If you own a bike and use it to get around, common sense would lead one to lock it up while unattended. With the vast number of bicycles on the street as of late, so are the number of would-be bike thieves.
On The Street
Dublin is Irelands largest city, housing roughly an entire quarter of our population so it’s a safe bet that leaving a poorly locked bike floating around is a bad idea. Lock your bike up, and do it right! Pick a good lock, make sure to secure the bike frame AND the wheels or you might end up walking home. Wheels are probably the most expensive part of any bike and the one part most people tend to forget about.
There are many, many places you can lock up your bike around Dublin (and many you should avoid), but there are a few things to take note of.
- LOCK YOUR BIKE! Okay, I know this one sounds obvious, but I’ve spoken to many people over the years who have left their bike leaning against a wall while they “ran into the shop real quick”. It takes less than 5 seconds for an opportunist thief to walk away with a valuable mode of transport so unless you are The Flash and have supersonic speed, lock it up!
- Make sure that you are locking your bike to something secure. A bike stand that is cemented into the ground is far better than one with bolts, these can be removed fairly quick with the right tools. NEVER lock it to a bollard, the bike can be lifted up and over and your walking home.
- Secure everything! I mean it, frame, wheels, saddle. If you have accessories such as a light, cycle bag etc, take these with you. Thieves will take anything that is not secured.
- Lock your bike up next to or near a less secured bike. Sadly, this is one of the most effective strategies for preventing the theft of a bike. Many people are convinced that a cable lock is enough or they lock the wrong parts of the bike. Use this to your advantage.
Locking your bike up on the street is all well and good, but as I stated earlier, bike thieves will go after anything that isn’t secured. When locking your bike on the street isn’t an option, Bike Lockers make some great alternatives.
Cyc-Lok is an Irish based start-up who have secure bicycle parking facilities in many urban areas around Ireland’s major cities. There are currently 3 Cyc-Lok facilities all located in Dublin City.
- Pearse Street Station
- Heuston Station
- Swords Pavilions Shopping Centre
Each bike locker is fitted with an alarm that, if activated, sends a notification to the bicycle owners’ phone via their app. The fee for these lockers starts at €1 for a single hour up to €3 for 12 hours. This is a pretty low price in exchange for the security that is offered.
Bike Locker is another Irish company who offer bicycle parking facilities. They claim to have 20 facilities across the country, however, only 18 of these facilities are listed on their website. This could be a case of missing information or perhaps they were just rounding up.
We have over 250 Bike Lockers in Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Limerick, Mayo and Meath.
Furthermore, the only facilities listed on their website seem to be in the greater Dublin area and the Galway, Limerick and Mayo locations seem to be missing completely.
The lockers Bike Locker are offering also seem to be long-term lease options. There are no prices available on their website and it seems you need to contact them directly for any real details. From what I can gather, these lockers are leased for a yearly fee of €75.00 (which works out at €1.45 per week). This is a great deal if you plan to stay in an area for long periods at a time but not so great if you are only visiting.
Between the two, Cyc-Lok seems to be the better choice, it’s pay as you go, is secured with an alarm along with tamper and theft notifications straight to your phone and the facilities seem to be indoors. Bike Locker doesn’t offer much information about their facilities or their security so I would look for more information before making a decision.