Support BikePortland

Portland police will exchange a U-lock for your cable lock on Sunday

Posted by on June 23rd, 2016 at 10:41 am

hales lock

Mayor Charlie Hales on his way to work last fall.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

As bike theft has become the only major category of crime in Portland that’s on a long-term rise, cable locks have been going the way of the station wagon and the wristwatch.

The Portland State University Bike Hub doesn’t even sell them. When Mayor Charlie Hales briefly started biking to work last fall, Willamette Week wrote an entire online article about the fact that he used a cable lock. (His wife Nancy, a regular bike commuter, told us at the time that it was because they’d misplaced their U-lock keys that day.)

Apparently the Bike Theft Task Force at the Portland Police Bureau agrees. In a tweet on Wednesday, the team said they’ll be offering a lock exchange program at North Portland Sunday Parkways this weekend: you give them a cable lock, they give you a U-lock.

Advertisement

If you own a cable lock but not a U-lock, that’s a good deal.

(Thanks to Steve at the Portland Mercury for calling this to our attention.)

Update 2:30 p.m.: Portland Police Bureau Ofc. David Sanders, a member of the Bike Theft Task Force, writes to add some more details:

The BTTF was able to implement this cable lock upgrade program because of a partnership between Project 529 and Abus, and their dedication to reducing bike theft in Portland. They made it happen. Another example of the collaboration that is needed to fight this epidemic. We are also going to offer free bike registration through Project 529 at Sunday’s event, but the main emphasis of this event is proper locking techniques/bike security. We want the public to use U-locks so badly that we are literally giving them away. Hope that shows the public how serious we are about this. We hope that Sunday’s event will prevent many future thefts in Portland!

Project 529 worked with ABUS to work out the details on this program, we (PPB and PBOT funded this) were able to purchase the U-locks at significant discount through a local bike shop. We purchased about 300 locks and will offer a portion of these at Sunday’s event as well as other events around town, so this won’t be the only opportunity (unless we run out…).

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.

Please support BikePortland.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

78 Comments
  • Avatar
    John Lascurettes June 23, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Wow, bold! I like it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Doug June 23, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Total condemnation of cable locks? I have a great big PLUS. They are a whole bunch lighter. If I stop at a grocery store in Castle Rock the cable lock is fine for 5 minutes.

    I’m not lugging more than I have to, especially if I’m not really planning on stopping. I’ve always brought my bike inside pubs and restaurants in Portland.

    I also tell time on a wrist watch and don’t see a ton of difference between a station wagon and SUV or crossover. Drove a Subaru station wagon for 15 years and we got along great, it was long enough so as to not have break down 9 foot fly rods. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel; wheel good already.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Adam H.
      Adam H. June 23, 2016 at 11:40 am

      That lightness of cable locks is also the reason they can be cut through in under a second.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      rick June 23, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Regular station wagons allow drivers behind the wagon to safely see the road ahead unlike crossovers.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Aoife O'Sullivan June 24, 2016 at 8:40 am

      My hubby ran into Freddie’s for no more than 3-4 minutes, he came back out to find a guy sawing through the last fiber of his cable lock. His bike was right outside the door, where there’s always a staff member standing. Don’t use cable locks, they’re not worth losing your bike!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      soren June 24, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      ironically, after decades of using u-locks (and having had multiple bike stolen) i now use a cable lock when i am parking in a high-risk area.

      http://www.litelok.com/pages/lock-mass-index-lmi

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      David Feldman June 27, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      Great out in the country–worse than useless in a big metro area. I have worked in bike retail for 40 years and have heard way too many heartbreak stories–I don’t have an “opinion” on this matter, I have “knowledge.” And I’m impressed by the generosity of Abus and the PPB.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        was carless July 22, 2016 at 1:07 pm

        From my experience, ABUS and ONGUARD make great locks.

        I have a 4 1/2 pound onguard U-lock I’ve used for almost 10 years, even leaving my bike locked overnight in downtown. I still have the bike!

