News / Toronto

Iced bike lock? Don't worry, there's a fix for that

Cycle Toronto is offering a new service aimed at keeping more people on two wheels — regardless of the weather.

A cyclist braves the cold and the snow to cross Queen's Park.

Eduardo Lima / Metro Order this photo

A cyclist braves the cold and the snow to cross Queen's Park.

It's a winter cyclist's nightmare — and a recurring one at that.

You go to unlock your bike, looking forward to getting your heart rate and body temperature up on your ride home. Then: Nothing. The lock is frozen tight as a, well, lock. As if you needed one more thing to discourage you from winter cycling.

Now, Cycle Toronto has a remedy. The advocacy group is offering a lock deicing service this winter. It's free for Cycle Toronto members and costs $40 to $60 for everyone else, depending on localtion. (The group will also cut locks that are too far gone to save).

Bike locks that seize up in the cold are extremely common, said Cycle Toronto's development manager, Mark Romeril. If moisture gets into the pins and tumblers, it can expand as the temperature drops, making the parts stick in place.

There's no up-to-date data on winter cycling in Toronto, but Romeril encourages everyone to bundle up and give it a go.

"Biking, in any conditions, remains one of the most consistent door-to-door ways to get around the city," Romeril said. "With the pressures on the TTC and how hard it is to get around by car — it's a nightmare to drive downtown."

DIY tips from Cycle Toronto's Mark Romeril:

- Hold the flame from a lighter up to the parts that are stuck.

- In an emergency, try pouring boiling water on it (obviously, you'll need to dry it out after or it will freeze again).

- To prevent getting iced out again, grease the lock using chain lubricant or a spray like WD-40.

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