Secure parking in any urban area is always a concern for a cyclist. I defy any of my peddling brethren to declare that when they lock up their wheels they feel entirely comfortable with this situation and that there is not a small palpable feeling of relief when they return and the bicycle is still there, intact and undamaged. Particularly when it would appear that it is really not that difficult to pinch a bike as this video by the New York based Neistat Brothers demonstrate.
As a consequence, over time your city cyclist picks up tricks and favourite places for locking up their steed. Whether, in the case of the London cyclist, this is to make sure you always check the Victorian railings for movement (and you always secure your bicycle to at least two), or you make sure there is plenty of light and hopefully people in the area where you leave it – everyone has their own favoured method.
On my leisurely commute and general amblings around town, I also find myself idly identifying potential places for locking and leaving…and now believe I have settled on the perfect place. So perfect is this place that I do believe that you could lock up your bicycle using only a Christmas cracker padlock even for this, yes this monstrosity, which is allegedly the most expensive bicycle in the world.
Where is this hallowed ground – this haven of bike safety? Gather around dear reader, for its location is the best kept (or least known) secret among the London cycling community…it is none other than [ta da] the north west corner of Connaught Square, W2.
Why? Well every day – whatever the time there are always two Policemen armed with these ferocious looking things standing right by the bike stands, ready to gun down any would be bike thief with extreme prejudice, or stop drivers when talking on their mobile phones (as I observed only the other night).
I see this as the Met standing up for themselves and giving a two fingered solute to all their accusers who claim they do not take bike theft seriously. What lowlife bike thieving bastard would dare to steal a bicycle from here, when it might mean a double tap to the cranium? Truly there can be no safer place for a bicycle – and but for the fact this spot is in an area of little to no use for me it would be perfect.
Now some clever clogs might go and point out that in reality our men in Blue are there for the considerably lower purpose of guarding the home of the former Labour Leader, British Prime Minister, and War Criminal Tony Blair, rather than ensuring that there is one small spot of London immune to bike theft. It is possible I grant you, and if this is the case then it does go to show that for every enemy of mankind there is an upside – particularly for cycling. Look at Moussa Ibrahim (Gaddafi’s spokesman) he was a “cycling enthusiast” who used to footle along the Thames on his hols according to the Guardian, well with Blair we have an unwitting supporter of bike anti-theft measures.
It almost makes me like the man…that is until I start wondering whether the Blairs ever offer to bring out a cup of tea for those poor chaps, who never move but constantly change. And then I begin to ponder on whether Chezzer would give them premium quality or just any old stuff so long as it was cheap and my blood boils…but that is for another post altogether.
NB Just because war criminals and their ilk have been known to be or have inadvertantly helped cyclists does not mean that cyclists bear any resemblance or similarity to said specimens of mankind.