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Bike Locks
Remember: “70 to 80 percent of stolen bikes were left unlocked”.
Bike Safety

Locking a Bike

It doesn’t matter how beefy your lock is or how much theft insurance it carries if you don’t use it to lock your bike. According to Kryptonite’s Chris Fallon, “70 to 80 percent of stolen bikes were left unlocked”.

The second most common cause of bike theft, says Fallon, is improper locking. Any security device, whether it is a cheap cable lock, a heavy duty U-lock, or a 30-pound tow chain, will stop the casual thief of opportunity. But pros are hunters, and go out armed with a definite plan to stalk and steal.

The most effective counter strategy for a cyclist is to use 2 types of locks; a U-lock combined with a cable or chain. As with most cycling skills, technique is everything.

Basic Advice

  • Open the front quick-release, remove the wheel and place it next to the rear wheel. Rest the fork on the ground.
  • Put the U-lock around a fixed object (guard rail, bike rack, etc.), the rims of both wheels, and some part of the bike frame (either the seat tube, chainstay, or seatstay.) Make sure the lock goes around the rims and not just the spokes, or a thief with wire cutters can walk away with your nice set of wheels.
  • Thread the cable lock through the frame, the front wheel (if it’s bolted on), and around a fixed object. Because different tools are needed to break each lock, you’ll have a backup if one lock is defeated.
  • Don’t forget the saddle. If your seat-post has a quick-release, pull the whole thing out and run the cable through the saddle rails.

Attend to the Finer Points as Well

  • Use the smallest possible U-lock and fill the lock’s internal space with the wheels and frame. This leaves the thieves no room to insert tools.
  • If you commute, don’t lock your bike in the same place every day. Avoid establishing a noticeable pattern, but stick to crowded, well-lit areas as much as possible.
  • Don’t lock your bike to objects that can be cut easily, such as trees, chain-link fences, or aluminum or wood posts. Instead use a parking meter, iron fence, or similar object. Don’t simply lock the bike to itself or an object that it can be lifted off of. A thief can easily carry it away.
  • Position the lock as far away from the ground as you can. Some thieves use the ground as a leverage point for breaking the lock; others just smash the lock against the ground with a hammer. (Some clever big-city cyclists raise the entire bike shoulder-level or higher before locking it.)
  • Position the locks with the keyhole pointed toward the ground or the bike so that the thief can’t easily get to the tumblers.
  • Store your bike out of site at home. If your titanium mountain bike flashes in the sun every time you open the garage door, somebody is bound to see it and come back for it later.
Bike Helmet
Remember: Bike helmets and safety rules aren’t just for kids. Set a good example for your child by always wearing your helmet and following the rules of the road when you ride.

Bike Helmets - Consider the following facts:

  • According to New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, every year there are over 3,000 bicycle-related injuries statewide involving children under the age of 14.
  • During the period of four years approximately 300 children in New York State died from bicycle-related injuries.
  • More than three-quarters of these deaths involved head injuries.

Why Wear a Helmet?

  • Football, hockey, and even baseball players wear helmets. Cyclists need protection for the special risks they face also.
  • Head injuries are usually the most serious injuries a cyclist will have. Helmets prevent many of these injuries or make them less serious.
  • Bicycles, even when in the hands of young children, can be rapidly moving vehicles, easily reaching speeds of 20 miles per hour or more.
  • Compared to the dollar and human cost of head injuries, helmets are inexpensive insurance.

How Can a Helmet Help?

When a person’s head hits the ground, the skull stops short, but the brain continues to travel, crashing against the skull. Helmets are designed to absorb the shock of the impact to prevent or reduce the crash between the brain and the skull. Helmets can also have bright colors and reflective tape or striping that makes riders more visible.

What You Should Look for when Buying a Helmet

  • Buy only helmets that have passed either the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or Snell Memorial Foundation safety test. Both the traditional hard shell and the new “soft shell” helmets are tested by these organizations.
  • A helmet must be constructed with thick, firm polystyrene or other shock-absorbing material. This crushes on impact to absorb the shock of the fall and reduces the chance of brain injury. The foam pads found inside many helmets are for comfort and sizing. They do not provide crash protection.
  • A helmet must have a strong strap and fastener to make sure it will stay on in an event of a crash.
  • To check for proper fit, try on the helmet and adjust the straps to fit snugly. The helmet should cover the top of the forehead. it should have only limited movement front to back and up and down. If the helmet cannot be adjusted to minimize both types of movement, try another size, style or brand. A helmet that doesn’t fit properly won’t protect you in a crash.
  • If you fall and hit your head, the helmet has served its purpose. Don’t use it again! The helmet’s shock-absorbing material that protects the head in a crash may not retain its cushioning ability after a fall. You can’t always tell by looking at the helmet whether it’s been damaged. Either have the helmet checked by the manufacturer to make sure it’s still usable or buy a new one.

Other Safety Rules for You and Your Children

  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic.
  • Obey all traffic lights and signs. Signal all turns.
  • Ride single file.
  • Use a horn or a bell.
  • Keep to the right, but leave enough room to steer around road hazards and avoid car doors that may suddenly swing open.
  • When biking at night, make sure your bike has reflectors and a head light and tail light.
  • Wearing a reflective vest or reflective bands on clothing will increase visibility.
  • Make sure your bike is in good working order.
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