If you can believe it, it’s already been well over a year since I took over as editor of The Pipestone Flyer. I just want to thank all of you readers who call, write in, drop by or flag me down on the street to tell me you enjoy and look forward to reading our paper.
One of the things I did shortly after moving to Wetaskiwin was begin looking for a new motorcycle. It became clear after looking at Kijiji, lots of people felt their older bikes with 30,000 kms on them were certainly made of pure gold. I like to think I’m a pretty decent detective, and after doing some research it became clear buying a brand new bike was the best option as the price between 30,000 kms and zero kms was actually quite close.
Anyhoo, I bought a 2014 Honda CBR 500r, what you’d call a relaxed sportbike. I got an excellent deal on it, and it’s not expensive to insure.
Insurance is sort of the topic of this column. How to prevent something negative happening to your property.
My bike is now slightly over one year old, and it’s been keyed twice. Someone scratched the fuel tank deeply on two separate occasions (through the coating, the enamel, the paint and into the metal, so no accident and likely not a kid playing around) which happened overnight while parked at home. I’m reasonably sure I know who did it, but the police can’t investigate or lay charges based on a hunch.
So now I do the best I can to ensure my property is secure.
The most important security feature I have is my parking location. I park the bike immediately next to my townhouse bay window, so when I look out (it seems like I look out every 10 minutes) the bike is only about 10 inches away from me. Since it’s so close, if anyone is there taking or moving the bike, I can hear them from inside.
Second, I purchased a 24-hour security camera. Cameras are much easier to use now, as miniaturization allows small, affordable cameras that have night recording capability. The camera I bought has at least a 50 foot range with wide angle, even at night and sits only about three or four feet from the bike. The image it records at night is amazingly clear, more than enough to use as evidence in court. The camera plugs into a small receiver I purchased for $20 off eBay, which can record onto an SD memory card (like the one in your digital camera), and the card I use holds 48 hours of video. Then you just plug the receiver into the laptop, and presto. I mounted the camera inside my home, so vandals can’t get it, and it’s quite visible so they know they’re the star of the show; I don’t bother setting it for “motion detection,” I let the camera record everything that happens 24-hours a day. The only mistake I made was paying $100 for the camera; the same camera is available on eBay for about $16.
Third, I bought two chrome-plated tow chains with two Brinks 11,000 pound laminated padlocks. Now, I’m not completely stupid. I know chains and locks can be cut, even though I’m told the chrome makes the chain more difficult to cut and rust-proof as well. But I have one chain running into both tires on the bike then padlocked together, and the second chain running through one tire and through several patio rungs nearby, then padlocked to the first chain. Anyone who cuts the chains or locks is going to spend some time and make a lot of noise. A lot of noise. Likely, clever thieves will see all this primitive technology and realize the risk of getting caught is too high.
Lastly, the bike itself has a steering lock. It wouldn’t prevent two thieves from picking up the bike and carrying it away, but at least one thief would have a bit of trouble with it.
Sad to say, but for those of us who work for a living you have to do what’s necessary to protect your property.
Stu Salkeld is the editor of The Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.