Archive for January, 2011

Warning: Dishevelled cyclists attacking in Inner North.

Hot on the heals of the report that bicycles are flying out of the tennis parking area quicker than one of those tennis stars hitting a ball rather quickly, is a report that a tanned dishevelled looking man riding a dark coloured bicycle is snatching bags from ladies in Melbourne. As these attacks are happening in the Brunswick and Fitzroy areas, the thief sounds like he has picked the right disguise to blend right in with the cycling population of these suburbs.

Bag-snatching is pretty nasty, and this thief has been targeting older ladies in particular and injuring them as he attacks them. This is pretty shit. So if you happen to see any dishevelled cyclists in the Brunswick/North Fitzroy/Fitzroy area, feel free to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

In China, where the population is nearly 15 gazillion times what it is in Australia bag-snatching is also a problem, although it seems to be often done from a motor scotter, not a bike. Check this video for one cyclists response to a cry for help after a scooterist snatched a bag.

Enjoy your weekend and ride safe.


Sporty losers and loser sports

Welcome to the first post of the new year here at Bike Lanes. Last week in the local rag I spotted an article about bicycle thieves targeting bikes locked up at the Australian Open tennis thing that is going on at the moment.

“A gang of bicycle thieves is believed to be targeting patrons at the Australian Open, with reports that up to 10 bikes were stolen from outside the grand slam tournament in just one day last week.”

Now, firstly, bike thieves suck. They really do. And it sucks having a bike nicked. It really does. Over the last week or so I have noticed a few amazing examples of how not to lock your bike up.

In this first example, spotted at the local train station near my place of employment, we see a nice towny-style Schwinn locked up to a sturdy looking post. But wait, where is that lock attached? Oh, its looped around the seatpost…. I’m not sure whether there was a quick release involved here, but regardless, this type of locking should take your average 13 year old bored kid about 10 seconds to unloop from the the seatpost. On a scale from secure to free-for-all I’d give this a free-for-all.

As an extra deterrent for anyone thinking of locking their bike to a pole by the seatpost alone, one could glance around the area to see if there is any evidence of bicycle tomfoolery to be seen. If you were to do this, you would notice that no more than 10 metres away was this example of how not to lock your bike up.

While this obviously isn’t your high end weekend Beach Road mean machine, it is obviously a beater A-to-B kinda bike. Using two locks on your bike is pretty wise, especially with a quick-release front wheel. Now, if you carry two locks but couldn’t be bothered to use both, them you may well return to your bike to find this. This bike has been discarded at the train station for a good month or so now, and over time the seatpost and saddle have disappeared too. It sucks for someone to nick your front wheel, but you are a bit of a doofus if you carry and extra cable lock but neglectfully forget to use it, you could feel a bit silly.

So until next time here at the ‘Lanes, keep on riding, and use a lock – or two, and think about how you lock your bike.