I live out in Balbriggan and take the train into town. The station is a hotspot for bikes being stolen or damaged. In my 18 months or so living out there I've gotten off the train, arrived at the cycle rack only to see fellow cyclists in a state of disbelief after having their transport stolen/damaged.
I've been pretty lucky up to this point. I secure my bike with a heavy u-lock and a combination lock around the front wheel/bike stand. While my bike has been interferred with in the past, though never in a big way my luck finally ran out this week.
It seems this week has seen the vandals being quite busy. On Tuesday a fellow had both wheels stolen, while the frame was left locked to the stand.
I turned the corner yesterday and could see from a distance that someone had been at the bike. While giving it a look over another cyclist came down and asked what the damage was. It turns out they'd nicked his saddle, cut the cables for brakes/gears and tried to rip off the brake control/gear shifters. He estimated it'd cost more to fix than the bike was worth. There were other bikes there but their owners weren't on the same train. I didn't look at them but one can only presume that they were victims of damage too.
I got back to my own bike and I guess while they were in the middle of damaging it that they must have been scared off as it was only missing the clamp that held the seat post tight- so I was lucky. They had interferred with both locks but they held tight.
So yes- my luck has run out. I should have taken action before but I'm only doing it now- I know I know. There is no CCTV at the station and there is nowhere secure to lock up the bikes. Bicycles are frequently targetted at the station and I feel that's not good enough- especially when you consider that a monthly train ticket into the city centre is around about €120 per month.
There is from what I gather, a part of the car park that's separated by a fence. I wonder if this could be used to store bikes? Alternatively I'd pay a little each months towards some sort of secure storage if that was possibe.
I've arranged to be on the same train as the chap I met last night. We're going to see if we can get other cyclists to join us in voicing our concerns to IrishRail. It's easy to dismiss an individual but hopefully no so much a group.
If anyone from Balbriggan has had their bike(s) damaged/stolen please drop me a line and we'll take things from there.