Cycling moves up a gear to ride high on a wave of popularity
There is no central register and even if there was most people wouldn’t have a rashers what the serial number of their bicycle frame is. Do you know? Pricewatch doesn’t.
Hamm has an answer to this too. He has set up a bike registration scheme and, for a one-off charge of €5, you get a pack which could help you track your bike in the event that it is stolen.
There are obvious stickers you can stick on the frame which are supposed to act as a deterrent to theft and other hidden elements which make it easier to identify and recover a stolen bike.
Even if the security labels are removed by a determined thief, a unique code and a freephone number of the International Security Register (ISR) remain visible under UV light.
The what? The ISR is a secure database that has more than 14 million cars and bikes registered.
You permanently and visibly mark the bike with a unique code and a freephone number. Once marked and registered, a bike can be verified by the ISR.
The verification service is available to the police, insurers and even the general public but only the police are able to obtain personal information.
“There is no official bike registration scheme in Ireland,” Hamm says.
“You can give the details to your local Garda station all right but then only they will have the details and, if the bike turns up outside their jurisdiction, then it will be impossible to locate.”
Hamm continues: “The idea is to make your bike less attractive to thieves. These guys are looking for a nice easy job. At present if the Garda catches a guy with a van full of bikes it is very hard to prove that they were stolen. This system makes it that little bit easier so it can act as a deterrent and it is a very low-cost way of doing it which has worked in other countries.”
What though is to stop people taking advantage and faking a bike theft in order to claim against theft?
Hamm says: “Well, you have to be able to prove ownership of the bike and a certain type of lock and you will need to report it to the Garda and get a reference number.
“If people are thinking of scamming the system they will have to get the Garda involved. It could be open to a certain amount of abuse.”
THE PERKS OF PEDAL POWER: REASONS TO GET BACK IN THE SADDLE
Cycling dramatically improves your aerobic fitness and reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes.
Your blood pressure will fall as will your stress levels and your cholesterol. According to one Danish survey, cyclists live seven years longer than non-cyclistsng ones.
Traffic jams disappear when you get on your bike and there is no no need to worry about parking spaces when you’re a cyclist – even if the State could do more to provide secure places for people to put their bikes.
Cycling is the most reliable way to commute and is consistent, so you can plan your day without worrying about getting caught up in traffic or missing your bus.
Cycling every day is one of the best workouts you can have and it works more muscle groups than most sports. It’s less taxing on the joints too.
Speaking of taxing, tax breaks available to cyclists and their employers means decent bikes cost a wholelot less.
The Bike to Work ( biketowork.ie) scheme covers bicycles and accessories up to a maximum of €1,000.
Your employer buys it and you pay for it, tax-free, over 12 months, which effectively knocks around 40 per cent off the price.
Emissions from cars, buses and trucks do more to damage the air quality in our urban areas than anything else.
Cycling, on the other hand, is perfectly clean.
Every kilometre you cycle instead of drive saves approximately 250g of CO22 emissions or a tonne each year.
A commuting bike will cost anywhere between €250 and €700.