Picture the scene: The gangland criminals have gathered in their warehouse bunker, the testosterone high, the cigarette smoke stifling. The location has been targeted, the time agreed. The raid will be swift, clean and precise. Everything has been timed to the nth degree, the minutiae has been finalised, and everything will go according to plan. There will be no hostages, no casualties, and they’ll make good their escape – on the folding bikes propped up behind Wilkinsons.
Sound ridiculous and far-fetched? Well, possibly. But let’s consider the realities when it comes to using a bike as a get-away vehicle.
It might seem like a scene from a Benny Hill sketch, but the Boris Bike Scheme in London has already fallen foul to the nefarious activities of the criminal classes.
Now I’m not advocating you hold up your nearest Halifax and put the practicalities of a two-wheeled dash from the rozzer to the test – just take this as the fun, light hearted piece it’s intended to be.
But when you think about it, not only is a bike good for the environment and your health, it could also be adopted as the vehicle of choice if you ever needed to make good your escape, post haste. Swag bags and balaclavas at the ready, then.
Easy To Park
With more congestion on the roads than ever and parking at an all-time premium, finding a parking space is the ultimate bane of every driver’s life. Not the case if you’re a cyclist. You can leave it propped up against a wall or chained to a cycle rack. No fiddly manoeuvres or three-point turns required.
Unless you’re an incessant ringer of one of those bells so adored by some of the cycling fraternity, cycling is a very quiet pastime. No roar of engines here (though admittedly there may be the occasional screeching of brakes). Like a ghost or a silent, transient being, you can go about your business unimpeded and very often unnoticed.
The increasing popularity and proliferation of cyclists means that their numbers has grown to such a degree that you really don’t notice them anymore. They’re part everyday life and an accepted aspect of the cultural fabric. They’ve blended in to the point they’ve become part of the background (unless you’re a pedestrian who has to leap out the way of one of those inconsiderate types). You’ve heard plenty of stories of bikes being stolen, but how many times have you heard of a cyclist committing a crime (unless you’re one of those naughty cycle-on-the-pavement types).
You Won’t Get Stuck In Traffic
Unless you’ve planned your escape meticulously to take in to account the roads, back lanes and and potential hold-ups, chances are you’re going to get stuck in traffic congestion of some sort. And with the bobbies up your backside and the siren lights burning the back of your neck, that’s not a good thing. With your two-wheeled companion, you can weave merrily in and out all the traffic while everyone else vents their spleen at the five o’clock gridlock and the fact they’ve been bumper to bumper for twenty minutes.
You Can Go Fast!
We’ve all seen some cyclists bombing along the road at near death-defying, record-breaking speeds, so the idea that a bike is not a fast form of transport is a fallacy. And bikes get even faster if you consider you can weave between the traffic and use cycle lanes. In fact, in good health and with a decent run of uninterrupted pedal power, it’s feasible to get up to, even past, the 30mph mark. And it’s difficult for someone to snatch the cash when you’re doing that speed.
So there you go. Whilst they can be used for fun and leisure, bikes could also be used to make a swift getaway and might well be adopted as the criminal vehicle of choice particularly as traffic congestion is at an all-time high.
Have you heard of any stories involving unusual getaway vehicles?
- License: Creative Commons image source
Gavin Harvey is a personal trainer and keen cyclist who has always done his best to keep on the right side of the law. Here he writes for buybikes247.