Swipe to the left
8 June 2011 4 comments

How Not to Park Your Bike

Saddles, Bags, Etc. Urban Cycling
How Not to Park Your Bike

Clima Bicycle Lock Ad

The repetitive, unviolent maneuver of locking your bike is the quintessential act of a safe arrival. Yet here lurk many dangers, most of them easily avoidable with a small amount of precaution.

So without delay, its..


1. Do not lock only the rim

This commonly seen act of buffoonery is the calling card of the inexperienced cyclist.Not covered under warrantyYOU are the weakest link!

2. Do not park on the street side of a post

Why not park it perhaps, behind the heavy steel pole that was so conveniently placed before you?"Yeah, and then it fell while I was gone, right in the street! What bad luck!

3. Do not lock to a handrail or against posted regulations

The act pictured below, more commonly witnessed than one would expect, is an invitation to damage your machine with extreme prejudice.

Not only is this type of behavior wholly at odds with the project we are working on called civilized society, but were someone to have an accident (your very own daughter or grandmother perhaps) be sure that you are already out of the vicinity and never to return.The "T-Bone"

4. Do not lock to private property

There is nothing like blatantly disregarding a posted "no parking" sign to elicit untoward behavior against your machine.

Early warning signs of retaliatory behavior include: simultaneous front and rear punctures, decorative bits of rubbish, or unseemly viscous material on your saddle and grips.Minor frame modification while you're away?

(However, signs indicating a no parking situation may not always have been erected by the owners of the forbidden real estate, and therefore care must be taken lest one find one's machine in a state of disrepair upon return.)

Other particularly questionable parking locations and behavior would be:

- Locking to bars intended to hinder the free movement of animals..

- "Free-locking" on bridges.Plunge into the depths of despair

- Locking to rubbish bins.

You want ketchup with that?

- Locking to a rack that can be easily moved. Particularly "U" shaped racks set into plain earth.

For this you do not need a car. A simple back-and-forth wiggle will uproot in no time.

- Locking next to a "Hipster Trap".

Still there are more:

- Locking to any decorative fence surrounding an outdoor dining area.

- Locking to fire exits (I swear I have seen this done more than once).

- Locking to signposts missing their signs.

- Locking up directly outside of the movie theater you are visiting.

- "Locking-down" someone you do not know. The "lockee" may simply leave with both bikes.

We could probably go on, but we hope this served to draw attention to the complexity of this seemingly simple act.

So let's end with a properly locked bicycle and get back to work.

my favorite sxsw-bike-lock-fail of this year
lucas 23 May 2016 at 16:06
How long did it take to unlock the bike in the final photo? Unless someone color coded the locks and keys, it could be an all day job!
Larry 23 May 2016 at 16:06
My favorite lock up I've ever seen involved one of those knee high posts with half circles of metal that you lock your bike into. This person had a cable lock and wrapped it around the main triangle and base of the pole. All anyone had to do was pick the bike up over the post and simply ride it away.
Tom P. 23 May 2016 at 16:06
Locking your bike and leaving it for the public to have it's way with is risky business, even with all the fine suggestions posted by this article.

The best way to secure a bike, is to keep it in your possession at all times. Never let it out of your sight. I know this isn't possible for most cyclists, but is the only true way to keep your bike safe from the ne'er-do-well miscreants roaming our streets.

Safe cycling!
Bobby Winfield 23 May 2016 at 16:06