Category: crime

Bike lock instruction video

StreetFilms posted a great followup to Hal Ruzal’s video in which he gives letter grades on the locking skills of bikes he sees in the neighborhood. Hal Ruzal is a mechanic at Bicycle Habitat in New York City.

In the sequel, he’s joined by Bike Church founder Kerri Martin. They evaluate the security of bikes locked to posts, poles and fences with quality Kryptonite locks and low cost “Craptoenite” locks and chains. Watch and learn how to lock your bike.

Bicycling advocacy and public safety

CQ Press has released their annual city crime rankings for US cities. Using crime statistics data from the FBI and using proprietary weighting factors, CQ created their rankings of the safest and most dangerous cities in America.

The 10 most dangerous cities are:

    1. Detroit, Michigan
    2. St. Louis, Missouri
    3. Flint, Michigan
    4. Oakland, California
    5. Camden, New Jersey
    6. Birmingham, Alabama
    7. North Charleston, South Carolina
    8. Memphis, Tennessee
    9. Richmond, California
    10. Cleveland, Ohio

I think it’s safe to say that you don’t see these cities mentioned as bicycle friendly communities. While the rankings are controversial, I think an important component of encouraging cycling is ensuring a safe riding environment. Nobody wants to ride their bikes down city streets if they perceive a problem with public safety.

I’ve had a close friend who’s a cop advise me to carry a handgun with me because of my commute route, but I’ve never had any problems during nearly 20 years of commuting by bike through sometimes marginally sketchy neighborhoods. Female friends in particular sometimes seem more aware of personal safety issues when it comes to bicycling, which I can understand.

If you need to decide on the safety of your cycling route, I’ve listed some online crime maps that outline the level of crime in various cities in the United States.

Many many more crime maps are available; just search for “your city crime map. Note that many of these crime maps show *all* crimes in the area, including many that may not directly affect passing cyclists such as domestic disturbances, random vandalism, and even car burglaries. Before you’re surprised by the amount of crime in your area, pay attention also to the time span shown.