I was asked by the National Bicycle Dealers Association to guest host a couple of episodes of their weekly podcast—Bicycle Retail Radio. They gave me carte blanche to pick the topics and guests for each show. I’d been wanting to talk to the folks at Bike Index after reading their fascinating report “Closing the loop: A deep dive on a Facebook reseller of bikes stolen in Colorado.”
If you’ve read a cycling publication the last couple of months, you were bound to have read this report. And I bet you were as infuriated as I was but also intrigued. So last week, I sat down with Bryan Hance, co-founder of Bike Index, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, to talk about their universal bike registration service, the rise in bike thefts, and to dive deeper into that fascinating report.
Listen to the entire podcast here:
I had never heard of Bike Index until about three years ago, when our bikes were stolen while vacationing in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Two fat bikes locked together on a hitch rack just ripped off the car, thrown into the back of a pickup and driven away. After that event, I wrote two articles for RBR to help others when their bikes went missing.
What to do if your bike is stolen
Sometimes stolen bikes find their way home
But there’s something you can do right now. REGISTER YOUR BIKE!!! Go to bikeindex.org and register every bike you own. It’s FREE!!! It’s an excellent insurance policy, which I hope you never need. And if after registering your bike and reading their report you understand the great work this nonprofit is doing for the cycling community, our cycling community, hit that donation button and throw them a few bucks.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women’s cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri’s full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.
Mark Follmer says
1. There is a market for cheap, used bikes. Too many people are willing to buy a stolen bike!
2. A lot of bikes are scrapped — undtraceable components sold off separately
Sheri Rosenbaum says
Mark, it was interesting that the guy in Mexico wasn’t really discounting the bikes.
More pressure needs to be put on FB and other online platforms that know people are selling stolen bikes, but don’t do anything to remove them from their platform.