In honor of bike season and International World Bicycle Day, I have a confession: I am a bike lock “dyspraxic”. For some reason, when it comes to locking and unlocking my bike, I am very, very clumsy. I am the antithesis of grace. And as the season progresses, I don’t get any better at it. (Full disclosure: My son has dyspraxia and based on my very uncoordinated attempts at mini-golf, likely comes by it very honestly.)
In the nice weather, I bike nearly every day; I bike to the grocery store, to the farmers market, to swap meets and Bunz trades, to run errands on weekends. I used to bike to work daily and bike to yoga or the gym depending on the day. In short, I lock and unlock my bike frequently.
The second I get off my bike, it starts. I jerkily move my bike back and forth, closer and farther away from the bike stand. And if I am on the "wrong" side of my bike, or the wrong side of the bike post (those poles with the circle thing), I struggle with a simple u-lock for something like three times the amount of time it should take me, before moving to the other side and locking my bike up the only way it seems to work.
I cannot lock my bike if I am "backwards". It's simply not possible. I don't even know what "backwards" is, unless I am "backwards", and then I move to the opposite side of my bike and feel a little less uncomfortable, albeit really silly.
I hope no one is watching. I swear. I call myself names. I get grease on my hands and my clothes. I have been known to injure myself. Frequently. Two weeks in and my shins, calves and sometimes arms will be covered in scrapes and bruises.
And someone seriously needs to help me if I am faced with a bike rack. I mean, it's not rocket science, it's a bike rack…dagnabbit. But I hate them; I'd love to consider them an example of bad design, but I think it's me that's the problem. In that case, it doesn't matter which side of my bike I'm on, it's all mixed up. Like trying to read Kanji or something when you have no idea how to do so.
And please, I beg you, never make me lock my bike to a bike post that someone else has already locked their bike to. Never, ever make me do it. It's too painful.
I have this sense of how I must look to others as I lock up my bike. An uncoordinated knob who should take transit, because someone who cannot lock up their bike without incident cannot be safe on the street.
Oddly enough, I am a very good, coordinated, relatively law-abiding cyclist. I just need a bike that collapses into a highly portable, courier style bag, so that I don't need to contend with locking it to anything stationary, ever.