The Prince George Nechako Rotary Club and the Prince George RCMP are gearing up for the Great Big Bike Registry on Sunday, Aug. 9.
Rotary volunteers and representatives of the RCMP will be fanned out at eight locations across the city encouraging cyclists of all ages to stop by and register their bikes with 529 Garage, a comprehensive bike registry and recovery system with the primary goal of deterring bike theft.
If a bike is stolen, 529 Garage assists police in returning stolen bikes efficiently to their rightful owners, saving thousands of dollars in police resources and loss of product for Prince George residents. The program can be accessed online and through a smartphone application.
“The Prince George RCMP is excited to partner with the Nechako Rotary Club to help end bike theft in our community,” said Cpl. Craig Douglass, spokesperson for the Prince George RCMP. “Without the Nechako Rotary Club’s support, we wouldn’t be able to provide this service for free and certainly could not organize a large event such as the Great Big Bike Registry.”
With 3,000 Prince George cyclists registering their bikes in four years, the Great Big Bike Registry on Aug. 9 has a goal of registering 500 bikes with 529 Garage. The registration process is free for everyone. Volunteers will follow all provincial health guidelines regarding COVID-19 and will wear face masks or face coverings and gloves.
“Rotary is all about creating lasting change in the community and volunteering our time to make a difference,” said Rachelle Delorey, Nechako Rotary club president. “This is a fantastic community service project for our club working alongside the RCMP in encouraging cyclists to register their bikes with 529 Garage and helping deter bike theft in Prince George.”
Here is how 529 Garage works. Volunteers will help cyclists create online profiles that include photos of their bike, their bike’s serial number and photos of them with their bike. The aim of the profile, specifically the photos, is to capture every detail that makes the bike unique, such as custom parts and upgraded components. In addition to the photos and bike data, each registrant is encouraged to place a Shield ID (a tamper proof sticker with a unique seven-digit code) on their bike frame. The Shield is highly visible and acts as a warning sign to would-be thieves, letting thieves know the bike is registered with 529 Garage.
In the event a 529 Garage bike is stolen, with a few taps from their phone, a victim can immediately alert the police and fellow 529 Garage registrants (using the app) of the theft. Alerts are accomplished via push notifications sent out like text messages. The victim may choose to include photos of his/her bike and a reward. If the stolen bike is spotted, witnesses can use the 529 Garage app to send a victim tips, including photos and location details.
On Aug. 9, Nechako Rotary volunteers and the RCMP representatives will be at eight different neighbourhoods across Prince George for two hours at a time.
The schedule is as follows:
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
- Cpl. Darren Fitzpatrick Bravery Park (6877 Glenview Dr.)
- College Heights secondary’s parking lot (6180 Domano Blvd.)
11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
- Hart Highlands elementary school (2233 Sussex Lane)
- Vanway elementary (4509 Highway 16 West)
2 – 4 p.m.
- DP Todd secondary parking lot (4444 Hill Ave.)
- Duchess Park City park (2425 Ross Crescent)
4:15 p.m. – 6 p.m.
- Blackburn Community Centre (2451 Blackburn Rd. S)
- Nusdeh Yoh elementary school (2579 Victoria St.)