Locking your bike well is the most important practice you can develop, even more so than maintenance (after all, what’s a well maintained bike if it’s been stolen). I have to admit that I’ve had two bikes stolen, so I’ve certainly learned my lesson. Now I can’t walk down the street and see a bike without evaluating what could be taken from it and how quickly. It’s a somewhat off putting practice, but thinking in those terms is great preventative medicine because it means that I’m well prepared to prevent potential thievery.
For this post, I think pictures speak louder than words though, so here are some cautionary tales.

Here’s a nice looking bike–note the cool frame-integrated lights– but that frame is all that’s going to be left if it catches a bike thief’s eye, since the both wheels and the seat could be removed easily. As a basic rule of thumb, if there’s a quick release, lock it up or remove it yourself–it is common practice for people with quick release seats to remove the seat while leaving the bike outside, though I personally just rely on a thin cable lock snaked through the saddle.

Even though this person has a top tube cover to protect their bike from any potential damage inflicted by locking up, they weren’t quite as lucky as the person above. The front wheel was neglected and now the front wheel is gone.

If you’re still looking to learn the most obsessive way to lock your bike, just watch Hal Ruzal as he wanders around the streets of NYC grading people’s abilities to lock their bikes. Granted, not everyone has to lock their bike up as neurotically as a New Yorker, but it’s a good practice to get into. As they say, better safe than sorry.

Stay tuned for more next week.

Photo Credit: Bike Snob NYC