Denver still hasn’t gotten the memo about registering bikes

Do some parts of Denver register their bikes way more often and see fewer thefts? Not really.

Double protected bike lanes on South Broadway. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

bike lane; south broadway; transportation; development; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado;
Double protected bike lanes on South Broadway. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) bike lane; south broadway; transportation; development; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado;
Double protected bike lanes on South Broadway. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

You hear it a lot: register your bike to help Denver police recover it if it gets stolen. So how many bikes are stolen in Denver compared to how many are registered? 

1.14, or pretty close to it. Meaning that ever since the Denver Police changed the way they record registered bikes, more bikes have been stolen each year than have been registered.

For 2014, data begins in June.
For 2014, data begins in June.

I was also curious to learn if high-end bikes were more commonly registered. Actually, Denverites most frequently register the same models that are most stolen: Trek, Specialized and Giant. Though yes, there’s considerable price differences in that range.

Ok, what about the difference between where people register their bikes and where bikes are stolen? Do some parts of Denver register their bikes way more often and see fewer thefts? Not really.

Here’s where people are registering their bikes, divided by police district:

And here’s where the stolen bikes are:

The downtown core has seen more theft, but that’s presumably a function of all the destinations downtown and a greater concentration of people. The University of Denver area has more registrations than thefts — maybe a function of all the students who can’t afford to lose their possessions.

I asked Denver police for information on recovered bikes and whether having a registered bike actually makes you more likely to get it back. So far, they haven’t got back to me.

But with relatively few registrations, it’s at least one way to be on the vanguard of Denver cycling culture.