PSA: Don't forget your bike lock
By Konnor Lee
I pack my bike lock in my backpack on every biking trip, even if I don’t plan on leaving my bike unattended. Although this seems silly, it’s important to consider that there may be a situation where you have no choice but to lock up your bike and leave it outside a store or a restaurant.
Now that I’ve reminded you all to take your bike locks, let’s talk about how you should go about safely locking up your bike. On a bike rack such as the one shown to the right, you should wheel your bike in frontside first and place the lock on the front wheel and around the surrounding bars. This one is a no-brainer, a monkey-see-monkey-do locking method.
This next one can be a little confusing as you may stumble upon it with bikes leaning in all directions around it. The most secure way of parking your bike in this S-shaped abomination is by running your bike through one of the loops so that the rack splits the bike halfway down the frame. Then, you’ll take your bike lock and loop it around the midriff of the bike frame and lock it against one of the surrounding bars. You can also use this method on a street lamp or a sign post, but be sure to look around for signs prohibiting the use of posts as parking spots. I have a friend that once parked his bike on a sign that says “Do not leave bikes on signs.” Luckily we returned to the post with most of his bike remaining; he didn’t secure his seat to the frame well enough. Anyways, this should look a little something like the image shown above.
And finally, my favorite way of locking up my bike is by locking it to another bike. If you find yourself at a bike rack with too few spots left and too many friends that need those spots, you can simply take your lock and loop it around the frame of your bike and that of your friend’s bike. Of course, you should be sure that this does not block sidewalks or protrude out into the street, as this can become a tripping hazard.
One final thing: don’t leave your helmet hanging on your handle bar. I’ve actually seen people casually walk up to bike racks and take helmets off the bikes. Bike helmets are not cheap, so take it with you when you walk into Starbucks or pick up your Chipotle.
As always, stay safe, and have fun.