My bike was stolen yesterday. Again. It was locked up (£99.99 mega-security lock) outside my home at about 4pm and when I came out about two hours later it was gone.
It's my third bike theft in about two years. The one stolen yesterday was recovered by police once before in a pre-dawn raid on a known bike dealer's house. I'm not holding my breath this will happen again. I've also had my saddle stolen a few times, and once my bike was stripped outside a yoga class, leaving me with a frame, two wheels and little else.
Cycle theft has always been bad, but it really feels like it's getting worse. Apparently, insurers have seen a 25% rise in claims over the past year.
Belinda Scott, of Condor Cycles, calls it a surge. "There's a real plague going on at the moment," she said. "And it's not just people being careless. We had a guy the other day who'd just bought his bicycle from us, he locked it up with two locks at London Bridge and left it for 15 minutes and it was taken." So that's the two locks theory gone then.
My bicycle was an expensive one, bought through the cycle-to-work scheme that I've just finished paying off. I'm thinking of downgrading next time in the hope that I'll stop attracting so much attention from thieves. Will that help?
Other advice seems to be to paint it pink, cover it in black tape, or hire a 24-hour bike-minder. Anyone tried this? Or anything else that works?