Great Idea for Preventing Bike Theft

Lose your bike on the Playa? So did at least 3000 other people. In 2010, our camp had 12 bikes stolen within the first 3 days. This year, using cheap Wal-Mart combination cable locks, we didn’t lose one. Of course, we picked up a few at the end, as careless Burners abandoned their bikes, we even scored a few cool electric kids dirt bikes as our camps like one big MOOPS.

Over at the unofficial Facebook, Burner Mark has come up with what we think is an excellent idea.

Oh!! Oh!! Oh!! Why don’t we start a new idea in our community?!! Since clearly it doesn’t work to tell everyone to lock their bike. Half the folks never do, and then get stuck without theirs… 

So we start saying this: “New Burning Man Rule: Locked bikes are personal property. Unlocked bikes are considered a gift and rideable by anyone.” That way, you can be part of the “gift biking” program (along with all the other “bike gift takers” that come every year) OR you can start locking your bike?!! Everybody Wins!


Amsterdam’s famous “black bikes”

Burners.Me is all about embracing change, rather than resisting it or bureaucratizing it. We also believe, don’t fight battles you can’t win. And that to win without fighting is best. It’s a shame that things have come to this, but this idea would work. Look at Amsterdam – there are so many bikes for free, if you steal one, someone else will just take another.

Forget providing green bikes. Let Burners gift their own – or lock them up, so it’s clear that they weren’t meant as a gift.

14 comments on “Great Idea for Preventing Bike Theft

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  2. Rationalizing theft. Not to mention that it will simply hurt people who haven’t heard your crappy ideology.

    But most importantly, if we follow your plans, who brings all the bikes home? Nobody. And BMOrg is left with a mess created by your ridiculous “everything is free” fantasy.

    • Have you been to Burning Man? Everything IS free, that’s pretty much the main ideology. And DPW are already left with thousands of bikes to clean up, mostly due to rampant bike theft. My advice is to lock your bike.

      • Have I been to BM? Yes. 15 times. And I wonder how many times you have been only because you seem to believe: “Everything IS free,” as the main ideology and that it applies to people’s personal property.

        If that’s the case, please let me know where you camp. I will come by and take all your things. They are free after all, and I’m sure I can find someone who has a use for your tent. Thanks for the free stuff!

        And as far as your advice, it has not application to my point. I already lock my vehicle at BRC. My point was that the original article rationalizes theft of private property and does nothing in their attempt to make a cultural shift in order to handle people who haven’t heard their message.

        Me locking up my vehicle accomplishes *nothing* to that end.

        • Locking your bike may result in you getting to keep your bike for the whole event. If you want to leave it unlocked because you’re a purist, good luck to you.

          • For some reason you are having a communication with someone other than me, or at least you sure aren’t responding to what I have typed, so for that I wish you a good day.

          • You’re the only person commenting on this thread in the last 8 months, so I’m certainly not confused. Perhaps I should have said “if ONE wants to leave it unlocked because ONE is a purist, then good luck to you” .

            The original article does not “rationalize the theft of private property”, it acknowledges the reality of the situation and offers ideas to prevent it from happening. If you have a better idea than “I will come to your camp and take all your things”, please share it.

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  4. While Burning Man is underway, it’s a city much like many others. There are good mindful people, and those that will fuck you while you sleep. A bike lock is cheap insurance that your bike will be just where you left it.

    Our camp of nearly 30 bikes & trikes lost 2 bikes to thieves. “BIke swaps?” Fuck that. Stealing is putting your needs above others.

  5. Dislike, We are all friends out there. Although I realize bike swaps happen, I don’t think burners should be forced to make yet another purchase in order to protect their bikes. We all know what our bikes look like, and the burner community is not about “stealing” and taking someones else bike is just that. Bike theft is no different than entering into a neighbors camp and taking supplies. What woudl you suggest next? Locking your front door?

  6. I was thinking the same thing. The only issue would be knowing how to turn on the lights on each bike. Maybe if we all joined forces we could standardize the place to put the battery pack.

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