Avoiding bike theft, safeR bike parking

Hi everyone. I am new to Portland and have a Terry Classic bike- women’s specific design- smaller front wheel. It’s pefect for me and a very rare (and no longer made) bike. I want to use my bike more…but i pretty much only feel safe walking and driving for groceries and such because I’m very concerned about theft. Wondering if any grocery stores within 3 miles of downtown/PSU have bike security folks. Even locking a bike with a u-lock seems unsafe. So hesitant to ride my bike as a primary mode of transpo due to lack of enclosed bike cages/lockers to deter theft. Please advise/comment. Thank you.


I think your intuition is correct: that there are no bike security folks downtown and that locking up a bike that you simply can’t have stolen is an unacceptable risk.

I’m pretty familiar with the downtown shopping situation and I can’t really think of any place where you can entirely rest assured that your bike will be there when you get done shopping. I think the only way to square this is to ride your bike with the knowledge that you’ll probably be fine but know that it could get taken, OR, get a secondary bike which you are far more willing to see stolen.

These probably weren’t the suggestions you were looking for but the sad truth is that we as bike commuters find ourselves in a state of affairs where bikes are easy targets and the powers that be don’t really have a solution for it.

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You might want to call ahead to ask but Green Zebra on Broadway at Montgomery has always let me roll my bike inside.

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Thanks!!! Green Zebra is just a few blocks from my condo. I’m more concerned about places like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Fred Meyers, Natural Grocers, and the ridiculously expensive New Seasons, etc… Until Portland retailers, especially groceries, have bike security, people will still rely on their cars.

Welcome to Portland @amyvegan :grin:

I hear your concerns and given how many bikes are stolen in this town I don’t blame you. That being said, I have a dear and custom and one-of-a-kind bike that I’ve ridden around for years and it’s never been stolen or messed with. I think if you have a good U-lock and — most importantly — lock it in high-traffic, high-visibility locations, you’ll be fine. The vast vast majority of thefts here do not happen in broad daylight at busy locations.

But yes it can be hard to find locations like that downtown (which is a major theft hot spot). Sorry! Wish that wasn’t the case.

And you ask a great question about markets and security. As much as I think most people fear bike theft more than they should, I also love the idea of having more secure parking at major destinations. I’d encourage you to ask the markets you like directly or email the manager. If enough people get this on their radar they’ll be more likely to consider beefing up bike parking security and/or requiring existing security guards to keep watch over bike racks in addition to car prowlers.

Wish I had a more concrete answer for you. Good luck and I really hope you can bike to the store more and not worry about thieves.

P.S. And please right now go and register your bike for free at https://project529.com/garage … This will give you peace of mind because if your bike does get taken the police will search that database and you’ll have a much great chance of getting it back.

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I think you should be good as long as you are locking it like Jonathan has mentioned. Also, make sure you have a quality U-lock. We recommend spending more than $50 on a lock (such as the ABUS 420), and locking the frame at the rear triangle. We don’t see a lot of thefts occur in high traffic areas for bikes that are secured properly during the day. Very rare (I can’t think of any, but don’t want to say they don’t happen at all…) Let us know if you have any questions and we can share more.

In addition to a good u-lock, there are lots of other things you can do to make a bike less of a target, mostly by making it more difficult to take it apart than the next bike. I’ve got security skewers on my wheels, some bolts with less-common drives, and keyed obstructions (Hexlox) that make removing certain critical bolts difficult or impossible. So far it’s worked.

thank you so much. great advice.

I will take note of your advice. I have been hearing and reading about bike theft recently.

For what it’s worth, this was on NW 20th Ave and Burnside visible from one of the busiest roads.