The Chainlink

Lately I've thinking about ways to get word out about how to encourage people to record their serial number and how to encourage people to use the chicago stolen bike registry in case their bike is stolen.

 

Obviously cost is of concern.  One of the cheapest things to get in business cards that could be in bike shops to promote resources.

 

Not sure if we'd want to go the educational route like saying how to keep from becoming a bike theft victim and including:

properly locked diagram

Line to record serial number (like with an appointment card from the Dr. or dentist)

Police bike registry

 

 

Or to just do a straight up what to do if your bike is stolen type of card with the stolen bike registry and a check list of places to report it.

 

If we want to do business cards, we can get them online for cheap, though if anyone knows a local printer, that would be nicer.

 

I know that lots of bike shops are asked to help people when their bike is stolen, so it would be great to get them on board with the registry.

 

The prevention route could go along with doing bike valet at events or even when people take their bike in for tuneups or whatnot.

 

 

 

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Hold that thought. I have the Kryptonite call tomorrow.
Brilliant idea! I can totally picture it:

Get business cards printed, one side mentioning CSBR w/logo or something, flip side would have blank, labeled lines for: name of shop, make, model, size, color, and serial#. Pass these out to shops around the city and encourage the shops(and customers) to fill out the card as a reference when a purchase is made.

The setbacks I see are funding & distribution:

There are almost 4,400 members on Chainlink. This was mentioned a while back at one of our meetings that if a Paypal account or something was setup and posted/promoted on the home page as a permanent box for people/members to give donations to abd if everyone donated $1, we'd be set for a while. The donations will not only fund the CSBR, but can be used to help with events if needed too.

We can also have more events like bike washes and tuneups, and charity races/rides to raise money. We yielded over $1000 for the TWO bike washes that Joe Sak put together.

Distribution should not be a problem. Compile a list of shops that should carry the cards, give the shops a call to see if they will cooperate and tell them what our goals are, invite cyclists to a meeting(s), have the cyclists choose one or more of the locations that are willing to cooperate, hand out stacks of the cards and have them distributed.
Another inexpensive option on "gotprint" are the Collectors Cards. The estimate that popped up was $25 for $1000 - can that be true? Anyway, you can put more on them and since they are bigger than business cards perhaps they'll be less likely to get lost in the shuffle.

I like Fred's idea about the 2 sides of the card. Also, good idea to remind people to file a police report.

I also like the idea of putting stickers (with the CSBR link) on bike racks or signposts. Certainly gets people where they park! But is it defacing public property? vandalism? against the law? Could CSBR be liable?


One fundraising option is bar tending (maybe at a CL bar night?) with tips or percentage of tips going to Stolen Bike Registry. We'll need to find a bar to cross-promote with. They get the customers, we get the donations! Or take up a collection at Critical Mass. A lot will depend on how much $ we'll need.
Great stuff here. The cards would be "Mini-certificates."
We might need to think a bit more about how they're distributed-- if they were readily available a thief could claim someone looked at a serial number and then ran and created a card (or the thief could create their own card). Remember the problem is not only that folks don't know their serial number, but don't possess anything constituting "proof" of ownership when it comes time to claim a stolen bike.
This is pipe dreaming, but has anyone seen these folks that go to fairs and events and print you up something with a laptop and a mini printer on the spot? I've been envisioning setting up at large bike events or bike valets and offering the service of a printout which includes serial number and owner info as well as an image of the owner with the bike.
You can already file a bicycle data sheet with the Chicago Police Bicycle Registry (google it) and if you want a copy for your records just print one out.

On another discussion thread, we debated the merits of the CPD Registry (versus keeping the record yourself), and most agreed that at worst it couldn't hurt (if the CPD happens to recover your bike).

Cameron Puetz said:
I definitely think that we should go the educational route, although I’m not sure a business card could hold enough information. Also something that small would probably get lost before you needed any information like a serial number that you recorded on it. Perhaps a better approach would be to create a bike data sheet that we could post online and encourage people to print and file along with pictures, receipts, etc. Then make simple business cards with just the basic facts that direct people to look at the form online.
The biggest problem with the CPD registry is that it is not user friendly and its usually brought up while someone is sitting at a computer and their bike with the seriel number is outside far away. Remembering to write down the number and come back to the site later doesn't seem to happen.

I like the idea of setting up a registry table at an event, where someone can walk up with thier bike, have their picture taken with the bike and seriel number written down and then register on the spot. It puts all of the ownership evidence together at once. The photo and number could also then be emailed to the owner for thier records.

I also like the idea of promoting better lock use. Now that art school is in session I see at least a dozon poorly locked bikes a day downtown.

Placing stickers with stolen bike registry and information on locking bikes would really helpful in high bike traffic areas.



Amy Abramson said:
You can already file a bicycle data sheet with the Chicago Police Bicycle Registry (google it) and if you want a copy for your records just print one out.

On another discussion thread, we debated the merits of the CPD Registry (versus keeping the record yourself), and most agreed that at worst it couldn't hurt (if the CPD happens to recover your bike).

Cameron Puetz said:
I definitely think that we should go the educational route, although I’m not sure a business card could hold enough information. Also something that small would probably get lost before you needed any information like a serial number that you recorded on it. Perhaps a better approach would be to create a bike data sheet that we could post online and encourage people to print and file along with pictures, receipts, etc. Then make simple business cards with just the basic facts that direct people to look at the form online.

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