Dear SpringfieldCyclist 10-7-2011

Being the fount of knowledge this website is, I occasionally get letters seeking my sage wisdom.  One such letter follows:

Dear SpringfieldCyclist,

Last night I found myself in a situation where I didn’t know what to do.  I had met my wife downtown at a sandwich shop for supper, but I didn’t have my lock with me.  I took my bike inside to keep it safe, but kept getting strange looks from people.  Help!  How should I have handled that?

                                                                                                    Sincerely,                                                                                   Newbie

Was that you?  I wondered about that guy.  If it was you, people might not have been staring so much if you had been fondling your wife instead of your bike.

But…I do have an answer for you.  It just so happens that I met my lovely bride downtown for a sandwich the other night and didn’t have my lock with me. 

First of all, you’re probably safe to just park your bike next to the door where you can keep an eye on it as long as it’s daylight.  Downtown Springfield is not a hotbed of crime, although it always pays to be cautious.

Second of all, you want to make it inconvenient for a thief to make off with your bike.  You can do that by threading the helmet strap through the rear wheel and clipping it that way.  Here’s how I do it:


What you can’t see is that the strap is wrapped around a spoke on the other side and threaded between the rack and the fender stays.  If someone tries to roll that bike, it’s gonna make a mess pretty quick.  They’ll have to either figure out how to untangle it, or carry the bike and probably won’t be prone to do either if they’re trying to make off with it.

Heck.  Thieves are lazy idiots.  They won’t be smart enough to untangle it quickly and they sure won’t be able to run more than a few feet carrying a bicycle.  Besides, they’ll probably be needing both hands to hold their pants up while they run!

So, there you have it, Newbie.  A creative solution to a common problem.  Next time, leave the bike outside and enjoy your sandwich!

God bless…


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4 Comments on “Dear SpringfieldCyclist 10-7-2011”

  1. What a novel idea!

  2. Steve A Says:

    Taking the bike inside is the obvious thing to do. Going to a sandwich shop is the strange action! Unless, of course, you have a darn good excuse.

    As for the helmet thing, THIS lazy idiot is no better than most thieves. It is why I carry a tiny lock with me at all times, as a “I forgot, NOW what do I do measure” and simply take Buddy inside with me. If questioned, I have read enough bike stuff to be able to cite some plausible reason why I cannot lock up to their inferior facility.

    Besides, I’m more likely to forget my helmet than my lock. Still, this is an excellent and thought-provoking post.

  3. I first learned of the helmet lock many years ago during a long group ride which included a donut stop. I have used it successfully (though still warily) ever since. A good tip when you can keep your bike in sight.

  4. Eric W Says:

    I’ve had to do this. Usually for a pit stop.

    Bring it in if you can – it’s way safer. Ask for better bike parking when you do it.

    Must keep bike in sight! Must have clear lane to give chase. Do not wear cleats!

    So, now I carry the tiny lock & cable. I hear if you can padlock your chain, the bike is unridable – not sure if that works.

    I’ve also used a bungee cord (bike rack) for this too!

    Here in Los Angles, the bike theft rate is so much higher. There a very fun video on YouTube showing a walking crit of lock technique in NYC. (You’ll have to Google it…)

    Eric W

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