You love your bicycle. You keep it clean and shiny. Every time it gets scratched or dented, you feel it in your heart. You feel happiness when you see it gleaming under the sun in the parking lot. Be sure that the bicycle thief has noticed your jewel. Here is what you need to do to defy his attempts,
- Lock your bicycle with a strong structure, e.g. railing, fence, lamp posts that are strong and cemented. The strong structure will ensure that your bicycle can not be lifted and carried away in a van. Don’t just pick any available spot in the parking lot. Think for a minute. If possible, park right in the sight of a CCTV camera (and hope it is online). Or/also, select an area that is difficult to reach, e.g. middle of the parking area, surrounded by all the other bicycles parked. This will lower the chances of your bicycle being picked as the thief will be overwhelmed with number of chcoices available.
- Use two locks. Practise securing the bicycle with two locks, one through the front wheel and frame and the other one through the rear wheel and frame. In this way the thief will need more time to pick or break two locks. Also, remember using U-locks of small sizes are difficult to break. Smaller U-locks will not allow enough leverage to be broken by sliding in a shaft and applying pressure.
- If the bicycle is a premium one it would allow you to dismantle the front wheel with ease. Provided you carry the special wrench with you. Dismantling the front wheel and locking it to the rear wheel is a good option too.
- It’s a good idea to keep your bicycle look unappealing. Not replacing an old seat or maintaining a little dirt on your bike gives the thief one reason less of attempting stealing your bike.
- Employ the Sheldon method. The idea is to secure the bicycle by running a U-lock through the rear wheel around a firm support. The bicycle frame is left unsecured, it is just the rear wheel and the firm support. This strategy leaves the thief with only the option of picking the lock, so a good lock is a must. One can buy such a lock for $30-$100. However, it is always better to use two locks (as discussed in 1).
- Try not park in an unknown neighborhood for more than few hours. It serves the thief the home-turf advantage. If you are visiting an unknown place, make sure to retrieve your bicycle as soon as you can. The longer you take the worse it gets. Plan beforehand and make all make all the necessary arrangements.
- In addition to 1-6, the security of your bicycle in a parking lot, largely depends on the lock you invest in. Make sure that you choose wisely.