Update: June 21st 2020 - A number of things on this site have broken over time - in particular, emails are no longer sending. Until I spend time to fix this, there's likely not much point in submitting. And I've mostly moved on to other points of focus, so to avoid wasting people's time, I'm removing the ability to submit.
Detroit Bike Boycott is a super simple way for reporting your bike stolen, and a super simple way for letting the bike owner know you've found it. That's it.
So, in October of 2013 I found out that the bike I was riding around on was stolen property.
It had been stolen from Eastern Market, donated to a local bike shop (by a parent maybe?), and I ended up buying it.
I pieced this together by meeting the former bike owner, and then talking with people at the bike shop. It was no one's fault - it just ended up that way.
But what if there was a way to check if the bike you were buying had been stolen?
Thus, the Detroit Bike Boycott was born.
The Real Purpose
However, aside from creating a solution for bike theft reporting, I have a devious underlying plan.
I don't believe the goal here is to stop bike theft. Bike theft is a symptom, not a root problem. Don't get me wrong, it sucks to get your bike stolen. But that doesn't mean that the person who stole it isn't in a worse position than you.
I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt here: If they could choose, they wouldn't choose to steal bikes.
Now I have no idea what the solution for this larger problem is because I don't believe you can even talk about solutions until you understand what's going on in the first place.
I want to understand bike theft, the systemic causes of it, and I want to gather that data and make it publicly accessible to inform a larger discussion.
I created this site with this goal in the forefront.
Update: 6/21/2020: Changed url to detroitbikeboycott.com to reflect that "blacklist" ties in to the long standing history of using "black" to mean bad. I've been ambivilent about the use of "blacklist" for a while, but couldn't quite articulate it. But it's not surpise that a phrase that contains this color based designation of good and evil, was so widely adopted given America's racial history. I get that the origin of this goes to blackball, but that doesn't change the fact that the conceptual use of white/black representing good/evil is widespread here.. Would this phrase have caught on so much if it wasn't?
I'd guess not!