A few Fridays ago the Pedego Canada staff were walking past a local watering hole (in truth we were entering it) when we noticed a new bike rack installed beside the patio. It was a converted North Shore bike rack (made in British Columbia) that patrons could hang their bikes on and lock up with a key provided by the bar staff. We thought this was such a good idea because it didn’t take up extra sidewalk space (nor did it require city approval to get installed) but it encouraged people to ride to the bar rather than drive their cars.
Later that evening, this innovation sparked a conversation about some of the coolest, weirdest and funniest bike racks in North America that we’d ever seen. A few of us had spotted ones in the shape of animals while others had seen some that could only be described as abstract art. Soon we were using Google to track down the funniest ones on the Web and then we realized it would be fun to share all of them with our Pedego Canada community. And thus a blog post was born.
During that Friday evening session at the bar we also discussed bike rack mishaps. More than one of us had had a bicycle stolen from a bike rack because of improper locking techniques and so we also wanted to pass along a few tips about how to lock your electric bicycle to a bike rack.
How to lock your electric bicycle to a bike rack
Before we lay out the steps let’s first describe what exactly a proper bike rack is and isn’t. Look at the photograph above; see the parking meter on the left? These are ubiquitous throughout North America but they should never be used as a bike rack because it can be easy for someone to lift your lock and bike up and off the top of the meter. The same goes for any pole that doesn’t have a closed loop (such as a street sign).
Also, some electric bike users may believe their bike is secure because they’ve removed the ignition key and/or the battery. This is not the case! Even without a battery your bicycle can still be pedalled away so we recommend you treat your ebike just like a bicycle and lock it with a strong U-lock or cable lock whenever you leave it somewhere. Here are a few more pointers:
- Always lock your electric bike to a rack that has a closed loop. (See the examples below.) Never lock it to something that allows thieves to slide the lock off one end (such as a parking meter).
- Never lock just one tire to the rack. Tires are easy to remove and a thief could walk away with the rest of your bike and replace the tire later.
- Always lock a closed section of your bike frame to the rack. In other words, don’t lock your front fork for the reasons stated in #2. Lock your electric bike’s frame using the top tube, down tube or seat tube (below the seat stem). Basically you want to lock any section of the “triangle” that is formed by the centre of your bike’s frame.
- Ideally use a U-Lock to lock the frame of your electric bike and then use a long cable lock to link the front and back tires to the U-Lock.
- Always take any extraneous items with you when you leave your electric bike at a rack, such as items in the front basket, on the rear rack or in the panniers.
Now that you know exactly how to lock your electric bicycle to a bike rack, go out and find fun racks such as these in your neighbourhood, take a photo of them and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be sure to upload any we receive to this post with your comments!