Bike Parking and Location!
The most important aspect about bike parking? Locks! The second most important? Let's find out about bike parking and location.
Look for Parking Racks
Ideally, you should park your bike in a specified "parking rack." These metallic structures feature several slots, each of which is intended to fit a bike tire. You can ride your bike up to a rack, place the front tire inside, and then secure it with a chain lock. Parking your bike in a designated area such as this will give you peace of mind knowing that it's safe and secure.
Look for Corrals
If no parking racks are present, look for bike corrals in which to park your bike. Many populated cities and suburban areas have limited sidewalk space, so they use corrals to help free up the sidewalk from bike traffic. A typical bike corral is capable of holding anywhere between 8 and 12 bicycles, making it an ideal parking solution. And much like the aforementioned parking racks, bicycles can be secured to the corral using a chain lock.
Of course, you should also consider the lighting (or lack thereof) when choosing a location to park your bike. According to a survey of some 2,000 cyclists published in the International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, about half had claimed to have been the victim of bicycle theft. While there's no substitution for a good chain lock, parking in a well-lit area will naturally protect your bike from theft. Thieves typically prefer to target bikes in dark areas, as it offers a source of concealment for their illegal activities.
Many cities have their own ordinances regarding bicycling, as well as the parking bicycles. In some cities, for instances, it's perfectly acceptable to park on a sidewalk. Keep in mind, however, that you should park next to a fixed structure to which you can secure your bike with a chain lock. Parking in a fire zone, on the other hand, is generally prohibited.