Cycling in Dublin is a hot topic of debate, and have always been a burning issue among motorists. Yet one avenue that has not been investigated is the issue of their theft. Many cyclists have experienced some form of damage to their trusty vehicles. This has become a growing black industry. As Bertie Ahern would say, ‘the boom is getting boomier’ when it come to selling off second-hand bicycles illegally.
At a rather noticeable district at the top of Capel Street, bikes are sold off for knock-down prices. When a persons’ bike is stolen, the Gardai often advise the victim to scout this area for their stolen bike. It is only when the cyclist finds his or her own bike that the Gardai have permission to raid the premises.
So what can a cyclist do for protection? The hexagonal and D-locks are said to be stronger and more durable than the ‘non-breakable’ flexible ones. Parking on city streets is said to be better than quiet side-roads, particularly in the vicinity of businesses. Bike theft could progress into a burgeoning industry thanks to the bike-madness that has taken over the city in recent years.Thieves have tapped into the market in a way that is sadly making it less safe for cyclists themselves. Insurance companies could also make a killing in this way.
The lack of authority taken by the Gardai in particular makes it difficult for the thieves to be brought to justice. Yet lack of governmental assistance makes it harder for the Gardai to exert authority over bike thieves. In other words, the Guards have their hands tied. In the meantime, the local bike economy continues to flourish. It is up to communities how they respond to this.