Bikers beware: Lock it or lose it

Cody Francis

Sophomore graphic design major Erica Trennel unlocks her Schwinn bicycle. Her bike was stolen last year and now Trennel says she makes sure to lock up her bike wherever she goes. Shaye A. Painter | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Sophomore graphic design major Erica Trennel is a bicycle rider. She weaves her Schwinn bicycle around packs of students walking on the University Esplanade. But no matter how rushed she is, Trennel is sure to lock it to the nearest bicycle rack, tree or railing in the area.

Why this matters to you:

According to Kent State police, students should lock their bikes to prevent them from being stolen.

Last year, she wasn’t as cautious, and her bike was stolen.

This is a warning going out to all Kent State bicycle riders: “Be responsible with your property.”

“This is the time of year when students need to be more cautious about locking up their bicycles,” said Alice Ickes, crime prevention specialist for the Kent State University Police Department. “If you’re not going to ride your bike, make sure it’s safe.”

Like many students who are victims of bike theft, Trennel learned her lesson the hard way. She was in a rush last fall, and there was no bicycle rack nearby when she parked her bike at Small Group. She decided to wrap the lock around the tire and leave the bike. She returned a short time later to find the bike missing.

“I called the police, but told them to just forget about it because it wasn’t worth the hassle,” Trennel said.

Ickes said many students who have their bikes stolen do not report the incident.

Ickes, Trennel and junior economics major and bicycle rider, Aaron Ring gave the following four tips to keep your bicycle safe:

n Make sure to lock your bicycle to a rack, if possible. If not, lock it to a tree or sturdy object nearby.

n Make sure you know where your bicycle is at all times. Don’t lock it up to a random tree and lose track of where you put it.

n If possible, keep your bike in a storage room or your dorm when absent from campus for an extended period of time.

n In the winter, take your bike home instead of leaving it on campus. The longer your bike is unattended, the more likely it is to be stolen.

Ring, proud owner of “Brittany,” an old Schwinn bicycle ready to be taken out with the trash he found two summers ago, said by following these tips he has avoided problems with keeping his “prized possession” safe.

“It doesn’t take much to keep your bike safe on campus,” he said. “Just be smart and don’t leave it sitting around.”

Contact safety reporter Cody Francis at [email protected].