John Holstein jonhol2 at netscape.net
Tue Jan 6 12:18:09 EST 2009

??????????????????????????????? On NYE Rob Kemp led a small group of Cyclists on a journey along the M7 Cycle Way to Moonrise to view the fireworks.From all reports it was a good evening with all involved enjoying themselves. Rob has received some very favourable comments regarding his leadership and organisation?of the ride.

Unfortunately, in circumstances that were completely out of Rob's control, a couple of bikes were stolen from Moonrise as several people enjoyed the midnight fireworks display. One belonged to a rider from Rob's group & one from a rider from another group. There has been some discussion on the Sydney Cyclist Website (http://www.sydneycyclist.com/) about the loss & a description of the bike posted there. That discussion prompted me to add the following post & I have reproduced it here as a reminder to all of us of the importance of knowing the identity of your bike.

In another discussion on this site, Peter H laments the theft of his bike on NYE from Moonrise whilst participating in a CAMWEST organised ride. It was plucked from under the noses of a number of riders, together with a bike from another group attending the same venue. It was a brazen theft & could have happened to any of us.

That leads me into this discussion. Can you describe your bike? Have you recorded the serial number & kept it safe somewhere? Do you have a description of its identifying marks and scars? Is it insured & if so, is it insured for its replacement value? Many of you will answer no to most of these questions.

The NSW Police Force auctions literally hundreds of bikes each year because they cannot be returned to their owners. The database of recovered bikes is littered with 26"road bikes or silver mountain bikes & have very little chance of ever being reunited with their owners because of inadequate identification details being recorded.

In today's world of Digital Photography it is easy. Turn you bike upside down & photograph the serial number which is usually stamped underneath the bottom bracket. Take photographs of all its unique scars and features which will differentiate it from the same brand bike beside it in the Pawn Shop. Have a photograph taken of yourself with your beloved bike (bikes) as well. 

If your bike (or any other treasured possession) does not have a serial number, then you could always engrave it with an identifying number. A very good suggestion is to engrave it with your Drivers Licence Number preceded with a? letter in brackets (N) (V) (Q) etc, to denote what state it is from. The Police have access to the details of you licence immediately through their Computerised Operational Policing System (COPS).

After all that has been done, save the file somewhere safe, have the photographs printed off as well & stored somewhere else ( computers do crash, files get lost) . Then, if your bike is lost, stolen or damaged, you have an accurate record of its description, condition and proof of ownership.

As an aside, it is a good idea to do this with most of your other treasured possessions as well.

A little effort may see your bike returned to you or your insurance company giving you adequate compensation for its loss or theft.

John Holstein
President,?CAMWEST (http://camwest.pps.com.au) advocating for better cycling infrastructure for Sydney's West.

"if we don't change direction, we will end up where we are headed" (Professor Irwin Corey
American vaudeville comic and actor (1914 - ) )
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