• Bloomer Park, Rochester Hills, MI

  • Racing the Provincial's Crit 2014

  • Forest City Velodrome - London, ON

  • Larkenville Challenge, Buffalo, NY

  • Winning the Sprint at the ForestCity Velodrome

  • Track Nationals 2014: Keirin

  • Track Nationals 2014: Points Race

  • OCUP #1: Feb 2015

If your bike is worth more than $1000, chances are your home owner or tenant insurance policy will only cover up to $1000  (check).

On a club weekend tour, two bikes were taken from the locked room where we were staying over the weekend - one was mine.  Security contents the door was forced open. Regardless, the tour was a great ride. I am not too concerned about the theft because my bike was fully insured, but it brings about a point that may be worth noting. Make sure your insurance covers the replacement cost of your bike. Most insurance companies require a rider on the policy to cover a bike more than $1000.

Bike theft happens. This is the third bike in 15 years I've had taken. Obviously, the more expensive the bike, the more likely someone will make the effort to take it.

It is unfortunate - according to a friend of mine, the University of Toronto has had problems bike thieves cutting bike frames to get around locks to steal bikes to just to get at the parts to sell. If a thief wants the bike, there is little anyone can do. This is the reason I left my Giant bike at home when I rode down to the Toronto Bike Show in March. While wheels and assessories costing $100's or $1000's, it is not a matter of IF, it is more a matter of WHEN.

I also suggest never park a bike in the garage. My Giant was parked on the trainer inside the house. The local bike shop recommends locking up the bike inside the house. The first bike that I had ripped off years ago was pulled out of a locked garage with the family sleeping in the house. The thief was kind enough to close the garage door after taking the bike. The locks on garage doors are easy to break off and a couple loud bangs does not usually get someone outside to look around (even if you did, the thief is long gone by the time you do crawl out of bed). If you have an automatic garage door opener, the codes are easy to crack (last year, half our neighboorhood awoke to find their garage doors open).

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE COVERED

After the bike shop in downtown Toronto was caught housing stolen bikes, a few good articles appeared in the Toronto Sun and Toronto Star. Apparently, even if the bikes are recovered, unless the owner has documented proof they own the bike (receipts, photos, etc), the police will not return the bike to the owner. The article (sorry I can't find it) suggested when a bike is purchased to do the following:
- take pictures of it (several from different angles) and take pictures of the serial number and make hard copies
- make a copy the receipts
- store the original receipt and hard copy photos in a safe place (safety deposit box, etc).
- register your bike online with the local police (In Toronto, Toronto Police bike registration:
https://webapp1.torontopolice.on.ca/BicycleRegistry/Submit
)

You will need the above to claim your bike assuming it is recovered.

Make sure your insurance policy covers the bike. It cost me $200/year for a rider to cover the full cost of the bike. I had to submit the serial number and receipt the insurance company to get my bike added to my home owner's policy. So, for me, I get a new bike for the $100 deductable of my policy and the cost of the rider.

WHEN YOUR BIKE IS TAKEN

In Toronto, if a bike is taken, the Toronto Police will not attend the scene if it is a simple matter of you returning to the location of the bike and it's gone (if it's a B&E and other things were taken or an assault, that's different - if unsure, call 911). If it happens, call the non-emergency number to report the theft. Don't get upset, the police won't offer much sympathy. While your bike is important to you, they have "real crimes" to content with. Also, chances are, you won't speak to an officer when you call - they will call you back - up to day later. Officers need to be available for emergency cases and will get to your when time permits. When speaking to the officer, you are looking to get the incident number, and if possible, the name and badge number of the officer that took the report. This information is required by your insurance company. Next, call the insurance company and make a claim.

Next, kiss your old bike goodbye. The chance of it being recovered is small. Chances are, the bike will be sold off in pieces if you have some $1000 rims, a powertap hub, and other expensive upgrades.

Lastly,  go to the bike shop  and buy a new bike. Take the opportunity to upgrade if you can afford it.

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