Sections in this article

Why do I need to share my contact info publicly?

You don’t. Other 529’ers can respond to your post without you giving any of your contact information, but if you are printing posters to post around town from the website, you’ll want to add at least a contact email.

If you want to limit your contact to replies through our service, just leave the contact info boxes unchecked when you create your missing bike report.

Why do you need my email, postal code or phone number?

Your email is critical to us so we can contact you in case of a problem, and simply to make sure that you are who you say you are. Please make sure that this is set to the best way to reach you.

We use your postal code to help give your relevant missing bike notifications, but it isn’t required.

You may want to include your phone number on your missing bike poster, if your bike is ever stolen, as an additional way for others to contact you. Phone number is not required.

Why do you want to know my location?

We’re not doing anything nefarious, we promise. We simply want to be smart about the notifications that we send you. You don’t really need a notification about a bike that was stolen in Denver if you are in San Francisco. Or, even if you are in Seattle and the bike was stolen in Tacoma. We limit notifications to those incidents within a 10 mile radius so that we don’t bug you if there is no way you could help out.

But.. won’t that drain my phone battery?

It shouldn’t more than any app you use on your phone. We only use the location services when your phone moves a lot (like over a mile), which can be determined by wifi and cell phone towers instead of the more battery-hogging GPS. Then, we quickly pause location services again. So you should see very little battery drain due to our app.

What are the benefits of enabling notifications?

The philosophy behind the 529 Garage is that as a group we can do more than as a sea of individuals. Including help get stolen bikes back to their rightful owners.

When your bike is stolen, you certainly will be happier if you have 1000 people looking for your bike than to be all on your own. We ask that you return the favor by opting in to notifications for the rest of the community’s bikes. You help, we all help. Bikes get returned. It’s really that simple.

Is my phone going to be buzzing all the time?

Not at all. While bike theft is a huge problem, (a bike is stolen every 30 seconds in the US), that doesn’t mean you’ll be constantly notified. We get smart about only showing you notifications of bike theft incidents near you. That’s why we’ll also ask you to allow us to use keep up with your location (on the very next screen in fact!). We expect you’ll end up seeing very few notifications from us, and only the ones that you could actually help with.

If I login using Facebook, do you get access to my friends list?

Let us assure you that we do not read, store, sell, or otherwise meddle with your friends list. We also will never post anything to your network without your knowledge and explicit approval.

We only ask Facebook for your name (so we may politely greet you in any correspondence), your email address (so we know who to contact if our service changes or to tell you other important stuff like tips on your stolen bike), and a default postal code (so we can ensure that we only send you notifications pertinent to you). All in the name of saving you some time typing.

Facebook divvies up levels of access to profile info in chunks, so when we ask for the most basic level of permission there is more info included than we are actually requesting. And your privacy settings will control what we get in that package. But don’t worry, we protect it like our bicycles and are very respectful of your privacy.

We aren’t evil geniuses trying to game your privacy, but some sites may be, and the privacy settings of most of the networks can be really hard to find or confusing. To help you out, check out our tips on how to secure each of your social networks.