Bike season is well underway and Québec cyclists are making the most of it once again. And there are lots of them—4.2 million in La Belle Province as of 2015.
Unfortunately many cyclists are worried, especially those in cities. They worry that their bikes could be stolen. And who could blame them? There are more and more cyclists on a growing number of bike paths, and the increasingly sophisticated bikes they ride are often worth a small fortune.
BIKE THEFTS BY THE NUMBERS
- Close to 2,000 thefts are reported to the Montréal police each year
- Roughly 500 thefts are reported to the 500 thefts are reported to the Québec City police each year
A FEW TIPS
Here are some things you can do to reduce the risk.
1. Get a good lock.
A strong, well-built lock makes a big difference. The magazine Protégez-Vous teamed up with Vélo Mag to test 25 makes and models of locks. One thing they found is that U-locks are the top performers.
2. Lock your bike properly
You should attach the wheels and frame of your bike to something solid that’s fixed in place. Locking to a good bike rack is a safe choice, and bike racks tend to be located in public places in plain sight, where thieves would prefer not to be.
3. Engrave your bike
Engraving gives you a way to identify your bike later, and police stations will lend you an engraving tool to do it with. The number you engrave on your bike means it can be identified and returned to you if it’s stolen.
4. Keep your receipts
Keep the receipt for your bike when you buy it as well as for any parts and accessories you get for it later on. Note down your bike’s serial number too. That way, if your bike is stolen, you’ll have a way to identify it for the police.
5. Find out about insurance coverage
Most home insurance policies, whether you’re an owner, co owner, or tenant, cover theft of personal property including bikes, boats and equipment, jewellery, and the rest. But it’s important to check your policy to find out how much you’re covered for. You might for instance have a $2,500 limit on your bicycle even if it’s worth much more.
You might be interested in an endorsement that covers your bike for what it’s actually worth. It comes with a lower deductible than on your home insurance and covers the full replacement value of your bike, including taxes and equipment. There are certain conditions and exclusions, so talk to your insurance agent.
You can also get accident insurance for certain injuries, including coverage of dental and medical expenses, compensation for broken bones, and more. See Vélo Québec for more details.
And happy trails to all cyclists! Happy biking in the countryside and in the cities—on bike lanes, routes, or paths!