U-Locks

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I had an encounter the other day, and I thought a post like this will help others who are thinking about commuting anywhere by bike.

I was biking home from work when I got stuck at a red light. I was on the sidewalk waiting to cross when a woman next to me said, “Oh, that’s what I should do with my U-Lock!” She was talking about my U-Lock that I keep hanging from my right handlebar when it’s not in use. Back when I decided to start biking to work, I knew that I would never go for a wire/chain lock. They are just too risky. But, carrying the lock around in my bookbag took a toll on my back after awhile. The thing is just really heavy. So, I started putting it on my handlebar. I was scared at first because it bangs against the bike every so often, but after a year, it hasn’t done any damage.

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Exchanging words with this woman and realizing that the lock-being-heavy issue was the only thing holding her back from commuting, I thought I’d share this tip with the internet in case others are being held back by this as well.

I just got a newsletter the other day from my apartment complex about bike theft. A couple bikes have been stolen recently and the email proved tips on what to do if yours get stolen and what to do to prevent bike theft.

If your bike is stolen…
  • Call and report it to the police as well as your housing complex.  It is very important to make an official report.  If law enforcement notices an increase in bike theft they will take action.
  • Contact your renters insurance company.  Bikes are often covered under renters insurance.  If you used a credit card to purchase your bike, it might even be covered there too.
  • Add your bike to the Stolen Bike Registry in your area.
If you have a bike, take these steps to help prevent theft…
  • Know your bike’s serial number and keep a copy for your records, or take a picture.
  • Keep your bike receipt in a safe place.
  • Use a U-Lock.  We’ve been told that OnGuard is a great brand.  Quality does count, so expect to spend more than $35 on a good lock.
  • Love your bike, lock it right!  Know how to lock your bike up properly.
  • Take photos of your bike just in case it ever goes missing.
  • Storing your bike in your apartment is always an option.

Using a U-Lock is the most effective way to secure your bike. If you’re thinking about commuting by bike, please purchase a U-Lock. The price tag might be steep, but it will cost a lot more to replace a bike. And, if you’re worried about it being too heavy, please consider my tip and hang it from the handlebars.

What do you think about this?

Continue this conversation on Twitter: @smplymnmllfe for minimalism inspiration and @katelyncresmer for Katelyn

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