- Never leave your bike unattended and unlocked – be sure to use a good quality lock. A good quality U-lock is much harder to break or cut than cheaper chains or cables.
- Lock as much of your bike as you can. Lock your back wheel and frame to a rack if possible. You can remove the front wheel and lock it as well or use a second lock to connect the front wheel to the frame (a lighter cable lock should provide sufficient security for this). If space is tight and you can only lock one thing, lock the frame – it is the most valuable part of your bike.
- Lock your bike where it can be seen. Placing your bike near passing traffic or where it can be watched from windows helps to deter thieves. This will also improve your personal security while locking and unlocking your bike.
- Lock your bike to a solid object. Do not lock to objects that are easily cut such as chain wire or tree branches. Make sure your bike can not be stolen by lifting it over the object you have locked it to. Solid bike racks or metal poles are good choices.
- Be respectful of other traffic. Locking your bike to handrails or near pedestrian facilities could block access. Be careful not to block ramps or other facilities people in wheelchairs use.
- Remove accessories such as lights, cycle computer, pump and panniers or bags. If these accessories are not removed from the bike, someone might take them.
- Make your bike less attractive to thieves. A bike that is not obviously brand new, or one that is highly personalised might be less attractive to thieves. If you have an expensive frame it might be worth removing the sticker that identifies the frame type.
- Keep your bike secure when at home. Keep your bike in a locked shed or store it inside your house.
Identifying your bike
You can engrave your bike with a personal property tracing code to make it easier to recover if it is stolen. Your local police station has an engraving tool for loan and can help you work out your personal code and register the code in their property tracing database. For more details contact your local police station.
Other things you can do:
- Record the frame number of your bike (this is usually stamped underneath the bottom bracket).
- Take a colour photograph of your bike and keep it in a secure place.
- Personalise your bike. For quick identification you can add reflective tape in a particular pattern, add stickers or paint the frame.
Insurance provides you with compensation in the event of damage, accident or theft. For a small annual payment you receive cover against losses that would otherwise be significant.
Types of insurance
The types of insurance you might need as a bicycle owner/rider include:
- Third party personal – if you injure another person.
- Third party property – if you damage the property of another person.
- Theft of the bicycle from your home.
- Theft of the bicycle from elsewhere.
- Damage to your bike – in a crash or by other event such as fire.
- Injury to yourself in a road crash.
- Loss of income – if you are injured and cannot work for some time.
- Travel insurance – to extend your normal personal and property insurance if you are going overseas.
You might be already covered for some of these. Membership of Bicycle Queensland* includes coverage for personal injury and loss of income, and third party and third party property insurance. Bike theft and damage insurance is an optional extra. Membership of Cycling Queensland* provides personal accident and third party insurance that covers members while taking part in sanctioned races.
Household contents insurance
Household contents insurance might (or might not) cover your bicycle for theft and damage when at home and might (or might not) cover your bike when it is locked but not at your home. With some policies you need to request an 'add-on' for a bicycle or a bicycle worth more than a stated amount. Compensation for loss of a bicycle might be limited in other policies. Many policies do not cover losses outside Australia.
Policies vary so you should direct detailed questions to your insurer. If possible, get answers in writing. It could be useful to shop around to get the best deal for you and your bike.
Racing and cycling as part of your work
Standard insurance policies usually do not cover you when taking part in competitive sport or if you are cycling as part of your work, such as a cycle courier. People who cycle competitively should check with their club or Cycling Queensland*.
Discuss insurance cover with your employer if you cycle as part of your work. You could be covered by work cover but details vary according to the nature of your employment – for example, if you are employed under a contract you might not be covered by work cover and therefore need to consider professional insurance.
For further information contact us.
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