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This is quite a generalised question, but I'm looking for some principals to follow when looking for parking for my folding bike, that I just bought this morning. I think the ideal situation would be if I had an office - I would just put it under my desk then - but I am a student without an office. I want the parking to be secure, because my bike is new and shiny, and having it indoors means that it won't get wet in the rain. One of the reasons why I like cycling is that I can park very close to the place I have to be, so that leads me to think that I could lock my bike up at the back of a lecture hall, where it is out of the way, or in the passage outside. I don't want to be a nusiance, because people aren't used to seeing bikes parked inside. But, on the other hand, they probably don't understand my desire to select the most secure place to put my bike.

The prinicple I'm thinking of at the moment is to take it into the same room as I am in if I am going to a meeting, or lock it in the passage where it is out the way, if the room is too full. What about longer-term parking, e.g. parking for the whole day? Could it be in a big, open, indoor public area? It there logic to parking it outside where the bike racks are? I have a locker, but I think it doesn't fit inside my locker.

I'm planning on using it to park my car further away than usual, and cycling the rest of the distance.

Edit: I wouldn't leave it without locking it.

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    I lock mine in a bike rack, with all the other bikes at shops etc. In a rack I will often undo the handlebar clamp and lower the bars, so its narrower (considerate to others) and looks incomplete and less stealable. On a bus I simply put it between my knees out of the way. It helps that my saddle is about chin height for some people so its obviously a tall rider. – Criggie Jun 9 '17 at 2:32
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if you can: carry it with you. When I was riding my brompton to school, I'd just fold it and take it into buildings and classrooms with me. There were some building guards that didn't like bicycles, so a small fabric bag/cover was used to disguise it. The brompton is unique in being small enough to tuck in just about anywhere, even under a conference table. Since it was by my knees, I didn't bother locking it up.

I have a Dahon at my parents' house which is bigger, heavier, and not easily carry-able. I locked that bike up at bike racks with a solid lock. It's hard because many folding bikes lack good places to lock because they aren't double diamond design.

  • I lock mine with a cable lock around the main spar and then through the frame near the BB. Some folders don't have that, so through both wheels and a loop over the frame works okay. – Criggie Jun 9 '17 at 2:28
  • I've never had a problem with setting mine next to me, or at least where I can see it. Only once was I not allowed to carry it inside, so then I locked it to something. – WGroleau Jun 9 '17 at 9:29
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    Some buildings in the USA have no bicycle policies. This is the only time I have not been allowed. Folding the bike and putting it in a bag solves this. – RoboKaren Jun 9 '17 at 16:13
  • @RoboKaren haha the bag shouldn't change anything. I don't take the train in South Africa (because the train system isn't efficient) but I was wondering whether the bag would make a difference to the bureaucrat who wants to charge extra for a bike. – ahorn Jun 18 '17 at 1:45
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    @RoboKaren I like it how you have two answers: some folding bikes fold smaller and some fold bigger. I think mine folds bigger, and so the point of it is more to make it easier to put inside a boot. I've tried taking my bike into the lecture hall with me, but I think I will only need to do that when I am late, and I took your suggestion to use the bike racks outside. – ahorn Jun 18 '17 at 2:04
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If you're going to lock it to something, either lock it to something that's "yours" (e.g. in the sense of your desk, which really belongs to your employer) or lock it to a bike rack (presumably). If you're going to bring it into the building, treat it as you would a dirty wet suitcase -- keep it with you and be careful to avoid getting other people's stuff dirty.

If you lock it to a random bit of metal inside the building it's likely to be removed by security quite quickly -- such bits of building are normally on fire escape routes. If you leave it unlocked in a corridor or common room, you're asking for it to get stolen. If you're lucky security might get there first, but they'll probably give you a hard time about it.

Bikes get wet in the rain, and after rain. That's just something you have to learn to live with. Besides, it might start raining while you're riding -- what would you do then?

  • I'm pretty sure the problem about security guards doesn't apply to where I live in Cape Town, as officials in the society I live in aren't strict. Also, I don't think most places I would consider locking my bike would be in the way of a fire escape route. You have a good point about treating the bike as a "dirty, wet suitcase," and how I would get wet in the rain anyway. But I don't think you've adequately answered my question of where to lock my bike, so that is why I haven't upvoted your answer. – ahorn Jun 18 '17 at 1:59

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