Bicycle Safety Information
Many people routinely pay upwards of a thousand dollars or more for a bike. Thieves know this and have figured out that stealing bikes and bike parts can be a lucrative business. College campuses are full of expensive bikes. To make matters worse, many students feel that the campus is a safe place and so do not take the needed precautions to secure their bike. The combination of expensive bikes and a false sense of security makes a college campus one of the first places a bike thief comes "shopping." With a few precautions and some common sense, you can drastically decrease the changes of your bike being stolen.
Always lock your bike.
No matter how long you plan on leaving your bike in a rack (two minutes to run in a drop off a paper, or two hours to study in the library) always lock your bike. Bike thieves hang around buildings looking for the person that is making a quick stop to just "run in and out." Take the time-lock your bike!
When purchasing a lock for your bike, always remember the old saying, "you get what you pay for." The steel U-locks tend to be the most secure. Unfortunately, thieves have figured out ways to break through even these locks, freezing them with chemicals and then shattering them with a hammer. The most common tools used by thieves are bolt cutters, which can easily cut through chains, cables, or padlocks.
No lock will keep your bike completely safe from being a Portland Police statistic. That's where common sense comes into play. If at all possible, lock your bike in an enclosed and secured bike storage area on campus. If you leave your bike outside on a rack, lock it in a highly visible and well-traveled area. If you have accessories on your bike (mirror, front and rear lights, bike pack), remove them. Always use designated bike racks rather than light poles, railings, benches, or other unsecured places.
Never lock your bicycle to a stairwell inside a residence hall, in compliance with fire codes and personal safety concerns. In the event of an emergency, your bike could be come a dangerous obstacle for people trying to exit the building.
- Obey all traffic laws
- Use bicycle paths when available
- Use hand signals when appropriate
- Watch out for pedestrians and motorists
- Always ride in the same direction as the traffic
- Use caution when passing parked cars as doors can be opened without warning
- Always wear a safety helmet