If you've ridden a bike regularly at any point, you know that it takes a concerted effort to not have your bike stolen. People will tell you that you need two different locks, removable parts, and to sacrifice your youngest child to the Goddess of Anti-Bike Theft. Or, you could do it my way and have a very shitty set of wheels. But now a group of three Chilean college students have started the Yerka Project, or a bike that can't be stolen.
Why do we have so much bike theft, anyway? Be honest with me for a second. Have you ever seen anyone suspiciously looking at a bike lock for a little too long? Or pretending to do something else while you unlocked your bike? Actually, have you seen anyone straight-up steal one? It's a problem in most cities. When I was an undergrad in Austin, the University of Texas Police Department would buy you a pizza if you reported bike theft and they caught them. That is how often we turn a blind eye.
The Yerka project solves all of that in an ingenious way. Bike thieves get away with this in two ways: by cutting the locks or taking parts of the bike. This addresses both of them. The middle pipe can split into two parts, creating a frame around whatever you want to latch your bike onto. Then, seat slides out and the long metal end connects the two, all still a part of the bike. So if you wanted to steal it, you would have to break it, and then what?
The seat part is securing it around the pole, attached to the middle pipe frame. And you don't have to lug around a giant lock anymore! It's already a part of your bike, simple as that.
If you're ready to go out and buy one right this minute, you'd better pump the breaks. Creators Andrés Roi, Cristóbal Cabello, and Juan José Monsalve, still all engineering students, told Esquire that they only have one prototype ready, but that they are currently raising money to make more.
Juan José Monsalve told Esquire:
We only have one fully functional prototype at the time, but we want to make various bike models, with speeds, girl models, etc. Currently the frame is made out of steel and our intervention of aluminum. We are raising funds right now make more prototypes and to make a small volume of bikes, which are going to be the first ones to go out to the market. We still don't have a date, but we think our first small volume will be ready in six to eight months, tops.No information on the price just yet, either. All I know is that when this finally rolls out, there will be a lot of pizza-deprived UT students.
Images: Yerka Project/Facebook, Yerka Project/Youtube