I was happy to hear that high profile cyclist David Cameron has been re-united with his bike that was stolen whilst locked up outside a Tesco. Sadly David is in a minority who is lucky enough to see his bike again and had it not been found so quickly I’m pretty sure that the journalists of the red-tops would have been trawling e-Bay to ensure its safe return.
It’s a bit frustrating for me that all the celebrity politician cyclists seem to play for the other side, I even developed a grudging respect for Tebbit and his (often misquoted) "on yer bike" speech about the unemployment blighted early 80s. Even if Cameron’s cycling is tokenism (as I suspect much of his policies are) it at least raises the profile of cyclists and our daily struggles.
Nobody treats cycle theft seriously and when that vehicle is an important means of transport that you need daily, rather than just a toy, then some effort should be made to recover it for you. You can do a few things to mitigate the risk of theft. Firstly be very careful where you park (though I park outside a Tesco fairly frequently too). If your bike is stolen there are schemes such as the one operated by Trovan that can help a bike to be returned to you if it is recovered. During Bike Week in June Manchester City council were giving away such tags one of which was dropped down my seatpost by a PCSO. Finally always carry a lock with you and if you are parking for a long period of time look for more heavy duty solutions to leave in location if they are too bulky to transport. The rule of thumb is to spend 10% of the value of the bike on security but sadly all you are doing is deflecting the thieves towards a fellow cyclists wheels which look an easier target than your own.
To quote Mr Ernest Theophile a community leader who helped locate Cameron’s bike: "You never want to see anyone have their bike nicked – not even a Tory."