Bike Theft Chronicles: “I just feel so defeated and vulnerable”

“I’ve had it up to here with the stolen bike parts in Portland… This is just another notch in the belt of biker discrimination and injustice.”
— Reader email, 9/24/14

As we reported back in July, bike theft in Portland is out of control. The problem shows no sign of going away and in fact, if my judgment of web chatter and other intelligence-gathering channels I monitor daily is correct, it’s getting worse.

We are working to help in various ways (a major update to our Stolen Bike Listings is coming online soon and we’re sitting down with the PPB next week to talk about various strategies), but in the meantime I wanted to do something with the constant stream of emails we receive on this topic.

So, I’m going to start posting emails, tweets, and other things we receive here at BikePortland HQ related to bike theft on Page Two under the column heading: Bike Theft Chronicles. Think of it sort of like the Portland Mercury’s I, Anonymous feature. The reason it will go on Page Two (I’ll also tweet them) and not here on the Front Page is that they’ll be informal, quick posts.


Here’s the first one to give you a taste of what we’ll be posting:

via email on 9/24/14:

“I’ve had it up to *here* with the stolen bike parts in Portland. I work on 6th & E. Burnside, and park my bike in that neighborhood regularly — unfortunately because there is minimal bike parking racks in our office building. My bike was parked outside when the Brooks saddle and seat post were stolen. I just saw on Craigslist another person got their Brooks saddle and seat post were also stolen in the last 24 hrs in a similar location — just a few blocks up from where my bike was. How are we supposed to park our bikes anywhere outside and feel safe/secure/protected? This is just another notch in the belt of biker discrimination and injustice. I know that sounds exaggerated but seriously – I just feel so defeated and vulnerable (among the bikers who’ve had parts/bikes stolen). Is there a way we can protect our bikes and our biking territory?”

My hope in doing this is to not only document the scope of this problem, but also to tap into community wisdom. So please consider sharing your insights, condolences, and so on. (I’ll keep all of these messages anonymous so as not to discourage folks from writing in.)

If you have something to share about bike theft, please contact us (tweeting @BikePortland works too) and we’ll consider it for the Bike Theft Chronicles.

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