Unless you encase your bike in concrete and chip it out whenever you need to use it, there’s no way to 100-percent guard your cycle against theft.
But there are steps you can take to make it harder to steal. And Portland recently made an unusual but encouraging one by rolling out cleverly designed bike racks meant to repel all but the most determined thieves.
In most cases, bike bandits go for the lock—snipping ineffective cable locks with garden shears or bolt cutters and disabling U-locks with pry bars, modified car jacks, and battery-powered angle grinders. But Portland has lately attracted a determined contingent of thieves that attack sturdy racks, creating headaches for both bikeless victims and the city for bearing the cost of rack replacements.
“There were a number of bike thefts where the bike rack itself was cut to remove the lock and bike,” says Hannah Schafer, a communications specialist at the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “We wanted to ensure that we were doing all we could to protect bikes and encourage people to ride without worrying about their bikes’ safety. The added security features are worth the marginal extra cost.”