Here's another unfortunate locking job from San Francisco, forwarded by a reader:
Sure, this bicycle is somewhat less desireable, but the locking technique is still baffling. This rider is using a two-part security system consisting of a u-lock and a cable which a determined rodent could probably gnaw through in a matter of minutes. The most substantial component of the system (the u-lock) is for some reason being employed to secure only the wheel, while the rest of the bike is secured by the cable. (In fairness to the owner, though, I suppose it is possible that the front wheel is worth more than the rest of the bike, so that might explain it. But he still might as well have locked the frame too.) Also, the helmet is right at dog-groin level for maximum urine exposure.
I can't explain why people are unable to lock their bikes properly. All I can do is point these things out when I see them in the hope that others may learn. And the two lessons to be learned from these bikes are:
Lock Up Anything That Can Be Removed
Again, that's "Lock Up Anything That Can Be Removed," not "Lock Up Anything That You Can Remove." I suspect this distinction may be part of the problem. Just becase the owner of Bike #1 doesn't know how to remove his own wheels doesn't mean a thief can't do it either. Sure, you might get your flats fixed at Trackstar, but rest assured that just about every thief out there can operate a wrench and can wrap his mind around the elusive "righy tighty, lefty loosy" principle.
Your Lock Is Only As Strong As Its Weakest Part
This is the lesson of Bike #2. Lock the frame with the u-lock, not the cable lock. Just passing a cable lock through a u-lock does not somehow impart the u-lock's strength to the cable lock. That's dangerous thinking. It's like not understanding that when you have sex with someone you've had sex with everyone they've ever slept with. Think of it this way: the u-lock is the virgin. The cable lock is the person who just got back from a sex tour of Bangkok. Virginity is non-transferrable, but STDs are.So, with that in mind, let's say you're a savvy, sophisticated urbanite, and you've got a bike to match--like that goofy Trek dragster thing. And let's say you happen upon one of David Byrne's charmingly irreverent bike racks--in this case, the dollar sign. (What could be more fun than locking up to some pop musician's brain belch?) Do you:
#1) Lock the bike to the rack with a u-lock by the front wheel only?