In city where I live, shared bicycles have a wheel lock, which is unlocked by a mobile app what starts the rental period and which has to be locked manually by pushing the lever back to locked position to end the rental.

It already happened to me twice that if there was something or someone distracting my attention when I was putting the bike onto its stand and taking my backpack, I forgot to lock the bike and the rental period continued running.

What habit (maybe purely in my mind or maybe even accompanied by a physical token?) can I develop which will effectively and early remind me about the forgotten operation of locking the rental bike at the end of the ride?

(More information about this particular bike sharing.)

  • 3
    Don't allow yourself to get distracted when doing important tasks. The sequence is - Bike in rack, lock bike... other stuff. Allow exceptions only for exceptional circumstances, e.g. Bike in rack, run away from man waving gun.....
    – mattnz
    Jul 15, 2019 at 20:29
  • @mattnz – didn't you mean "run away from man waving gun and don't think of the bike"?
    – miroxlav
    Jul 15, 2019 at 21:04
  • 1
    What's your liability if you fail to lock the bike? The entire replacement cost of the bike? That alone would be motivation.
    – Criggie
    Jul 16, 2019 at 9:11
  • @Criggie – basically yes. The question is not about the motivation itself (if I had no motivation, I would not ask:), but about executing the intent, what is the thing which failed if there were unexpected distractions.
    – miroxlav
    Jul 16, 2019 at 10:47
  • Can you use a different method to end the rent than simply locking the bike? E.g. "check out" using an app?
    – Erik
    Jul 16, 2019 at 12:55

2 Answers 2


Counting Method

Count the number of steps you must perform at the end of the ride and then refuse to leave the bicycle until you have done all the steps.
For example - End Of Ride Steps:

  • Park the bike
  • Lock the bike
  • Get the backpack

That's three steps.
When you are ready to leave the parked bike you have three things you must do. Don't leave the bike until you have done the three things.

Acronym Method

Create an acronym of the different things you need to do at the end of the ride and refuse to leave the bike until each letter is identified.

  • Counting method is also a Checklist.
    – Criggie
    Jul 16, 2019 at 9:11

A coil tether or retractable lanyard could work (provided that you remember to attach it in the first place). Attach one end to your backpack (or belt loop) and the other to the seat post of the bike. It will retract out of the way while you're on the bike, but extend to a length long enough to not risk unnecessary injury in the case of a collision.

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