In our hometown just outside of Philadelphia, bike thefts have been on the rise all summer. We are blessed with very little crime, which is one reason so many of us who grew up here choose to stay here. Residents feel so safe they often leave their houses, garages and cars unlocked, and bicycles are left lying in the yard or parked in the driveway or in the unlocked garage. Lately, however, bike thieves seem to have discovered this little oasis, and bicycles are disappearing at all hours of the day and night, even from our elementary schools. Perhaps this summer is no worse than any previous summer (I can only access records from the last 12 months), or maybe "it's the economy, stupid!", but I'm taking no chances. We lock our bikes everywhere we go and keep our garage locked at all times.
This evening I rode my bike to my daughter's school for a parent-teacher event. I locked my bike at the bike rack, and as I walked to the front of the school, I came across the beautiful bike shown above, "locked" to a bollard. I simply could not believe what I was seeing, so I took a picture of it. Did this parent (or teacher) really believe their bike was secure?? My lock is no better than this lock (I really must upgrade), but this bike could be stolen by literally lifting one finger! When the event ended an hour and a half later, it was completely dark. Unfortunately, I returned to my bike from the other side of the school and forgot to check on this bike. My bike was safe and sound, but I guess I'll just have to wait for the next police report to find out if this one was another statistic in the summer of 2008.