Bicycle advocates visit ARC after rash of thefts


Brandon Nelson

Patrick Stelmach shows American RIver College student Desirae Aikens how easy it is to break into a normal bike lock and recommends that students buy a U-lock, which is far stronger.

Jose Garcia and Jose Garcia

The Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, or SABA, a non-profit bicyclist advocacy group, was invited to the American River College campus Wednesday, Oct. 29 to give advice to students following a string of bicycle thefts on campus.

SABA set up a booth near the Student Center that had pamphlets available on how to properly lock a bicycle and switch a flat tire, among other valuable bicycle safety tips.

Patrick Stelmach, the SABA representative who worked the booth on campus, gave his thoughts on bicycle safety.

“When you’re riding your bike you should always be vigilant. If you’re riding at night you should try to lock your bike up in a public area. I recommend using a U-lock on both tires for extra safety,” said Stelmach.

There have been 49 cases of petty theft and six cases of grand theft reported to the Los Rios Police Department between Aug. 23 and Oct. 31. Many of these thefts are of bicycles, according to Sgt. Mike Olson.

There have been three cases of petty theft reported to the police this week.

Desirae Aikens, a recreational management major on campus who has had her bicycle stolen, said that she has improved her bicycle safety skills and feels safe bringing her new bicycle on campus.

“I think the probability of getting your bike stolen is increased if you have a fancy bike. You’re less likely to get your bike stolen if you have a simple mountain bike,” said Aikens.

“I also suggest bike riders get two master locks so they can lock both of their tires,” she added.

Aikens said she is glad that SABA had a presence on campus after the rash of bicycle thefts.

“I’m happy ARC is bringing attention to this issue. It’s about time someone did,” she added.

SABA also had a bicycle and cut bicycle locks on display at their booth.

“We’re letting people come up and cut bicycle locks so they can see how easy it is for someone to steal a bicycle. That’s why we highly encourage people to use a U-lock on both tires,” said Stelmach.