Aug 24, 2015
A good bike store is on the front-line of bicycle defence (probably even more than the cops are), whether that's through the bicycles or locks it sells. And, at Curbside we have a lot of experience with both.
Once upon a time we thought it was all about the bike. Like many of our customers, we were convinced that bikes were stolen on value, and that the lower the value of the bike, the less chance it would be stolen. However, while this is perfectly logical, it's not really true.
A typical scenario ten years ago was a customer coming in asking for the cheapest or ugliest bike because theirs just got stolen, and they wanted to make sure their new bike wasn't "attractive to thieves." In the war against bicycle thieves, this is a reasonable tactic but unfortunately it most often doesn't work. The best tactic, as Sun Tzu said, is to know thine enemy.
So, who is the thief? Research shows that there are at least three types of bicycle thieves. Some are professional, some are opportunists, but the ones generally stealing your bike can't even be called professional. North American research is nice and calls them "amateurs," but Dutch research calls them what they really are - drug addicts - and they're not remotely sophisticated. As the chart below shows, this is the majority of all bike theft. So, while it makes sense to mythologize the thief into an eternally clever MacGuyver who is out to break the baddest of all bicycle locks to get your bike and your bike only, it's really a crack-head with a crowbar or a cable cutter. That's your enemy, and he (or she) is pretty easy to defeat.
Aug 24, 2015Why, his name is Kevin and if you've ever dropped by the store, you'll know him as a passionate fella who has a heart of gold. We know you probably don't love getting slips of paper around your handlebars, so why is Kevin going to UofT, Ryerson and OCAD tagging bikes? The first reason is that Kevin is leaving Curbside to do a big bike tour of New Zealand and he wanted to train while getting paid for it, lucky guy! The second reason is that every year tens of thousands of new students arrive in Toronto and with them they bring their lock. They pay their first and last months rent, get the apartment furnished, and then one of two things happen: either the lock that worked great in Moose Jaw gets busted open or they get a ticket from Toronto's finest for not having a bell or lights. That's not our idea of a nice welcome to Canada's finest city. So, our boy Kevin is tagging your bike, letting you know if you have a lock that might need replacing and whether you are also street legal. And, that slip of paper is worth 20% off of any lock, bell, or light as long as its not already on sale. And, if you want to understand more about theft, read our little article here.
Jul 30, 2015
Here's a little video we made about Babboe. Big thanks to our customers who volunteered to spread the message!
Jul 15, 2015
The Brompton Urban Challenge is two-wheeled folding bike adventure in Toronto. Challenges and clues will be secreted around the city at a number of check points, you will record your successes by photograph and then share them with the wider world by social media or email. There will be a variety of prizes to contest, but the most important thing will be to have fun!
Racing, Scavenging, Folding ---- the Brompton Urban Challenge has a bit of everything for you and your team.
Jun 23, 2015