Meet Matt Freedman of the San Francisco Police Department. He’s at the forefront of the city’s efforts to combat bike thieves, as he explains in this video from the New York Times.
SFPD, like many forces, is using bikes planted on the street and observed covertly to help catch thieves. But they’ve taken the idea one step further.
“If we want people to get out and ride their bikes, they have to get out without fear of them getting stolen,” says Freedman. So as well as ‘bait bikes’ equipped with GPS trackers and under surveillance, he’s issuing thousands of stickers to San Francisco’s cyclists.
‘Is this a bait bike?’ the stickers say.
Freedman says: “The idea is to let thieves know that any bike at any time in the city of San Francisco could be one of our bait bikes, so if you steal a bike you better believe we’re gonna be coming for you.”
SFPD has created a website at safebikes.org with lots of good advice hanging on to your bike.
Over the years we’ve compiled what we think is the definitive set of anti bike theft tips, with input from the road.cc community, so here it is again to cut out and keep.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.