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Insurers frown on guerilla bike theft prevention tactics

Creative – but illegal – anti-theft measures include securing bikes with hidden fishing line

Cyclists who take direct action against bike thieves by booby-trapping their bicycles risk prosecution themselves, according to a leading cycle insurance provider. says London cyclists frustrated by the high rate of cycle theft have taken to supplementing conventional locks by securing their bikes with a hidden length of 500lb fishing line.

If the primary lock is smashed and the bicycle ridden off without permission, the line snaps taut and thief is thrown from the bike.

Other creative anti-theft guerilla tactics being employed by cyclists include rigging bicycles to house burglar alarms and using wire to attach the bicycle to the garden gate behind which sleeps the family dog – if the bike is stolen the gate opens and the animal is released.

But even though 10,000 bicycles are being reported stolen each month, advises against such radical measures. Director at the Environmental Transport Association (ETA), Andrew Davis, said: “Illegal booby-trapped bicycles of this kind might appeal to the victims of theft, but luckily most cyclists realise that a good insurance policy will quickly arrange for a stolen bike to be replaced.”

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine ( 

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