how to…

….secure your bike.

What do you take into account when it comes to parking up your bicycle? Is it something that you think about before you begin your journey or only when the time comes? If you saw the image in How to keep your bike safe on the street [June 3 2010] or the original posters, you might already have an idea of the guidelines given by both MoL and other cyclists.

Here are some of the basic pointers:

  • Remove any accessories before you leave your bike. Knog lights are great because there’s no fuss when it comes to unclasping them, but other lights and accessories have quick-release clasps.
  • Always try to lock both your frame and at least one of the wheels: this will stop thieves from making off with odds and ends, i.e. leaving you stranded with only one wheel.
  • Use two different types of lock if possible: this means that a thief will need two different tools to get your bike loose.
  • Invest in a decent lock, and remember that “locks are not for life” and will need replacing sooner or later.
  • Find out if your employer offers indoor cycle parking, if not suggest they take on the Take a Stand scheme, then scout the area for a safe place.
  • When securing your bike outdoors consider the following: how strong is the bar you plan to use? Can it be broken or moved easily? How busy is the area? Avoid quieter streets where thieves can get to work undisturbed. Are there any other (more expensive!) bikes around?
  • Try to avoid having the key on a D-lock facing upward or the lock too tight  or too loose.
  • Join Bike Revolution and get your bike tagged!

The Guardian posted an interesting feature on their bike blog, entitled “Bike thief tells how to stop your cycle from being stolen“, which is well worth reading, especially for his insider tips regarding CCTV.

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