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Portland tends to have a reputation of being a friendly place, but there will always be people who try to take advantage of our situation.

Unfortunately, the Portland Business Journal reported bike theft is on the rise this summer, with an increase of nearly 5.3% since 2007. Our northern neighbor Vancouver has already seen more than 40 stolen bike reports since June 1st. And of course, lets not forget the six year old who wrote a note shaming the people who made off with her bike.

Some may sigh and think “this is why we can’t have nice things!” but bad stuff happens in life. We can’t avoid it! That’s why it’s always a good idea to prepare for the worst, but still expect the best. Check out a few ideas we have posted in prior blogs about how you can keep your set of wheels safe:

Bike Locks: Fairly obvious, but it must be said. Bike locks are the first defense against bike theft, and it’s important to remember that not all bike locks are created equal. According to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, nearly all locked bikes stolen in 2008 in the Portland area were locked with a typical cable lock, which can be clipped with a good set of cutters. Consider a high-quality U-lock, such as this Kryptonite model which can be found on Amazon.

Lock the Important Things: Should you not lock up the important parts of your bike, you might find yourself with the beginnings of a unicycle. Make sure when you’re using your bike lock, you include a wheel and the frame in its loving embrace.

Quick Release Wheels: If you’re consistently taking off your front wheel or your seat post, then you may have one of those quick release levers allowing quick removal. Of course, having these quick release levers means quick removal for just about anyone. You can of course just switch to your typical nut and bolt, but if we do that, aren’t we letting the bad guys win? In all seriousness, consider the Pitlock, which allows for quick and easy removal, but doesn’t sacrifice security.

Serial Number: Do yourself a favor, Right Now. Get yourself a pen and some paper, find your bicycle, and write down the serial number along with the make and model. Put this on your fridge, email it to yourself, have it tattooed on your arm… but make sure you don’t lose the info. If unfortunately the worst occurs and you find yourself lacking a set of wheels, it will be nigh impossible to retrieve your bike without this information.

Do you take precautions with your bicycle? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter what you do to keep your bicycle secure. Send us a picture of how you keep your set of wheels safe!