        REI did an angle grinder test on the lock and were unable to saw through it within 30 minutes.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Lynne June 23, 2016 at 11:37 am

    That is excellent! But also consider context – in PDX, bike theft is a problem. Outside of PDX, not so much. I don’t lock my bike anywhere outside of the UGB. When I solo toured from VA to NJ, I used the wimpiest cable lock ever (PACsafe), and really didn’t stress over it, except maybe in Annapolis – quickest trip possible through the 7-11! When I am in PDX, though, my bike is locked with a U-lock AND a sturdy cable looped through the front wheel/frame/rear rack.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jonathan R June 23, 2016 at 11:39 am

    It’s weird that the same people who extol the flexibility of the bicycle as a transportation tool are so rigid when it comes to securing that bicycle. And if bicycle advocates can call for society to resolve the issue of traffic violence in bicyclists’ favor, why can they not also suggest some way to diminish the need to carry around 20 lbs. of locks and chains?

    I wrote more about this exact subject at http://www.cityofjonathan.org/2016/bike-theft-and-fundamental-attribution-error/

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Ian June 23, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      If you’ve got an idea for how we can effectively call for society to eliminate bike theft, I’m all ears. In the meantime, I’m going to keep securing my bike with a lock that takes more than 5 seconds with a cable cutter to thwart, and I’m going to keep encouraging others to do the same.

      I don’t believe that advocating for this level of diligence constitutes the “in-group policing” or “fundamental attribution error” your article warns of. People who choose to use cable locks are not worse people or less deserving of security, but that doesn’t change the fact that their choice has made them far more vulnerable to a very real risk. What they choose to do with that information is ultimately up to them, but why not enable them to lessen that risk?

      Finally, I also have to take issue with your portrayal of “20 lbs. of locks and chains” that require “five-minute intervals spent … crouched over a staple rack” to utilize. Decent u-locks are maybe 2-3 pounds (and if weight is an issue, who among us couldn’t stand to lose 2-3 pounds ourselves?), and take maybe 10 seconds to lock. If you want to make a case that u-locks are unnecessarily burdensome, I think it would help to at least provide figures that aren’t off by a full order of magnitude.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 23, 2016 at 12:38 pm

        We can eliminate bike theft by giving everyone a bike.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Adam H.
          Adam H. June 23, 2016 at 12:45 pm

          What about the n+1 rule?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty June 23, 2016 at 12:45 pm

            Ok, give everyone two bikes.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Stephen Keller June 23, 2016 at 1:09 pm

              Um…, two better bikes than the next guy.

              Seriously, though, I suspect that most people who steal bikes aren’t looking for a means of transportation. Bikes (and bike parts) are relatively easy to convert into money, so it’s an income stream. If people routinely left wallets and purses full of cash at the curb, we’d see a lot less bicycle theft. Likewise, if used bikes and used bike parts were impossible to sell or trade for other stuff, we also see a lot less bicycle theft.

              Stph

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 23, 2016 at 1:21 pm

                If everyone has two bikes, the market for a third will be pretty thin. Just as radio theft from cars dropped precipitously when most cars started coming with decent stereos. (Sorry, non-audiophile here.)

                On the other hand, why am I presenting a serious defense of a joke proposal?

                THREE BIKES PER MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD!

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Adam H.
                Adam H. June 23, 2016 at 1:32 pm

                n+1; must acquire fourth bike.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 23, 2016 at 3:13 pm

                Ok, 5 bikes. Final offer.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        David Feldman June 27, 2016 at 2:44 pm

        Bravo!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Todd Boulanger July 22, 2016 at 1:09 pm

        Yes – cable locks have their place and function – best as a secondary lock for a bike of high value or utility…or as a primary lock for a cheap bike or low utility/ low resale value.

        If a bike is parked ONLY at a secure private site (home, office etc.) and nvverparked anywhere else in public then you can rely of a cable lock or… even a thick piece of rope with a complex knot…if that is all one had.

