A few years ago, I suggested to a friend she should use more than a cable lock for her department store bicycle. It didn’t take long before a thief with bolt cutters made off with her bike. She couldn’t believe someone would go through that much effort to steal something. The truth is, it is actually pretty easy for someone to walk away with your wheel, seat or the entire bike itself.
Today I discovered the YouTube videos of Hal Ruzal, who is the ultimate guru in bike locking. Hal walks through Manhattan, grading the bikes he sees along the way with biting New York honesty.
According to Hal, bikes should always be locked by the frame to a secure pole. Temporary poles should never be used, as they can be removed at any moment. The wheels and seat should also be locked to the frame.
I always thought I did a good job locking up my bike. I use a U-lock to secure the frame and a cable lock for the wheels. I also remember to grab my lights and any removable parts. However, Hal’s would probably only give me a B. I don’t have a lock to secure my seat to my frame. If I’m locking my bike outdoors in an area that would be vulnerable to theft, I will take my seat with me. This guarantees it won’t get stolen, but it also means I have to carry around a bike seat.
Note to self: invest in a lock for my seat.
Check out part one of Hal’s three part series of grading bike locking: