My bike is an object of much beauty and affection. My bike is called Monty. I would be very sad if Monty got stolen. In fact, not only would I be sad, but were he to get stolen when I was midway across the Canadian wilderness miles from anywhere then I would, in fact, be snookered.
The sensible part of me wants to get bike insurance because it seems like the Right Thing to Do. However, on reflection (and given the appetites of Canadian wildlife), it seems to be Wrong Thing to Do. Here’s why…
There’s only one company that I can find that will insure my bike oversees for 100 days. I phone them. I explain my trip. The lady asks where I will be staying. “Mostly wild camping or just plain old camping,” I explain.
“To secure your bike while you are camping,” the woman states, “you must take your bike inside your tent and lock the bike, using a Gold rated secure D-lock, to the actual frame of the tent.”
Had I known that I’d need to share my tent with my bike then I’d have purchased a larger tent. I didn’t. I purchased (or indeed was kindly gifted by Santa) a very small handmade Swedish tent. For one. So I’m not sure we’d fit very comfortably together without Monty elbowing me in the ribs and hogging the duvet.
But let’s imagine that someone wants to steal my bike. Do they bring bolt cutters and slice in two my Gold rated secure D-lock? No. They snap my ultralight tent pole like a twigglet in a hungry jaw. Thus leaving me with no bike, and the flapping remains of a broken handmade Swedish tent: a happy cycle-camping tour maketh not.
Hmm. The lady on the other end of the phone picks up on my incredulity.
“Alternatively,” she adds, “you can lock it to a tree.”
“Is there any minimum thickness of truck?” I ask, knowing that insurers are likely to find any excuse to weasel out of a claim.
“No,” she replies with a chuckle. I am at this moment calculating how thin the trunk of a tree would have to be such that I can slip the appropriate lock around it, and how long it would take to chop or saw through that tree.
Oh, except that would leave Monty venerable to theft by a nibbling beaver. He’d risk being carried off to dam a distant river, never to cycle again.
I need a tree that’s beaver-proof. An idea flashes into my mind: I could carry a small bonsai in my panniers. Ha! That’ll catch ‘em out. A pop-up carry-along bonsai bike stand might be just the ticket.
Oh, except a moose might munch it.
Monty – my trusty steed