
22nd June 2013 - 16:30

2 Likes