Secure your bike this Mardi Gras
Biking to the parades is a great time! Follow these tips to ensure your bike stays with you throughout the festival season.
Getting ready for parades and balls can be a real chore, though a welcomed one. Gathering the outfit, people and of course refreshments can get downright hectic as you check the tracker for updates. Then, there’s always the lingering thought in the back of your head: Too much fun on one night can make for a disorienting recovery day.
For many of us, a hangover or missed sleep is something we can power through within a few painful hours. However, a bicycle not properly secured can result in a much lengthier (if even possible) recovery and the sense that a part of us is missing.
In order to ease your mind, follow these guidelines to properly secure your bicycle:
• Find a good spot
o Bikes are able to be locked to city street posts and bike racks.
o Locking to a private structure may cause an issue for the owner and may result in your bike being removed.
o Ensure the post and structure you’re locking to is secure. Give the structure a shake to see it is firmly attached to the ground. Also, check any overhead signs to make sure they aren’t set to quickly be taken off to slide your bike over the post.
o Though heavy foot traffic is a good deterrent for thieves, ensure your bike wont be in the way of pedestrian traffic.
• Secure your bike
o Use a U-Lock! A cable to go through the unsecured wheel is also recommended.
o Put the U-Lock through the frame and at least one wheel. Locking through the rear triangle (where the frame connects to the rear tire) is a great way to lock up.
o If your seat has a quick release, secure it with a cable or take it with you.
o Make sure to take any accessories off of your bike that can be easily removed: lights, bags, tools.
• Get to it in a timely manner
o Most street parking is only secure up to a point. Neglecting your bike for a length of time makes it a more likely target. If you’re plans for the night are moving you from your bike, walk it with you to a closer spot!
Bicycling is a great way to navigate the traffic of the parade routes and even allows us to catch multiple parades at different locations, or zoom through the streets for a second chance at a coconut or shoe. I’d personally recommend a ride through an abandoned parade route, as long as you have quality tires.
If you’d rather bike but not leave your bike on the street there are a few alternatives. Bike to a uncrowded spot and watch with your bike in hand, there are a few social rides through Get Up And Ride and Nola Social Ride which watch the parades with their bikes, or look in to trying the new Blue Bikes bike share: hubs can be found along many of the routes or a $1 fee is applied if its locked away from a hub.