        Much of the valuable public effort by Project 529, PPB, etc. is to educate users that there is a trade off of the choices below. Too many novice cyclists seem to have less awareness of how insecure different locking hardware and methods are when they park on the street.

        This outreach is necessary until there is a truly effective national bike frame AND bike parts registration and tracking system…until then bikes and bike parts will have a high street value as ‘currency’ so long as bicycling stays in a growth mode …or until everyone just shares a bike.

        [I am in the bike facility design and parking industry and have heard all too many sad stories about lost bikes parked with only cable locks in urban areas.]

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Dave Sanders, Portland Police June 23, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks for the link. I gave it a read. Interesting points, though I am not from New York and am not familiar with the culture/problems there. I also see things from a bit different perspective than most cyclists. Here are only a few facts that factor into my reasoning when I preach the blanket use of U-locks:

      -We have a bike theft epidemic here in PDX that is getting worse.
      -Thieves steal them because it’s relatively easy
      -Thefts are not isolated to any specific geographic area.
      -There are dozens of criminals constantly and relentlessly scouring the city, around-the-clock, looking to victimize cyclists
      -U-locks are harder to defeat than cable locks
      -Very few U-locked bikes are reported stolen as compared to those that are secured with cable locks.

      Additionally, I have taken/read numerous police reports of those who ‘leave their bike in eyesight’, and proceed to watch it ride away.

      For what it’s worth, we just offer suggestions and tips that we feel are helpful for a safer community. Nobody is forcing anyone to lock up there bike in the first place, but what’s the harm in making your bike as hard as possible to steal?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Edward June 24, 2016 at 8:49 am

        Great public service for putting this together and thanks in advance.

        Meanwhile it would also be great to see the police and the District Attorney’s office treat each bike theft as a felony under the Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and the Trafficking in Stolen Vehicles laws, which are each Class C felonies, without regard to the value of the bike (unlike a Theft I). This gives more options to get the worst of the worst off the streets under Repeat Property Offender laws.

        As long as law enforcement treats this crime in equal seriousness as pocketing a candy at the grocery store, the core group of committed criminals will keep doing it (high profit vs. low risk).

        To me, my bike is way more valuable and important than my car. It is my trusted steed and a source of intrinsic joy and community.

        See y’all at the Sunday Parkways.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Steve Cameron June 24, 2016 at 9:17 am

        It amazes me when people get so up tight about things like this. There is no mandate or potential law requiring U-locks so what is the problem. Early on at Winchester eBikes, we had 2 eBikes stolen from the front of our store during business hours. This even though we had the beefiest cable, best lock and secured to the sidewalk with anchors. They cut the cable and made off with the bikes within minutes. We now always recommend U-locks to our customers. But again, everyone can use any sort of protection they want – it’s a free country.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      jeff June 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Denial – they name is Jonathan R.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    wsbob June 23, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    “…the team said they’ll be offering a lock exchange program at North Portland Sunday Parkways this weekend: you give them a cable lock, they give you a U-lock.” bikeportland

    Good idea, though I wonder how many U-locks Portland’s police dept can afford to hand out for free. If the PD’s bike u-lock campaign is being made possible in part by way of a generous contribution on the part of a u-lock manufacturer, or some other group, if would be worthwhile having some information about this.

    Quick websearch shows that Abus U-locks may start out at about 25 bucks. Seems I’ve seen u-locks branded Bell, for around 15. There’s also the question of quality of theft resistance offered by u-locks of different price ranges, though generally, it seems that u-locks are better in this respect, and nevertheless, ‘free’ is a very good price. Still, people receiving the locks will hopefully receive with them, some info about the lock type’s limitations.

    It’s an interesting point raised in this discussion section, that bikes outside of Portland, or I suppose, other metro areas as well, apparently are far less susceptible to the determination of thieves to steal them. I guess that could give some people confidence to leave their u-locks home when they decide to bike outside the city.

