Tag Archives: barely locked

Bike Parking in Jamestown

Before I get to everyone’s favorite topic, bike parking, I have to own up to the fact that I failed in my attempt to complete the Let’s Go Ride A Bike Summer Games. It was the first bicycle competition I’ve ever competed in, and like most new competitors, it resulted in a big fat DNF! Oh well, maybe next year.

Now back to the bike parking.

I had the opportunity to visit Jamestown recently, one of my favorite parts of our little state. For those of you not up on your Rhode Island geography, Jamestown lies on the island of Conanicut in Narragansett Bay. It’s not far from Newport, which lies on the next island over which is technically called “Rhode Island”, but everyone calls it “Aquidneck Island” in order to avoid confusion with the rest of the state (the official name of which is actually “Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations”). Got it?

Spouse and I usually take our bikes when we visit Jamestown because riding one loop around the island makes for a pleasant 20 mile ride. The island is so small, that it’s easy to ride from any point on the island into the village where all of the shops are. Imagine my delight when I saw this in the village:

An honest-to-goodness hitching-post style bike rack! It seems that at least 6 of these racks were installed in the central part of the village near the restaurants and shops. Unfortunately, there weren’t any bikes actually locked to the racks, at least not while I was walking by. Meanwhile, there were several bikes casually leaning up against a wall outside a restaurant instead:

There’s also a bike rack down by the marina, this one designed to accommodate several bicycles.

I think they put it there to distract people from the giant stone monument commemorating the spot where Roger Clemens shook the hand of Cannonball Adderley. Let’s take a closer look:

Ack! This rack is so poorly designed that there’s no way to lock one’s frame when using a u-lock. That doesn’t stop the ride of the Specialized from locking his bike in such a way that anyone with half a brain could walk off with the whole thing.

That’s a flimsy cable lock, but that’s not really the issue. Most people practicing the art of “barely locked” would just lock the front wheel. This would allow a thief to take off with the frame and rear wheel. This isn’t ideal for a bike thief, but if they have a vehicle nearby, they could easily chuck your bike into the vehicle. However, this particular cyclist is one step dumber than that. In case you can’t tell, the lock is only threaded between the fork and the wheel. All a bike thief would have to do is remove the front wheel (easy to do with the quick-release skewers), lift up the frame, re-attach the wheel, and ride away. I’ve seen worse examples in my collection of pictures of “barely locked” bikes, but not many.

In tomorrow’s post we’ll a bike so barely locked it’s scandalous. Plus a look at bike racks at Texas Wal-Marts – just what everyone has been waiting for.

Barely Locked: Handlebar Style

As a public service to my readers, I’ve created a special series of blog posts  called: Barely Locked, documenting the poorly locked bikes of the world. And just like when I encounter the gentleman’s magazine from which I draw inspiration for the name of this series, I am both excited and repulsed when I see a potential Barely Locked subject. In the end, I just kind of feel sorry for the bike and its rider.

I found today’s subject on my way home from work the other day and it presents a new type of barely locked bike. The types I’ve cataloged previously include:

1. The bike locked to an open ended pole:

Let's call this type "The Pole Dancer"

2. The bike locked to an object that could be easily cut with steak knife or simply untied:

Let's call this "Barely Locked & Feeling Knotty"

3. And of course, locking the wheel to the frame and leaving the bike out in the open.

Some call this "Freelocking," but I prefer "When I think of you, I lock myself"

Today’s subject went for a completely different style:

I’m so flummoxed by this casual locking method that I can’t think of a cutesy pun related to dirty pictures in order to describe it. I mean, it’s like the lock was just casually thrown over the handlebars while the guy was riding around and then he “locked” it to the sign post without removing it from the handlebars. I actually looked around to see if this was part of a bicycle-theft sting operation or something.

The bumper sticker on the sign is a nice touch since this locking method is about as effective as the Nader/LaDuke 2000 Presidential Campaign. Then again, maybe that isn’t such a good analogy.

BTW: I’m happy to see that another bike blogger (this one in Hawaii) also likes to take pictures of poorly locked bikes. Instead of dirty puns, he just calls them FAILS.