End of the line: Something fishy about booby-trapped bikes
I got an eyebrow-raising press release today from Ilovemybike.co.uk, also known as the Environmental Transport Association (ETA), which sells bike insurance, among other things (like car insurance).
Apparently, cyclists, fed up by the constant and growing threat of theft, are resorting to “direct action”.
“[Cyclists] have taken to supplementing the security providedby a conventional lock by securing their bikes with a length of hidden 500lb fishing line. If the primary lock is smashed and the bicycle ridden off without permission, the line snaps taught and thief is thrown from the bike.”
Extreme and, presumably, potentially deadly measures. An email to ETA reveals, however, that evidence for such ploys is anecdotal – the result of an informal survey of 600 clients during the course of a year. There’s no suggestion any would-be thief has been scuppered by fishing line.
But some cyclists are, ETA assures me, using increasingly outlandish measures to protect their rides, including “an ingenious system that connected the person’s house burglar alarm to their bicycle, and a low-tech, but effective Heath Robinson-style rig that pulled open the garden gate and released the family dog if the bicycle was stolen.”
Perhaps there is truth here - let us know if you have heard of actual cases of booby traps or bizarre devices. In the meantime, there was news yesterday of a more conventional way to protect your bike that relies on ID tags and smartphones. At least it’s legal – be sure it’s only your bike that gets locked up.
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