Want to see how the thief, trying to steal a bike in broad daylight, got caught on tape? If you haven’t seen our Barcelona Lock Challenge, you can check it out here. Today, we want to give you a sneak peek behind the scenes so you can see how challenging it is to film reactions of random people watching a bike lock being sawn in half by a thief at work.
First, we brought attention to bike stealing two years ago with our European Bike Stealing Championships because we at Škoda felt that this serious topic needed to be discussed publicly. It was clear that we were onto something. Urban environment is just perfect for bike stealing, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that so many of you identified with the video. In the Lock Challenge, we wanted to delve deeper and explore the phenomenon of theft and the bystander effect.
Cities are very specific in the fact that people usually interact as a crowd, not as individuals. That’s something we wanted to test in the Lock Challenge. We set up several different scenarios and tried different locks and ways of using them and sent in the bad guy equipped with various tools, ranging from bolt cutters to a disc grinder.
How likely are people to intervene or seek help for others when in a crowd? It’s not an easy thing, to capture such interactions on camera. That’s why we decided to go to Barcelona, a truly bike-friendly city with ever-growing cycling infrastructure of integrated bike lanes, bike parking, reduced speed limits, and a city-wide bike sharing program.
What was the result of our efforts? One day of bike stealing saw 20 entry level locks yield plus 10 cheap U-locks break and 2 German locks left unbroken. Those are the numbers, what’s the impact? Our hope is that we raised awareness about bike stealing in urban areas and dispelled some myths about how hard it is and how long it takes to steal a bike. Together with ABUS – German lock manufacturer – we also created a video guide on how to best protect your bicycle – here it is.