How not to lock your bike

Some news has come down the bike path from the Greater Eugene Area Riders cycling club: The club’s blog tells us that the good people who work for the city of Eugene will be installing what are known as “bike rings” on some of those bare posts downtown from which the parking meter heads were removed.

These rings are meant to allow the meter posts to serve, once again, as a reliable place to lock a bike. (Looking at the photo in that post, I have to say the rings look a little flimsy to me. But I will reserve judgment for now.)

Anyway, we have discussed this bike parking issue rather exhaustively in the past. And if you read those older posts you may remember this image, shot right outside the front door of the Perugino coffeehouse and rug shop.

And you may recall that I had posed a question at that time, regarding what a cyclist might do if it came to pass that this parking meter lost its head.

We wondered, in that long-ago post, “What would this cyclist have done? … Would he have forgone the cappuccino?”

Well. Having happened by there last week, I can say that we now know the answer.

The answer is:

“Fuck it. I’m getting a cappuccino.”

Now, for all I know, this guy could have been sitting right at the window table in Perugino, keeping an eye on things outside in what I’ve been told is one of the bike theft capitals of the world.

Still, this might be a good time to consider a few ways that one should not lock up a bike.

Exhibit A:

This one could fool you if you weren’t paying close attention. But it would not be outside the realm of possibility that the owner of this bike could return to find nothing but her front wheel still locked to the fence — and her dog.

I would add that a dog might be a theft deterrent in many cases, but when your watchdog appears to be a golden retriever (i.e., world’s most amiable breed and often none too bright), I don’t think its presence would actually move the needle in any reputable sort of controlled study.

Let’s move on to Exhibit B:

This is a real bummer, huh? I don’t know what’s worse. Being left with nothing but a front wheel, or nothing but a seat. So, it is not a recommended to lock your bike through the seat rails — particularly if you have a quick release seat post bolt.

Since we are speaking of bicycle parking, some other news recently posted at WeBikeEugene has us very excited. It explains that design students at LCC have been working on creating the new bike corrals that are going to be installed downtown to add even more bicycle parking. And at the same time, bring in some public art.

Check out the WBE story here. It says the potential designs will be on public display in January. I’m looking forward to going to check them out.

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