    In the city, I don’t like to leave my bike unattended, locked or unlocked when I’ve gone to the store, for example, and so, to pick up just a few items, have found it very convenient to be able to take the bike into many businesses out here in Beaverton. Some businesses…Fred Meyer’s seems to be one, apparently have come to have problems with some people doing this; some of the company’s stores may be more actively using their store’s policy of ‘no bikes in store’, to stop the practice. I think it’s unfortunate that this is the only way some store managers have been able to figure out how to effectively deal with certain customers whose handling of their bikes in the store, poses a problem.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty June 23, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Portland police — stop the victim blaming! If I want to lock my bike with a cable lock, I should be able to, and I don’t appreciate the police telling me to use a “better” lock. It’s other people’s responsibility not to steal my bike.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Dave Sanders, Portland Police June 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      I’d like to just respond to this, because I hear it from time to time… Maybe someone can unpack this a bit more for me.

      I don’t understand how this is “victim blaming”. I would be happy to hear more from you in person about this if you would be willing to contact me. I don’t see how this message of bike security is at all offensive or even negative.

      This is very factually based from trends we see reported to us. Cable locks are the lock of choice for a thief. I can 100% back this up, and this is not my opinion. Do you disagree that we should be informing the public of crime trends and the best ways to protect themselves?

      I live in a safe neighborhood, but still lock my front door. That being said, I don’t go overboard with my home security because I am comfortable with what I have. If someone showed me good reason to upgrade my home security, I’d probably take that into consideration.

      We live in a broken world that has problems. We are just trying to give out the best information we can to prevent you from being exposed to those problems first hand.

      Don’t feel bad about NOT using a U-lock. If you feel comfortable with your standard of bike security for what you use your bike for, great! We aren’t judging you. Just trying to inform.

      (and yes, for the record, I agree, they should not be stealing your bike in the first place…=)…)

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        wsbob June 25, 2016 at 6:51 pm

        “…Don’t feel bad about NOT using a U-lock. If you feel comfortable with your standard of bike security for what you use your bike for, great! …” sanders, portland police.

        I think unattended, or poorly secured bikes, invites theft…maybe even encourages bike theft.

        There’ve been some people in this discussion, saying, outside of the city, leaving a bike unattended and unlocked, is little to no security risk. Other people have said that, in the city where bike theft is apparently common, even a u-lock can succumb to the determination of thieves, but that this type of lock is less likely to be attacked than are cable locks.

        So for the bike owner wishing to leave their bike unattended, I suppose, choice of lock type, or whether to secure their bike with a lock, at all, depends on how well they know the likelihood of bike theft in the area they intend to leave their bike unattended, and how that might relate to the bike they ride.

        Bike thieves aren’t all necessarily discriminating in the type of bikes they’re willing to cut a cable lock to steal: is my impression correct? Even bikes that don’t cost a lot, that don’t hold much resale value, have their cable locks cut, and the bikes stolen, just like more expensive bikes are. Isn’t that true?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Dave Sanders, Portland Police June 23, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Or maybe I didn’t read into your sarcasm appropriately? 🙂

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 24, 2016 at 3:36 am

        Maybe.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      pengo June 23, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Sad but not surprising to see PPB in the pocket of Big Lock. smdh

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 23, 2016 at 5:00 pm

        I’ve always said we need to break up the lock cartel, and create a set of regional lock companies that can compete against one another.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • John Liu
      John Liu June 23, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Because we don’t live in make believe sugar plum fairyland, you shouldn’t rely on bike thieves to be “responsible” and refrain from stealing the bike you have secured with next to nothing aka a cable lock. Because if they were so considerate, they wouldn’t be bike thieves, now would they?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Alphamonk June 24, 2016 at 8:33 am

      Portland police – stop the victim blaming! If I want to park my bike downtown at night without a lock, I should be able to, and I don’t appreciate the police telling me to use “a lock”.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty June 23, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    But actually, this is a pretty awesome idea.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • John Liu
      John Liu June 23, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Contrary to what you’ve said in your prior posts?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 24, 2016 at 3:43 am

