Another bike theft prevented because of a Litelok bike lock. This time in Lyon, France. I got in touch with Clémentine Pirlot, a customer of ours, to find out more.
Hello Clémentine, you recently tweeted “Someone tried to steal my bike but my @Litelok did not let them”. We’re all so happy your bike is safe! What tools do you think the thief used to try (and fail) to cut your Litelok?
I'm not really sure but it looks like they used a hacksaw or big pliers. They tried to cut it in 2 places but apparently gave up. The litelok must be a nightmare for thieves. They probably thought it was easier to try to steal another less protected bike. I also have locks on each wheel (http://www.vis-antivandale.com/6-kits-antivol-velos) and one little lock on my Brooks seat.
Have you had any bicycles stolen before? Is bike theft a big problem in Lyon?
I have been fortunate enough to never have had a bike stolen, I have had many bikes over the years and the one I have now truly is the most beautiful and expensive one. It's a folding Tern bike. It was red and black when I bought it but I really didn't like the color red so I used stickers to make it black and blue !
Many bikes are stolen in Lyon. It's a big problem actually : in 2015 in the center of Lyon, there were 3 times as many bikes stolen than in 2014 (http://www.leprogres.fr/lyon/2016/02/02/les-vols-de-velos-explosent-en-presqu-ile) !
There are some places, like the mall La Part Dieu that are particularly dangerous and I never leave my bike more than an hour or 2 there. Bike theft is such a problem in Lyon that many non profits have launched a month long campaign to lobby the city for more secure bike parkings (http://www.20minutes.fr/lyon/2057367-20170426-lyon-mobilisation-contre-vols-velos-veritable-frein-pratique-deux-roues). Many buildings in Lyon don't have a bicycle parking room and people have to leave them in the street all night, risking theft and also rust, as bikes age very quickly when left outside. That's why I decided to buy a folding bike, so that I can carry it up to my apartment, and it sleeps in my living room When I'm at work it's also in a secure parking lot, so the only times it's in the streets are when I go out and I never leave it there more than half a day.
How often do you go cycling? Is it your main form of transport in the city?
I got my first bike when I was 18 and since then, I have been using a bike everyday. I'm on my 5th bike now and I rarely use public transportation. I ride my bike to work everyday, no matter the weather. I've actually equipped it with an umbrella holder and am very happy on my bike even when it's pouring and cold. To me, it's the best means of transportation, it feels great : you're outside and not crammed in a small metro, and it's a door to door service, I find it much easier to go anywhere and just leave it exactly where you're going.
You live in such a beautiful part of the world. Can you recommend any scenic cycling routes or adventures in your area?
When I go to work, I don't take the shortest route in order to avoid riding into traffic. I follow the river Le Rhône on a strictly pedestrian and bike area, and then go through our very own Central Park, called Le Parc de la Tête d'Or that's also forbidden to cars. It's such a nice route and I'd rather be there than be 10 minutes faster and take the main road. It's such an amazing view, I see swans and geese everyday, but also giraffes and even a zebra sometimes, as the main path in Parc de la Tête d'Or goes around their little zoo. There is a huge cycling route in Lyon, called ViaRhôna that is 815km long (https://www.viarhona.com/) and has amazing views. I've never taken it, I'm more of a city cyclist but I will probably try it out soon.
Unfortunately there aren't enough bike paths in Lyon, I really hope the city takes it seriously because, as we've seen in London, if a city creates safe paths for bikes, away from cars, loads of cyclist show up ! Here are some pictures of my everyday bike ride : the first 2 are the river side and the last one is the Parc de la tête d'Or.