Lakewood OH

Rocky River cycle shop rolls into spring with tips to avoid bike theft

From left: Eric Edwards, Jo Laird, Kevin Madzia, Derrick and Kathy Kortuejos.

From left: Eric Edwards, Jo Laird, Kevin Madzia, Derrick and Kathy Kortuejos.

Although the weather may not be giving much of a clue, spring is just around the corner. Bicycle enthusiasts got the chance to get the season rolling at Century Cycles in Rocky River last week during its annual bike season kickoff, which this year celebrated the movie “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.”

Employees attired in T-shirts, which sported actor, Paul Reubens’ Pee Wee Herman character’s signature red bow tie served up drive-in snacks and beverages while the movie played. Guests also got a chance to test their movie trivia prowess, and bicycle knowledge, and learn more about local cycling clubs and events.

Carl Williams and his daughter Amy traveled from Seven Hills (by car) to attend the event. “I ride about 800 to 1,000 miles a year,” said Williams, adding that he sometimes rides to work, and bikes as much as he can.

Carl Williams and daughter Amy try out Pee Wee’s bicycle at Century Cycles. (West Life photos by Sue Botos)

Carl Williams and daughter Amy try out Pee Wee’s bicycle at Century Cycles. (West Life photos by Sue Botos)

Century Cycle’s Peninsula store employee Derrick Kortuejesi, attending with his wife Kathy, said that since his store is located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, most of his customers bike for recreation, and not everyday transportation. But Rocky River High School students Ryan Riehn, a junior, and senior Evan Shie said that they spend so much time on their bikes, they have not gotten their driver’s licenses yet. “We don’t have to drive. We ride our bikes everywhere,” Riehn stated.

The movie “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” has been called by Bicycling Magazine “the greatest cycling movie ever made.” This is due to the fact that rather than celebrating cycling as a sport, it’s about owning and loving bicycles, something just about anyone can relate to, according to the magazine.

Century Cycle’s owner, Scott Cowen, who has sponsored a bike-to-school challenge in Bay Village last year, is planning a similar challenge this year in Rocky River and is gearing up to see more people commuting by bike this summer due to soaring fuel costs. Because “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” dealt with the main character’s cross-country search for his stolen bicycle, Cowen and his staff offered the following tips to avoid bike theft:

  • First, a lock should be chosen based on need. Lightweight cable locks will do for quick stops, but for leaving a bike unattended all day at work or school, a heavy- duty chain provides the best security.
  • The choice of a key or combination lock should be based on owner habits. Lock manufacturers may offer a registration service to replace lost keys or keep records of combinations. Product packaging should be checked or bike shop staff consulted for more information.
  • Bike frames and wheels should be locked to an immovable object. For maximum security, the lock cable should be long enough to wrap around the frame, both wheels and the object the bike is being locked onto. A thief can easily remove unlocked wheels, especially if they are quick-release, or, conversely, the rest of the bike can be stolen if just one wheel is secured. A combination U-lock and long cable provides the most secure and versatile protection.
  • When choosing a place to leave a bike, an out-of-the-way spot might make it less visible, but provides a thief a better spot to work. Bikes should be locked even in the owner’s garage to discourage anyone spotting an open garage door.
  • Finally, a record of the cycle and serial number should be recorded. If a bike is stolen, the serial number could help to find it. This information, along with a picture of the bike should be kept with the owner’s property records. Some communities have bike registration services, and there are several online resources that let an owner register a bike’s serial number and report it stolen if necessary. Go to for more information.



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