Protect your bike: (Re-) Introducing a neighborhood bike watch

Two years ago, a couple of our staffers created a neighborhood bike watch by way of a simple blog, aptly named “Bike Watch NYC”. However, after a few months we got busy, the season ended and we let the site go dormant.

Meanwhile, our customers and friends, ever the neighborhood advocates, kept approaching us to ask for its revival. We agree with the need: Bike theft has always been one of our customers’ top concerns when considering bike commuting or day trips.

Bike Watch NYC: a neighborhood bike watch

So, we spent a little time blowing the dust off the site and are happy to (re-) introduce: Bike Watch NYC, your friendly neighborhood bike watch.

How it works: Anyone who has had a recent bike theft can send an email (see site for full instructions). The info is posted to the blog – and an alert is immediately sent out to the Twitter and Facebook online community.

In essence, the heart of Bike Watch, as with most community groups, is that there is power in numbers. The more that cyclists are able to watch out for each other, the more empowered we can be to help and watch over our bikes.

Bike Watch is only a small tool in the battle against bike thievery. We cannot stop bike theft — and we certainly don’t want others risking their well-being to rescue pieces of metal.  But we can discourage theft. Awareness and sharing, from on-the-street spottings to Craigslist posting queries, can help empower the community and also leverage tools to help make it harder to steal and harder to get away with it.

How can you participate?

  1. Follow Bike Watch on Twitter and Facebook – The more people who follow Bike Watch, the more powerful the community becomes. This tool will be used only to post alerts and security tips; it is not a promotional tool.
  2. Offer suggestions – We welcome the input and brainpower of the collective NYC crowd. If you’d like to volunteer your efforts, please comment here or fill out the “feedback” form on the Bike Watch page.
  3. Spread the word – Share this site with other cyclists you know. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and the old standby: face-to-face conversations. (So old-fashioned!) Again, the more of us who are watching out for our bikes, the better.

What do you think? What other tips do you have for keeping your bike secure?

P.S. Oh, and a final note: We are hosting and maintaining Bike Watch, but only in its infancy. As it grows, we hope to include other members of the #bikenyc tech community and evolve it to a community-maintained tool. If you are interested in helping out, please use the Feedback form on the Bike Watch site.

About bicyclehabitat

New York City's neighborhood bike store since 1978
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