how to stay safe as UK cycle sales soar

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<span>Photograph: DWD-photo/Alamy</span>
Photograph: DWD-photo/Alamy

The coronavirus crisis has resulted in Britons buying bikes in huge numbers, but in tandem with increased sales has come an epidemic of theft. Insurers are warning that claims have leapt by 46% in the past seven weeks compared with last year.

In April, at the height of lockdown, the number of bikes sold rose by 60%. The biggest change was in those valued at £400 to £1,000, sales of which doubled.

So what can you do to protect your bike?

Buy a good lock

The industry’s rule of thumb is to buy a lock for a price equal to 10% to 20% of the bike’s cost. Thieves are lazy and mostly target cheap locks.

In its guide to protecting your bike, the insurer Admiral cites the Kryptonite New York M18 U-lock as being good quality. It costs £82.99 at Wiggle.co.uk. Add a cable for another tenner, so

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Introducing the New Bicycling

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Photo credit: Chris Corona
Photo credit: Chris Corona

From Bicycling

One of the truest things I’ve ever heard about bikes—it was said to me of course on a ride, by a good friend who had become a good friend because we had shared so many rides—is this: The bicycle will take you exactly where you need to go.

Riding a bike can change your life. But it doesn’t have to. It can also just get you out of the house after a tough day at work. Or help you get a little—or a lot—leaner. Or make getting to and from work the best part of your day. It can give you a brand new community, or grant you a few precious hours of solitude. It can show you new sights right on your own block, or take you around the world. It can strengthen your heart. Boost your mood. Beat back any number of

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Why are you getting tested?

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Some patients felt sick, nervously ticking off potential COVID-19 symptoms. Some cited possible exposure to the highly contagious disease. Others were there out of an abundance of caution.

All had made an appointment for a test Friday at Heartland Health Centers on Devon Avenue in the Rogers Park neighborhood. In interviews, they expressed common fears of becoming ill or unwittingly spreading the new coronavirus, which has already sickened more than 150,000 and killed more than 7,000 statewide. Illinois on Sunday set a new daily testing record, with 38,894 COVID-19 tests performed.

For Bizi Obedi, a 21-year-old college student, recent travels to Atlanta — a COVID-19 hot spot — made him particularly worried about possibly contracting the virus. He’d stayed in the home of a relative who later tested positive for COVID-19, increasing his chance of exposure.

Before the trip, Obedi said, he had believed the pandemic was a hoax. Now

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Best bike locks

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Although your bicycle might not be the most expensive item you own, there is an inarguable emotional attachment to it, which makes bike theft an agonising experience, and a bike lock an essential for any cyclist.

If you commute to work, pop down to the store for groceries, or leave your bike latched to your car’s bike rack outside a venue, without the security of sturdy bike lock there is always the risk of it not being there on your return. 

Bike theft is a scourge. It has been incentivised by the demand for pre-owned bikes and components, due to ever-growing retail prices. Thieves can quickly use online resources to calculate the expected returns from their illicit activity. 

To ensure that your bike is always where you parked it last, investing in a robust bike lock is paramount. Good bike locks are a one-time purchase and don’t require replacement every

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