        It was a parody of those who criticize Trimet for having the gall to pass out blinking lights or suggest people steps to not be invisible at night, claiming it is just victim blaming.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Spiffy June 23, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    the station wagon is going as strong as ever, but now they call it an SUV for marketing purposes…

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Stephen Keller June 23, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Agreed. Judging from appearances, there is very little in the way of design consideration given to actual sport or utility applications. Perhaps we should just refer to them as Vs.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 23, 2016 at 1:22 pm

        I prefer the term “satanmobile”.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        jeff June 23, 2016 at 3:19 pm

        I’ve had my wagon full of building supplies…bike equipment…ski equipment…climbing equipment…camping equipment..and kayak equipment. seems to work just fine other than a few marks on the upholstery here and there.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 23, 2016 at 5:02 pm

          My wagon is full of digital watches.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      oliver June 23, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      Only it gained 24 inches in superfluous height for image/status considerations and to capture the “i like to see over stuff” demographic (25-34, 35-44 y.o. women) Even Subaru has ditched the Legacy wagon for the Outback which is now a mid-size SUV, And they’ve got a seven seater in the works. The US will not be getting the Levorg wagon.

      The love for wagons is alive and well, but as far as this country is concerned only among a fairly narrow band of automobile enthusiasts.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        John Lascurettes June 23, 2016 at 4:25 pm

        There was a subtle game Subaru played a several years ago (2004). They raised the chassis of the outback by an inch and half. That changed the classification of the vehicle from a passenger car/wagon to sport utility vehicle. At that point, they had a lower bar to pass for both emissions and passenger safety. This is why most of the car industry pushed SUVs on the public through marketing. SUVs were cheaper to produce and they marked them up higher. Higher profit margins. Lower safety and pollution standards.

        Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/13/business/to-avoid-fuel-limits-subaru-is-turning-a-sedan-into-a-truck.html

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          John Lascurettes June 23, 2016 at 4:25 pm

          So it’s more than just a name. There is a big difference between a passenger car or wagon and an SUV.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 23, 2016 at 4:56 pm

          Ironic. I’ve always wondered why people would even want an SUV, not to mention pay more for it. Obviously I’m out-of-touch in some way, because many people do.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      GlowBoy June 26, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      No, there’s a huge difference between SUVs and station wagons. Back when station wagons were really widely available(1980s-early 90s) you could buy either a sedan version or a wagon version and THEY GOT THE SAME FUEL ECONOMY. They also cost about the same.

      Now if you want to buy a wagon, you have to buy a jacked-up, overbuilt SUV, pay an extra $5000 (or more) than the sedan with comparable passenger volume from the same automaker, and generally take a big hit in mileage compared with the sedan.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    kittens June 23, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    This is smart of the PPD.

    Security is everyone’s responsibility.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Kyle Banerjee June 23, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    What would be nice is if there were bike lockers or other secure bike storage (even for pay). With a U lock, you can secure the frame and a wheel, but the rest of the bike can still get stripped.

    A U lock is to security what cheapie blinky lights are to visibility. Definitely better than nothing, but you shouldn’t let them give you a false sense of security.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Roberta June 23, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    I walked out of Freddies a couple weeks ago and saw a guy hovering over my bike, when there was plenty of space on the rack. He apologized to me and rode away. He was threads away from cutting my cable lock. But he didn’t get it. I’ve been using another cable lock for now waiting to get a U Lock, and I will take advantage of the trade-in. Thanks Portland Police!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      El Biciclero June 23, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      Well, now, I’ll admit to hovering over bikes from time to time, but unless my drool can burn through cable, it’s not to remove a lock.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar

    Where on the route will this be taking place? I didn’t see it in the activity list in the SP brochure.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      paikiala June 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      KGW says Arbor Lodge Park.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Nathan Hinkle (Bike Light Database and NearlyKilled.me) June 23, 2016 at 4:58 pm

