It has been known for a while that Google’s iconic colourful bicycles – used by employees to transverse the enormous campus – often go missing. However, the enormity of the problem has been uncovered by a report by the Wall Street Journal. The report claims that almost 250 of the 1,100 multicoloured bicycles go missing every week.The problem seems to stem from the fact that Mountain View locals think that the bikes are free for them to use. As a result, the bikes are found abandoned all across the city – from the Oracle campus to local schools, the roof of a sports pub and even at the bottom of a creek covered in muck. According to the Wall Street Journal – “The disappearances often aren’t the work of ordinary thieves, however. Many residents of Mountain View, a city of 80,000 that has effectively become Google’s company town, see the employee perk as a community service”.To combat the issue, Google has equipped one-third of its 1,100 bike fleet with GPS trackers. Google is also testing a method through which employees could unlock the bikes with their smartphones and thus prevent non Google employees from using them.Also Read: Google Pixel 2 review: Small wonderGoogle has also appointed a team of 30 people to retrieve the bikes. Using five vans, waders and grappling hooks, they pull bikes out of creeks and collect abandoned bikes from all over the city. Between July to November 2017, Google recovered about 170 to 190 bikes a week – about two-thirds of the ones that went missing.advertisementGoogle started the Gbike programme about a decade ago with 100 bikes. The programme has now been adapted by more than 16 companies across the US including biggies such as Facebook, Apple and Walmart.