What should you do if you see someone with a two-by-four at a bike locked to a ring and post bike stand?
As we know from recent city cycling news, there is at least one person who might advise a swift punch in the neck.
But the City of Toronto is asking that you call 416-392-9253 (416-39CYCLE) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know the time of day and location of any broken ring-and-posts.
The City investigated the potential for the R&Ps to be busted with a two-by-four following many recent news reports.
David Tomlinson of the City’s Transportation Services Division says that, yes, they were able to break the cast aluminum ring using a two-by-four and “a lot of pressure”.
But, Tomlinson assures cyclists that they are working fast to take measures to reinforce the ring.
He says he only knows of three or four cases where it looks like a two-by-four was used, but that the City is taking this issue seriously and working closely with police to curb any further thefts like this.
I, personally, find it very hard to believe that there is a crucial flaw in the design of our beloved ring and post bike stand. It has been an emblem of durability and utility in cycling infrastructure for over 20 years. The design is used all over the world and it has not been altered since its inception (unless you count the work done by the City Beautification Ensemble — artists who paint the posts bright colours, giving citizens a dose of “colour therapy”.)
The ring is attached to a galvanized steel post with a tamper-proof nut.
David Dennis, one of the original designers of the ring and post, has been asked to help. In the Toronto Star today he says, “I guess the best thing would be to make it out of a stronger material … that’s less susceptible to breakage.”
I hope they will not change the design too much, as the ring and post is iconic to Toronto.
Cyclists should be sure to lock their bikes through the frame and wheel to the ring or post – or use a second lock to lock the wheel and frame together – so that the thief cannot simply ride off, if the R&P is broken.
The police say that over 7,000 bikes are stolen in Toronto each year.
Photo by Sam Javanrouh