Before you start reading this article, be informed that you cannot keep your bike without a lock. In fact your bike is not totally safe even with a lock. The degree of safety is only relative. The five tricks discussed below will allow you to keep your bicycle safe temporarily. These by no means should be practiced unless necessary or you may end up losing your beloved bicycle.
- The most common trick is to dismantle the front wheel and carry it wherever you go. Parking your bicycle in an area (like in the middle of the parking lot, surrounded by hundreds of other bicycles or, the corner of the parking lot which is difficult to reach) adds to security. This trick will work very well for a limited time. The thief will have to attend to the missing wheel issue and the difficult access. And if there are other bicycles around, chances are he will likely pick another bicycle.
- Get your hands dirty and disengage the chain from around the chain ring. You will need a few pieces of metal wire for this tweak. You have to make loop(s) with the loosely hanging chain and tie the loops with the metal wires. The thief will not be able to get the chain back on the ring unless he gets his hand dirty finding and untying each piece of metal wire. Clean your hands after you are done.
- The next trick would be to dismantle the saddle and carry it with you, parking the cycle in a parking lot. This could be done with a special wrench in less than two minutes. The logic is similar to (1), there would be complete bicycles around. The thief will not be interested in your bike without the seat. There is no point riding without a seat and getting hurt and also look weird. Once you are back, mount the saddle back, tighten it with the wrench and ride back home.
- Use the helmet and its strap to secure the rear wheel. With the helmet close to the seat, run the strap through the wheel and fasten the clip. If someone tries to leave with the bicycle in a hurry, the helmet strap will give a bumpy ride. Thus buying you a little time to retrieve the situation and to retrieve your bicycle.
- Carry a rope may to the parking area. Run the rope through the wheels and around the frame in a weaving pattern. If you are left with sufficient length of rope, weave it around both wheels. And finally, tie the extra length with a sturdy support. The thief will have three options:
- to cut the rope with a knife, but the rope is so long that it will take him 10-15 minutes to free the bicycle,
- to start unweaving the rope trial, this won’t be easy as the knots will be difficult to untie. And,
- to walk away.