| 12.7°C Dublin

Cycle campaigner's bike stolen while at anti-theft meeting

a cycling campaign chief whose bike was stolen while meeting Dublin City Council officials about bicycle thefts has called for cyclists to invest in better locks.

David Timoney (inset) spent the past year conducting a survey on bike thefts in the capital for the Dublin Cycling Campaign.

He found that 10pc of people didn't lock their bikes at all and 45pc use "inadequate" cable locks.

He said he knows from his own "painful" experience that cable locks are not adequate.

"Around this time last year I had an €800 mountain bike taken in Temple Bar. I had bought the bike through the cycle-to-work scheme," he said.

"I was using a cable lock. I was actually in a meeting with somebody from Dublin City Council on the subject of bike theft at the time.

"It's a lesson I haven't forgotten, so the single thing people can do is buy good locks."

Bike locks are divided into three different categories of bronze, silver and gold.

"Cyclists should use at least silver grade when in Dublin. You can pick one up for as little as €40 to €50," said Mr Timoney.

The survey also identified the areas where bicycles were most likely to be stolen.

"The biggest hotspots are Trinity College, George's Street, the top of Grafton Street near Stephen's Green Centre, Parnell Street and Rathmines Road.

"We think they are taken by a mixture of drug addicts and organised gangs who may be sending them abroad or selling them online and at car boot sales."

The cycle campaigner also called for gardai to invest in "bait bikes" around the city.

"What we need is bikes fitted with GPS trackers to be left out so they are stolen and then we can track where they end up," he said.