If you're a more visual person, check out this new video produced by the Downtown LA Bicycles team. Complete with music by Tiesto and a bicyclist with a sassy LA t-shirt, the two-minute film quickly covers the do's and don'ts of how to keep your ride safe from snatchers.
First, the basics. The best locks you can buy for your bike are a u-lock and a steel cable, preferably used at the same time.
Then line your bike up against a parking meter (or bike rack) and weave the u-lock through the metal triangle frame and the rear wheel. This deters would-be bike thieves from jacking your bike because they'd have to cut through the rear wheel -- which takes a long time.
To be super-secure, take the steel cable and weave it through your front wheel as well. Loop the cable into itself and then secure with the u-lock. Et voila! A bike that thieves wouldn't look at twice.
Dan Sarahirad, manager of Downtown LA Bicycles, told the Huffington Post that "we noticed that a lot of people don't know how to lock their bike properly." Since bike theft is high in Los Angeles, the store created this video as a service to the community, and it's the first in a planned series of videos for bike owners. Next up: how to ride safely, how to change a flat and how to properly check your bike.
If this video comes a day too late for any bicyclists out there, check out Jim Langley's site for instructions on how to get your stolen bike back. Langley acknowledges that the most effective way to get your bike back is to ask for it when you see someone else riding it. Proceed with caution.