In Singapore, we tend to take our security and safety for granted and I see that happening all the time, with people leaving their bags unattended or valuables out in the open. It is true, we have a low crime rate, but there IS theft and we need to be always alert, especially if these objects mean a lot to us. Last year, a friend’s (very nice) bike got stolen at a coffeeshop in Bedok while there was someone keeping watch over it. It happened in a blink of an eye and while Bedok is pretty infamous for it’s bike thieves , this could happen anywhere.
I saw this at the Somerset MRT Station. Obviously the owner of the bike has no idea how to lock his/her bike! Without having to cut any locks or chains, the thief simply opened up the seatpost clamp and took the entire bike away!
If we want to encourage more people to hop onto a bike instead of into a cab, we need to first have adequate knowledge of safety (both bike parking and riding), and educate riders as well as members of the public.
I got in touch with Roy Soon, cyclist and one half of the Soon Bros for some advice on keeping your bike safe.
What are some of the top newbie errors when it comes to locking up bikes?
Personally, I didn’t have much of a problem as I’m using a foldable bike now, so the bike goes where i go.
I had been cycling since young until the bike got stolen from my place. We took it for granted that having the bikes within the gates is safe enough and we didn’t lock the front gates (it was a landed property), so the thief conveniently broke into the house and took the bikes.
So looking back, I personally feel that theft might have been from over-confidence with bike locks. Although they do serve as a deterrence, never rely on it to safeguard your bike/property.
So what should they do?
Having the right bike for the right occasion may help. For example, if it’s a full-bike ride, don’t bother going into premises. If you’re plan to go into premises, ride a foldie.
If I may say what exactly is the newbie error, it’s likely the reluctance to invest and always wanting an all-in-one bike.
What’s your top tips for locking bikes up in public?
- If possible, always have it within line of sight from where you will be or at least be brave enough to lock it in a crowded but not packed area (provided you clear the securities if you’re on private property)
- If it has to be locked slightly further away, rider might want to consider having the blinkers switched on, pointing 30/45degrees to the ground so that you don’t blind the public and more importantly, the blinker will allow a better visual of the bike.
- Mess up your gears after locking. Should the lock be cut, it might buy some more time for detection as they will take a little while more to be able to ride it off while they try to figure out a right gear combination.
- Invest in a proper lock, if not a foldie (a foldable bike, so that you can take it around with you without having to lock it out of sight)
When taking your foldable bike around with you, have you encountered times that the building management/establishment refuses to let you bring in your bike (in it’s folded form)? How do you tackle that issue and where do you store your bike then?
So far most building management have been pretty flexible on my foldie, so it’s a really nice experience.
SMRT (Singapore’s train system, for any tourists reading this) has got to top the list for entry rejection.
Only foldable bicycles are allowed to board public transport and only during off-peak hours, which is pretty inconvenient.
Here’s a secret trick (that’s now going public!) : Fold your foldie, put it in a bag or have a big cover over the whole bike in folded state, and usually you’ll be able to pass!
Any recommendations on restaurants/cafes that are bike friendly and allow riders to bring in their bikes or have safe storage areas?
Penny University Cafe along East Coast Road
Pit Stop 24/7 (bar) in Punggol
Tuckshop (bar) along Guillemard Rd
Chye Seng Huat Hardware (cafe) on Tyrwhitt Road
Loysel’s Toy (cafe) at Kampung Bugis (Kallang Riverside Park)
Who are the Soon Bros and what can they do for cyclists?
Soon Bros started from a simple train of thought – if there’s a bike that requires servicing, it’s likely not serviceable to ride safely. Unless the rider can drive their bike to the store, why cant the shop go to the rider instead?
For a $10 transportation fee and service fees from $5 – $50, we’ll bring the bike shop and services to the rider. Special services like late night bicycle malfunction remedies and full bike set-ups are also offered.
We hope that future brand endorsements and advertorial sponsorships will help to make proper and safe cycling accessible to the masses.
For more information, you can get in touch with Roy at https://www.facebook.com/soonbros