Unicyclists in the Greater Vancouver area are being advised to be extra-cautious with their rides this summer, as the number of unicycle thefts across the Lower Mainland have nearly doubled since last year.
“Our research has shown that men between the ages of 18 and 35 are the most likely to have their unicycles stolen — mostly because no one else would even think about riding a unicycle in the first place,” Police Chief Will Schneider told reporters last Wednesday. “Follow-up interviews did reveal that some individuals would consider riding a unicycle if they were in a situation that called for one, like maybe being part of a circus or if they were dared to do it, but other than that, it’s a mystery.”
In a statement released in conjunction with the press conference, police revealed that over 40 unicycles have already been reported stolen across the Greater Vancouver area in 2016. Police suggest that the number might even be higher, as some individuals fear the ridicule that comes with being publicly known as owning a unicycle. Trevor Stills is one of those 40 who reported their unicycle stolen.
“I had just left my barber shop for my bi-weekly moustache conditioning when I noticed my fixed-gear unicycle wasn’t where I’d locked it up,” Stills explained. “That’s when I knew that some thief with probably modest-but-refined taste had stolen my ride.”
Stills’ story is a common one, and Vancouver police are utilizing new tactics in hopes of preventing future unicycle thefts. Following the press conference last week, authorities released a map using collected data to show the areas of the city where thefts are more likely to occur. Included amongst these “hot spots” are outside the Urban Outfitters on Granville Street, several vegan juice bars located in the downtown Vancouver core, and literally every block of Main Street.
“If it’s impossible to stay away from these high-risk places 100 percent, then we recommend that people use alternative modes of transportation,” advised Schneider.
“In the ideal world, we want potential future unicyclists to reconsider and instead purchase bicycles. Bike thefts in the Lower Mainland are actually higher in sheer number and frequency, but at least those folks don’t look like assholes when they’re riding around town.”