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Securing your bicycle while running errands

Even if you're making a quick errand stop, it's still important lock your bike. While at a crowded store, thieves often look for the easiest bicycle to steal, and an unsecured or poorly secured bicycle can be a perfect target. Here are some tips to help keep your bicycle safe from theft.

Invest in a good bike lock.

One of the most widely used locks is a U-lock. This lock is strong enough to resist tough tools. When using this lock, be sure it's a tight fit. The less room between the U-lock and the bike, the more difficult it will be to use tools to break it.

Use more than one bike locking system.

It's important to learn how to properly use your locks to secure as many components of your bike as you can. Thieves will tend to go after the most valuable parts of your bicycle first. So, it makes sense to secure the frame then the back wheel, then the front wheel.

Always lock your bicycle to a bicycle rack.

Out of convenience, you may want to lock your bike close to your destination, but locking it to a signpost, bench, or tree, is an easy target for theft. Bike racks are anchored and more stable. In addition, if you choose a fence to lock your bike, you run the risk of it being on private property and removed by the property owner.

Scope out the best bike rack.

Not all bike racks are created equal. If you have a choice, pick a bike rack with two points of contact as it provides more stability and is more secure. Comb racks only have one point of contact for the wheel and should be avoided. Lock your bike closer to the sidewalk, not the street. This will help keep it safe from getting accidentally hit by a car whose driver is trying to park.

Choose a popular location.

Look for a bike rack that is in a medium or high traffic area and has good lighting and high visibility. A well-observed area is a deterrent to thieves.

Take removable accessories with you.

Accessories are the most common equipment to be stolen from bikes. Don't be tempted to leave lights or your GPS tracker on the bike. Take them with you.

Consider a bicycle cover.

If you cover your bicycle, chances are a thief will pass your bicycle for an easier target. Plus, a bike cover will protect your bike from weather that can ultimately cause your bike to rust.

For added safety, consider bicycle insurance from Markel. Markel can provide coverage for your bike and the things that are important to you like your spare parts, cycling apparel and accessories. (Plus, we can also offer competitive fee reimbursement if you are unable to race!) In addition, you can get roadside assistance. With this coverage, you’ll have nationwide 24-hour emergency service with up to 35 miles of transportation per breakdown – all for only $12 a year per bicycle.

Get a fast, free online quote today and get the protection and peace of mind you deserve.