bike 101: what to do when you forgot your bike lock
We’ve all been there, right? You’re half way to your destination when it suddently hits you that your lock is still sitting at home where you last set it down or around the top tube of your other bike. One easy solution, of course, is to have more than one lock. Ideally, a lock on each bike you use so that you don’t have to worry about switching it between bikes with each use. But if you’re like me and just have one lock, you may find yourself in the above cited predicament. So what do you do if you don’t have the time to turn around and go back home for your lock?
Here are some tips and strategies I’ve employed or encountered…
1. Take Bike In To Office/Indoor Space/Destination Point With You
The few times I’ve left my bike lock at home, I just took my bikes right into my office on campus. This works because we have an elevator and because I don’t share my office, so no one else is put out by this. I’ve also had students ask to bring their bikes into the classroom and I’ve always allowed it (although the university states that no bikes should be in the building). The classrooms are usually large enough that a bike propped up against a wall at the back of the room isn’t in anyone’s way.
I’ve also taken my bike inside my yoga studio one time when I forgot my lock at home. My yoga instructor was very understanding and allowed me to leave my bike there while I went to coffee with some of the other yoga girls after our class and then the nearby library to pick up some books. I ran my errands and then returned to retrieve my bike from the yoga center, sparing me the headache of having to find a new solution at each point of my destination.
I have, however, also encountered negative reactions to this. On one occasion, I asked my local thrift store if I could bring the bike inside the store where I could park it out of anyone’s way while I shopped and was told that it wouldn’t be a good idea ‘because someone might walk off with it’. This was their way of basically telling me ‘no’.
2. Take the Bike SEAT In To Office/Indoor Space/Destination Point With You
I’ve never done this, but I’ve had students bring just their seat inside as a way to deter bike theft when leaving their bikes unlocked outside of our campus building. (This method may not work in some more theft-happy bigger cities, but it suffices as a deterent in our small town).
3. Ask a Friend To Share Their Lock
I’ve seen my students come into the classroom and ask fellow cyclists if they wouldn’t mind going back down to the bike rack with them and sharing their lock for the duration of class. A nice example of campus camaraderie.
4. Ask a Stranger To Share Their Lock
Last week, I attended a campus symphony orchestra concert and just as I was locking up my bike outside of the music building, another cyclist standing by approached me and asked if I wouldn’t mind sharing my bike lock for the duration of the concert. I of course agreed and locked our bikes together. He had forgotten his lock and was waiting to catch another cyclist to ask to share their lock, to which I happily obliged. I can’t imagine that any cyclist would say no to this request.
5. Any Other Tips or Suggestions? Fill in the Blank with your Strategies here:___________________
What do you do when you forget your bike lock? Hopefully, you’re a little less absent-minded than I am and don’t have to often worry about this problem. But if you have encountered this dilemma, how have you solved it in the past? Please share your tips in the comments!