Bike parts can easily be worth hundreds of dollars and are dishearteningly easy to steal. The parts are easy to sell on bulletin boards and places like Craigslist.. While frames can be tracked, handlebars, saddles and even cranks are usually impossible to trace. Thieves can strip a bike of most its components using Allen keys in the space of just a few minutes. Components attached with quick releases, such as tires and bike seats, can go missing even quicker. Using cables to tie components to the frame do not work well since they can be cut relatively easily. They will deter the casual opportunistic thief. To help combat bike component theft, Atomic22, a British startup, manufactures a variety of component fasteners that are virtually impossible to unlock without a special tool.
To avoid having your bike stripped, or stolen, if at all possible, do not leave it unattended for a long period of time in a public place. It is best to lock it up inside a shed, garage or store. During my West Coast bike tour when I went inside a store to shop, I asked for permission to lock up the bike inside the store. This is preferable in big box stores. In smaller stores, lock up the bike near a window so you can keep an eye on it while shopping.
For additional comments on bike touring security, read my recent post here.
Bike riding in Portland is not only a green addiction but also a cause for celebration. "The Worst Day of the Year Ride" is a 17-miler which brings out 4,000 riders out into the gray gloom each February, to celebrate misery and self-flagellation. The route ends, of course, at a brewpub (about 50 of them dispersed throughout Portland proper). And don't forget the 9,000 rider "Naked Bike Ride" day in June through downtown if you are true Portlandia nudista.
After a visit to the green city, which lives and dies by the F.L.O.S.S. philosophy (Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal, Sustainable), you will understand that the city is on the vanguard of commuter biking. It does not matter that the sky is a brooding gray with a constant gentle mist of rain from May through October. It can be so cold that your gloves will almost freeze on the handlebar. You are in a city of bike and "Go Green" zealots. Don't get in the way, go with the flow.