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..
BROOKS TIPS ON PARKING YOUR BIKE
1. Do not lock only the rim
This commonly seen act of buffoonery is the calling card of the inexperienced cyclist.
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?
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.
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.
(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.
- 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.