        Awesome! That’s where I’ll be volunteering from.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Steve Scarich June 23, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Since when is it government’s role to subsidize the public’s purchase of a small-budget item, while, at the same time, reducing the income of already struggling bike shops?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Adam June 24, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Perhaps if bike shops actually GAVE A CR*P about selling u-locks, or advising customers to lock up their new 2k bikes with u-locks. I’ve bought three new expensive bikes from Portland bike shops. Not one advised me on how to safely lock it. Incidentally, two were purchased from Western Bikeworks, who I distinctly remember claiming on another BikePortland post a year or so back, tell all their employees to advise on bike locking with every bike purchase. I say claim, because their employees never advised me as they removed four grand from my debit card over two transactions!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      pengo June 24, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      Given that there’s pushback at all on the idea of free u-locks I can’t even imagine what I’d be reading here if they (the police!) were advising the purchase (with money!) of said locks.

      I’m just glad they’re not giving away helmetsl.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Spiffy June 29, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      the city gives out free parking sticker holders to motorcycle riders for the same reason they’re giving out locks: the vehicle doesn’t come with the secure ability that cars do…

      as to your question of when, I’m not sure how long they’ve been giving out free solutions to alternative problems… I’m guessing it’s been a very long time…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Adam H.
      Adam H. June 29, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      I’m fine with PPB giving out items for free that make their own jobs easier (and therefore less costly to the taxpayer). Don’t you want the Bike Theft Task Force to have less work to do?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Todd Boulanger July 22, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Each stolen bike is potentially one less novice rider becoming a full time cyclist.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Heather Miracle June 23, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    I don’t even have a cable lock, I just park my bike and pray no one steals it

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Heather Miracle June 23, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Believe me, it’s not a choice.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • John Liu
        John Liu June 25, 2016 at 7:25 am

        So you’ll be at the U lock giveaway then?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty June 24, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      I tie mine down with stout twine.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Adam H.
        Adam H. June 24, 2016 at 12:42 pm

        Hemp twine, of course.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    mran1984 June 23, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Maybe to transport five to six kids to a basketball game during the week and then facilitate that required escape to the forest on the weekends, but I am out of touch with most transplants and those who long for an dense, urban environment. Buy your own lock, btw.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Charles J. Mattouk June 24, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Both cables and you logs are useless when tied on city owned tubular bike stands. Had a guy walk up to the one in front of our shop and using a pipe cutter, he just cut a full notch in the stand and slid the bike lock right out. 10 seconds tops… Closer to 5 seconds.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • John Liu
      John Liu June 25, 2016 at 7:24 am

      Bike racks should be square tubing, hardened, concrete filled.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Ken June 25, 2016 at 6:34 am

    So TAXPAYERS are footing the bill (yet again) for those who can’t take responsibilities for their own bikes?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Liu
    John Liu June 25, 2016 at 7:22 am

    I’ve used U locks since the earliest Krytonite models, with the flat steel straps (mid 1970s). I don’t leave my bike locked outside overnight, or lock to flimsy stuff, or lock around just a wheel or similar misuse. And I’ve never had a bike stolen. We’re talking zero theft losses in forty years of locking up bikes.

    Let’s be thankful for cable lock users, though. By offering up their bikes for easy theft, they encourage thieves to avoid our U locked bikes.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    was carless June 26, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Honestly, just go to http://www.soldsecure.com/ and look up whatever lock you are thinking about buying. This company actually has rated hundreds of locks. Super heavy chains and u-locks tend to earn “bicycle gold” marks.

    This website has a good writeup:

    http://thebestbikelock.com/best-bike-lock/sold-secure-gold-bike-locks/

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    GlowBoy June 26, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    A few things:

    – Not true that bike theft is a massive problem in Portland and not elsewhere. Besides notorious New York, every major American city has a major bike-theft problem. It’s less of a problem in rural areas, but in any city, watch out. Not just Portland.

