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Register bike in the town where you live

I am a proud bicycle owner and love riding around the Rogue Valley. I live in Medford, but I spend a lot of time riding around Lithia Park in Ashland. I've registered my bike with the Medford Police Department in case it gets lost or stolen. But the other day it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to register my bike with the city of Ashland as well, since I'm there so often. Is it a good idea to register your bike with every city your ride in, as well as your hometown? Do police departments communicate with each other when it comes to recovered bikes?

Kris K., Medford

Good job taking the initiative to register your bicycle with the city of Medford, Kris.

Too many bicyclists fail to do this, which is why the Medford Police Department's evidence warehouse is filled with bikes that have been recovered, but have nowhere to go.

As for whether you should register your bike with every city in which you ride, that is unnecessary, according to Medford police Chief Tim George.

"All that matters is if you register your bike in the city in which you live," George said.

Your bike's serial number will be entered into a searchable system that all police agencies can see. If, say, you are in Ashland and your bike is stolen outside Lithia Park and recovered by the Ashland police a few days later, they will run the serial number and see that the bike is registered in Medford.

They also will have your name and contact information and will be sure to get your bike back to you. Then hope it's in one piece and not the victim of one of the bicycle "chop shops" that have been known to exist in the Rogue Valley.

To register your bike in Medford, visit http://goo.gl/fKpgR and follow the instructions.

To register your bike in Ashland, go to http://goo.gl/Wa27u.

It also is a good idea to take pictures of your bike and keep them on file, in case there are any questions about ownership.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com.