The Dingbat: Creative ways to deter bike theft at UBC

Vancouver is one of the most bike-able cities around, and a bike is a huge advantage for getting to class on time. However, bike thieves at UBC are lurking behind every rack. From lock-cutting to wheel-lifting, how can you feel sure that your vehicle is safe?

Bikers, don’t worry. The Ubyssey is here with fool-proof, fail-proof and freak-proof suggestions for keeping your transportation on lock.

Make it smell weird

What’s that putrid stench by the Sauder building? It’s not the mouldering dreams of failed start-ups. It’s your bike! Deliberately engineering a foul odor for your vehicle will provide a great incentive for bike thieves to cut a different lock. Some ways to cultivate a nastier aura:

  • Axe Body Spray has been used by incels to repel women for thousands of years, so it’s a tried and true technique to repel bike thieves. The only potential flaw in this method is if the aspiring thief is also an Axe-enthusiast — so to be safe, I would recommend combining this method with another on the list.
  • Unscrew the seat and pour your leftover soup into the bike frame. Clam chowder? Butternut squash? Red curry? All will slide nicely into your bike’s hollow crevices, and will smell awful after a week or so.
  • Learn to secrete your own musk. Let’s be honest, biking to class already makes you a little sweaty. Enhance your natural aroma by exclusively wearing polyester and thinking extreme negative thoughts. Your bike will absorb your rancid energy, which will subconsciously deter every sneaky bike-liberator on campus.

Coat it with lube

The Ubyssey recently covered how lube is a key ingredient to enhance pleasure and decrease friction in any sensual encounter. It’s also a great way to make sure thieves can’t get a firm grip on your bike, let alone steal it. Silicon and oil-based lubes stay slippery for hours, so you just need to apply a thick coat a couple times a day. That’s right, really slather it on. The hands of would-be thieves will slide off your handlebars like water off the backs of so many ducks. Plus, it makes for a smoother ride (if you know what I mean).

Never let it leave your sight

Can’t steal your bike if you’ve got your hands on it at all times! Cling to its metal frame like the prehistoric squirrel from Ice Age (2002) neurotically clinging to that acorn.

Bring your bike upstairs to all your classes and put it in a seat next to you. Give it a little name tag, so it feels included. The nearsighted overworked engineering professor will probably just think it’s a quiet, lanky, metallic new student.

Break it every time you park it and fix it every time you ride it

This one is self-explanatory. Put it in the bike rack, then cut the brake cable, bend the spokes, or bang up the frame. Nobody’s riding away on that bad boy, except for you — once you repair it, in several short hours, with $60 worth of replacement parts.

You’ve heard of UBC’s beloved Bike Kitchen Women and Queer Night, where our friends of marginalized genders can build both bikes and community? Well, I’m not supposed to talk about this, but the break-and-fix method is what Evil Bike Kitchen teaches you at their secret Men Night: Fight Club Bike Bash Demolition Derby. Grab a jackhammer and pretend your bike belongs to your worst enemy — because in a way, it does.

The Dingbat is The Ubyssey’s humour section. You can send pitches or completed pieces to