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Bike Index: National Registry Picks St. Louis for Pilot City, Launches Tool to Help Stop Thefts

Categories: Bikes

bikescreen.jpg
Trailnet
Bike Index lets people register their bikes in St. Louis.
A new national bicycle registry is launching first in St. Louis to help bike owners get their wheels back after they've been stolen.

Anyone who's had a bicycle stolen knows the only thing worse is seeing the same bike for sale online days later. Bike Index, a registry founded in Chicago, records bikes' serial numbers, colors, style and photos into an online database to help bike owners prove what bike is theirs.

bike1.jpg
Trailnet
"People don't want to buy stolen bikes, but they don't know," Seth Herr, Bike Index's cofounder and lead programmer, tells Daily RFT. "Bikes all have identifying marks, so this is just a way of tying you and your ownership to that specific bike because if it's stolen, you can prove to the police that you owned it."

See also: Cycling: Missouri Ranked Poorly in Bicycle Friendly States Report, Lowest Score Ever

Bike Index isn't the first site to register bikes, but it is the first national registry to set up shop in St. Louis, named one of the ten fastest-growing cities for bike commuters. A successful Kickstarter campaign means Bike Index has the funds to hire programmers and link cities.

Herr says the major obstacle facing registries is that people don't know to register their bikes. That's why Bike Index is partnering with Trailnet, sustainable transportation advocates in St. Louis, to get bike shops on board, helping customers register as a standard part of buying a new bike or getting a repair.

So far, only Big Shark Bicycle Company in the Delmar Loop is ready for the registry.

"Since St. Louis has never had a working bike registration system, the Bike Index is particularly eager to provide the city with our services," Herr says.

See also: The Five Best Bicycle Friendly Bars in St. Louis

St. Louis is the pilot city for Bike Index's registry, but more mid-size cities are on the way. Bike Index was founded in Chicago, but Herr says he wanted to get started in smaller cities without an overwhelming bureaucracy, like Pittsburgh and Burlington.

But why St. Louis first?

"You guys are just a little bit cooler than them," he says.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

Location Info

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Big Shark Bicycle Company

6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: General

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9 comments
Martin Gilbertson
Martin Gilbertson

Yes! some bully took mine when I was 7! If anyone sees an old black huffy with a playing card in the spokes...let me know!

TinaSparkel
TinaSparkel

All bicycle riders --- Bow To Your Trailnet Overlords !!

Trailnet must have YOUR information, your personal data, submit to the taxpayer funded (and yet publicly non-elected) Trailnet Bosses. They know what is right for you.


If you wish to independently "go rogue" and not be a Trailnet Lemming, why not just take some simple cellphone pictures of your bicycle and its serial numbers then keep them in your own files? duh ........... like you can't show those pics to the cops?

Hell, if you purchase a used bike from the neighborhood crackhead, or Craiglist scammer, take a cellphone pic of that perp too.


This is just another example of a doofus "feel good " taxpayer funded throw money away project. Why is Bike Index partnering with Trailnet ? To get in on the free-money gravy train!

Why St. Louis? 

Because STL is naive enough to tax citizens and give a small bicycle "consulting group" millions of dollars to squander without taxpayer oversight.


smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

This backfired in Florida since the cops in Broward tend to arrest black riders if they do not have a license while biking.

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