Wednesday 10 October 2012

The Diary of a Victim of Bike Theft

I arrived home last Sunday after a weekend away, to discover some low-life had stolen my beloved Pashley Poppy, from right outside my house. Anyone who has had their bike stolen will know the roller coaster of emotions you go on...

Stage 1: Pure shock. You don't quite believe it and you try to come up with a rational explanation as to where your bike has gone, rather than accepting the ugly truth. "Maybe my neighbours have moved it" etc etc.

Stage2: Anger & Emotional outbursts, when you stop kidding yourself and realise it has been stolen you feel ANGRY and then more ANGRY and if your an emotional sort like myself you may shed a tear or two.

Stage 3: Your life becomes a logistical nightmare. You realise all your routines and carefully planned schedules are scuppered. It takes half an hour longer to get anywhere and as a result find yourself walking and swearing a lot, constantly saying to yourself, " I was on my bike I would have gone and come back by now..."

Stage 4: You take action. Like me you may have reported it to the Police straight way and although they were very polite and took all my details, I got a letter a couple of day later saying there was not much else they could do.
So then next step was to get the word out there. I tweeted and facebooked my bad news and although no one had seen my bike I did get some very helpful advice. The Bike Shepherd sent me a top 10 List of things to do which was very useful. (One very useful tip is to register alerts on Ebay and Gumtree  for your bike model) I also got very kind condolences and offers of bike loans which I was very grateful for!

Stage 5: Get over it and get a new bike. Now you may be one of the lucky ones who gets their bike back but your chances are slim and if you depend on your bike day to day, you need to get over it and get a new one. This is currently the stage I am at and as a big fan of vintage ladies bikes I am off to see the chaps at Bikeworks tomorrow to see if I can get myself a re-conditioned bike. At this point you should allow yourself to feel a little excitement about a potential new set of wheels.

Stage 6: Ensure it doesn't happen again. I have to admit that I did not do everything I could to ensure my bike was safe. I have owned bikes in London for 6 years now and had never had one stolen so had become a little nonchalant.  I had always locked it up outside my house and presumed it was a safe enough area... how wrong I was. Here are my new rules to ensure it does not happen again...

  • Get a D Lock. I had always had D locks but when my last one broke, I switched back to an old cable lock. Bad idea as the thieves were able to saw through it.
  •  Keep bike inside - there is not much space in my flat for a bike and as I use it everyday its much easier to keep it outside but I may try and keep my new bike inside especially when I am away for the weekend. A good tip is to move your sofa forward a foot and slide your bike between the sofa and the wall.
  • Get insured. You can get some really good deals on bike insurance, check out ETA's website for a quote. If I had insured my bike it would have saved a lot of hassle and expense.
  •  Perhaps go for a less flashy bike. Although I loved my Pashley Poppy dearly, and I hope to own another one day, I am going to go for a less nick-able bike - something with vintage charm that doesn't scream " I am expensive... steal me!" to thieves.

Here's a up to date picture and my daughter and I on the Poppy, It had a Brooks basket on the front and a Bobike childseat on the back. If anyone does come across anyone trying to sell it please get in contact with me


Yarrump said...

I sympathise my bike was stolen when outside a railway station and went through all the stages you describe. I successfully claimed on my house insurance to get a replacement. Now I have two sturdy looking locks one for the front and another for the back.

If you are short on space inside in the flat you could get a folding bike. Mine is tucked under my desk whilst I am in the office.

Neon Anon said...

It's awful, isn't it. My husband's bike was stolen quite recently and we went though the whole gamut of emotion as well. Like you (and 99.9% of bike-theft-victims) there's no way he'll get it back and has moved on to get a new bike.
I worry about having such an usual bike and that being a bit of a magnet for thieves and think I shall take your advice and look into getting some insurance.
If you're short on space inside but have a little outside you could get a mini-shed/lock-up. We have one and it's amazing (although we don't use it for our bikes, which do live inside, but for our prams).
Incidentally, I also have the Bobike seat and the Brooks basket!

Caz said...

Thanks so much for your comments guys. Sorry to hear you have both been through the same nightmare!
I did think about a folding bike but i dont think its do-able with a child seat. 2 lock is a very good idea!

Mini- shed is also a great idea, I am going to look into it.

We must have the same tastes Ejay! :)

Pashley Queen said...

So sorry your bike has been stolen - bloomin' buggers! I've just actually blogged about you and your Poppy this evening.

kavina said...

Read this post a few days ago then came across this and thought of you:

It's ridiculously expensive but also beautiful, which makes it worth the share.

Hope you find your Poppy. I bought mine a few weeks ago and would be devastated if anything happened to it.

Caz said...

Thanks so much. Got a new bike now but still missing my Poppy a great deal. Nice blog!