Brave Enough to Leave Your Bike Parked Outside?

By 23 May 2016

Have a bike-lock handy… or five of them, and a security guard.

The parking lot should become a place where you can leave your bike, instead of being a perfect “store window” for those who do not respect other people’s property. But this transformation is somewhat difficult to achieve in Zagreb, reports Večernji List on May 23, 2016.

Really, what should be done in order for the car or public transportation to be traded for a healthier, more economical and eco-friendly vehicle? The logical answer to that question would be to start riding a bicycle. But, that is how it is in Denmark. In Zagreb, this would be a partly correct answer, because you would not only need a bike, but bike locks for each wheel, and then for the seat and for the handles.

To get a chain made of steel would not hurt either, and it would also be convenient to have a security guard watching the bicycle while it is parked at the bike parking lot. Otherwise, there is a high probability that the bike will meet the same faith as the other 383 bicycles stolen last year in Croatia’s capital. And this is not even a realistic number, as the Cyclists’ Union points out.

Many citizens never report the theft, and for police to even treat it as a theft the bike has to be worth over 2,000 kuna. Of all the reported thefts, only half of them are solved, but this does not mean that the bicycle has been found and returned to the owner. It simply means that it has been established how the bike was stolen.

Driving a car or using public transportation has a lot of shortcomings, such as crowded busses and trams, and high costs. Bicycle rides help burn calories and improve physical fitness. However, despite all this, it is not easy to make the decision to start using a bike every day for commuting.

In addition to weak infrastructure, thefts are definitely among the main contributing reasons. This is exactly what is even more noticeable in Denmark (the most bicycle-friendly country in the world) than its exceptional bicycle lanes. When someone gets off their bike and comes to a parking lot where there are about a hundred other parked bicycles, they do not have to “cement” the bike there and ask themselves for the rest of the day whether the entire bicycle will be gone or just some of its parts.