Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

The Monday Roundup: Stolen bike statistics, glowing road paint & more

Posted by on April 21st, 2014 at 8:30 am

sad sight

A permanent parting?
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by Urban Office Renewal, now offering newly renovated bike-friendly office space at SW 9th and Oak.

Here are the bike links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Theft facts: Seven percent of bike theft victims never replace their bikes. That’s one of eight depressing (and unusually interesting) factoids about bike theft.

Theft investigation: Seattle police dedicated months to investigating used-bike shop Bicycle Pull-Apart, concluding among other things that “more than half of the bikes bought by the shop between February 2013 and January 2014 were bought from convicted felons.” Owner Eric Patchen said he “always followed the letter of the law.”

Phosphorescent road markings: A “sort of amped-up version of what is found on many wristwatches” is being tested for glowing road striping in the Netherlands. Fans say it might make streetlights less necessary.

Borrowed ride: A Los Angeles triathlete placed second in a series after using peer-to-peer bike rental site Spinlister to rent a $9,000 bike for $50.

Femininity and bikes: “Wait, what does ‘feminine’ actually mean,” and what does it have to do with biking? Portlander Elly Blue’s tweet penorompted The Atlantic Cities to gather interesting answers from 22 women.

Mobile manufacturing: A a team of Taipei tinkerers have outfitted a bicycle with its own 3-D printer that can convert used bubble tea cups to flashing spoke lights.

Law abiders: The fact that only 1 percent of Copenhageners bike through red lights is just the beginning of this very interesting exploration of the best-behaved bike city in the world.

Biking for dear life: If all 26 of Western Europe’s capitals went Danish (26 percent of trips by bicycle) the healthier riders and lower emissions could prevent 10,000 deaths each year.

Dear drivers: British bike writer Carlton Reid has a very nice explanation, from a car driver’s perspective, of why people often bike down the middle of the road.

Portlandizing Seattle: Seattle has officially scrapped its recent sharrows-on-big-streets bike plan in favor of one that combines neighborhood greenways on side streets with protected bike lanes on big ones.

Biking to Big Pink: New Relic’s Chris McCraw takes a look from the inside at the bikey digs inside one of Portland’s bike-friendliest tech firms.

“Cycling’s most infamous rider has been looking for work lately,” writes Outside Magazine. Lance Armstrong is actually funny and self-deprecating in your video of the week, in which Mr. Asterisk sits down with a few thingies to show you how to change a tire.

If you come across a noteworthy bicycle story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you.

  • Mike Quigley April 21, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Locals who lost their bikes to theft might want to check with Bicycle Pull-Apart from time to time.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Dan April 21, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Middle of the road link goes to bicycle pull apart article.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Oliver April 21, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I’d definitely have a ‘no racing’ clause in any rental contract.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • JL April 21, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I thought the story about a bill in Washington that would allow motorcyclists to go through red lights after 1 missed cycle would be a good Monday story too.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • TOM April 21, 2014 at 10:24 am

    >>Dear drivers: British bike writer Carlton Reid has a very nice explanation, from a car driver’s perspective, of why people often bike down the middle of the road.

    links to “bike pull apart” article

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • spare_wheel April 21, 2014 at 10:58 am

    In most cities, the reason for what is percieved as “bad behaviour” is simply the fact that bicycle users haven’t been given adequate infrastructure or, even worse, none at all.

    except that “bad behaviour” is common in amsterdam even though it has higher mode share and better infrastructure.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Paul April 21, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Cable lock in photo looks exactly like the one I use. Not encouraging! If you see someone walking stiff-legged, maybe he has a bolt-cutter up his pant leg.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Racer X April 21, 2014 at 11:47 am

      …or a stiff leg means he is “excited” at seeing your bike with a cable lock.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

    • James Sherbondy April 21, 2014 at 11:48 am

      If you love your bike, get a good U-lock for it! A cable lock like the one pictured above can be cut with a good pair of scissors and some time/determination.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Scott H April 21, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Patchen’s story doesn’t seem to add up. If he supposedly checks all the serial numbers, why are the police purporting that half of his bikes are stolen?

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • 9watts April 21, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      From that article it seemed that at least part of the answer was that he had (suspiciously) mis-typed a lot/some of the serial numbers.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • b April 21, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      The SPD release has some specifics not covered in the Seattle Bike Blog story re: serials, self-pawning, etc. that raise lots of flags.


      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Alan 1.0 April 21, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Umm… Three stolen bikes were found in his possession, not half of his bike inventory. It’s possible he ran the required serial number check before their numbers were listed. (Lessons: 1. Report serial numbers as soon as possible once a theft is identified. 2. Require pawn shops to check serial numbers after thirty days as well as at initial purchase.)

      The “half of the bikes” figure is the fraction that BPA purchased from people with felony records, “many of whom have records for burglary and theft,” in SPD’s words. While that is suspicious, it does not say that any of those bikes were identified as stolen.

      Hat-tip to Brian H for stolenbicycleregistry.com, and to SPD for investigating and reporting on Bike Pull-Apart.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Stretchy April 21, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Valve covers are uncool? I’m such a square.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • A.K. April 21, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      You don’t need them on presta valves because they are screwed closed. They are included for shipping so the valve stem doesn’t puncture the tube. They aren’t needed after that.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • dan April 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm

        That’s true, but uncovered valves tend to accumulate road gunk, so I like to leave the caps on.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

        • A.K. April 21, 2014 at 4:49 pm

          Do you cover the rest of your bike with a cap as well?

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • dan April 22, 2014 at 12:10 am

            Electrical tape 😉

            Recommended Thumb up 1

  • dwainedibbly April 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Lance left out the step at the end where you should pump the tire up to ~20psi and make sure that the bead is seated properly and the tube isn’t pinched before inflating the rest of the way. Otherwise it isn’t a bad video. (And I disagree with him about valve caps, but I guess if one was a weight weenie, then ok, leave them off & deal with the road gunk.)

    Also, he didn’t say anything about patching the leaky tube. It’s pretty wasteful, IMHO, not to do that.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • are April 22, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      coulda used a script. he verbalized almost zero useful info and was nearly incoherent.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • dwainedibbly April 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Shameless Plug for a local small business: speaking of tires & tubes, my bike tire belt from Rebicyclist (Saturday Market downtown) lasted 4 years of daily use & still has a little life in it but I bought another one this weekend anyway.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • GlowBoy April 21, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    I’m interested in a little more detail on the Netherlands’ GITD solution. Seems brighter than any light-activated phosphorescent technology that I’ve seen. The ones I’ve seen that are really bright don’t usually glow for more than an hour or two. Have they found a new material that captures and releases light energy especially well, or are they doing something really high-tech involving nanotech, or what?

    BTW, my new commuter bike has a layer of GITD paint, but like most such (cheaper) paints you need to be in pretty dark surroundings to really see it. (For the record, I didn’t do it because I really thought it would enhance conspicuity, but just because I am GlowBoy).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • gerald schuldt April 22, 2014 at 7:01 am

    The GITD paint is clever, kind of a new twist to follow the yellow brick road & leave it to the Dutch. Another road surface currently being engineered in from Sandpoint Idaho that our bicycle tires may come in contact too some day.

    Recommended Thumb up 1