    – In in Canada right now, where I’ve spent a week on vacation, enroute to Portland. I spent most of the time In Banff and Canmore, resort towns with massive numbers of bikes, and never saw a U-Lock. The bike shop I rented from laughed at me when I asked about U-locks (even though they almost refused to rent to me because I was staying in a tent, allegedly due to theft risk at the campground). I’ve spent the last 24 hours in Calgary, a large city with high unemployment (due to low oil prices) and the usual share of big-city problems, but U-locks still appear to be in the minority here. I certainly saw some, but cables were more common. This may be due to Canada just generally having lower crime than the US.

    – Cable locks have their place , just NOT as primary security. Yes of course – if you’re in any US metropolitan area, you should lock your bike frame and one of the wheels with a U-lock. But cable locks are still useful for locking the other wheel. Personally I use the Sheldon method, locking the rear wheel (inside the frame) to the rack, and then use a cable to lock the front wheel. As strident as the anti-cable message can be, I very rarely see a bike locked with two U-locks, which would be necessary if you’re never to use cables. Let’s get real, people.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      wsbob June 27, 2016 at 10:10 am

      For people intending to stay and bike in Banff, Canmore or Calgary, your report may be of some help, as to their deciding what type lock to secure their bike with.

      Here in the Portland metro area, bikes get stolen, and it seem to not be uncommon for there to be no rhyme or reason for some of the thefts. Among seeming reasons that jerk thieves apparently will steal a bike, isn’t because they’re hungry or poor…but just because they can…for a joyride, or maybe because they’re too lazy to walk five or six blocks. Nice bikes get stolen, and sometimes just wind up in a ditch where by a combination of fortunate circumstances, they sometimes are returned to their owner.

      It’s a pain to have to fuss with locking up a bike that’s going to be unattended. It’s much more of a pain to find a bike is gone due to it having been locked up with only a wimpy cable lock. For people cycle touring, reluctance to carry the additional weight of bike locks is reasonable, but for bopping around the city, shopping trips and whatnot, objection to the additional weight of a u-lock over that of a cable lock…doesn’t carry much weight.

      The u-lock/cable lock combination, may be a reasonable alternative to using two u-locks to secure a bike.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        GlowBoy June 27, 2016 at 2:49 pm

        “For people intending to stay and bike in Banff, Canmore or Calgary, your report may be of some help, as to their deciding what type lock to secure their bike with. ”

        Well, that’s a bit of a smarmy reply. For the record, only one of my 3 paragraphs above dealt with Canada. The overall point of my post is that yes, a U-lock *is* needed in Portland – as well as nearly every American city – while noting the interesting contrast with Canada.

        “Here in the Portland metro area, bikes get stolen”

        Kind of my point, if you’d read the whole post.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      was carless July 22, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      IMO, its better to just replace all the quick-release skewers with bolted skewers. No city or commuting bike should have QR! Its beyond idiotic.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Ape June 27, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Will this happen again? I just found out about it Monday morning, dangit.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Sharon Smith June 28, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Any chance they’ll be doing this program again? I didn’t find out about it until after it happened.

    My cable lock is really heavy duty – & absurdly long- but I’d love to upgrade to a U-lock. But, I’m currently unemployed. My bike was already stolen once from my completely fenced-in backyard when I lived in Salem; I’d rather not lose it again. (I got seriously lucky that time. The thief had dropped it less than a block away & the next door neighbor spotted it.) I’d figured with the fence, no one could even see it so I didn’t have it chained to anything.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger July 22, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    For the complainers…

    There are similar public education efforts by police departments for other private property items: such as handing out gun locks and “the Club” type car steering wheel ‘inablizers’. So the precedent has been set based on the problem at hand and a local community’s core values.

    If this lock program becomes institutionalized …then it may be best to offer other bike shops a manageable process to bid on these bulk purchases in order to reduce any ill feelings about loss of trade. Yes there may be loss of profit from a single sale but volume should make up for it. As most recipients would likely keep using low value locks (i.e. ‘no sale’) until they need to replace their bike and accessories.

    Now if the “complainers” are motivated by the loss of trade of replacing stolen bikes and accessories – then they have to look into their ‘heart of hearts’ as to what they are bringing to the community of cycling.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar