How to park a bicycle with a toe strap


I like kickstands. I have them on the Bike Friday tikit, the Dahon Bullhead and the Schwinn Sports Tourer. They’re easy to use, they don’t rattle and they come in handy around the garage.

But I haven’t added a kickstand to the tandem. Maybe for the same reason I still run Shimano SPD pedals on it: this is my performance machine. You don’t put a kickstand on the bike you think maybe, someday, you’ll ride faster than ever–ignoring all recent historical evidence to the contrary.

So the tandem gets leaned a lot: against walls and poles and, after transport, against the car.

Likewise, I haven’t used toe clips in years. However, a toe strap still comes in handy. I use one to stabilize the tandem’s front wheel when parked. It’s an especially good strategy with a full handlebar bag. With the toe strap tightened around wheel and down tube, that bicycle isn’t rolling anywhere.

(Note: a toe strap is not a substitute for a lock. Unless the bike is well secured, I’m never out of visual range–or more than 20 feet away.)


The right side of the handlebar is the only point of contact between the tandem and the bench. Super stable while we rest on the Katy Trail before returning to St. Charles, Missouri.


To park a bike against a post, position the side of the saddle against the post and then rotate the pedal backwards until it, too, rests against the post. Works pretty well with a single bike.

The problem with an unrestrained front wheel underneath a handlebar bag, though, is that the bag turns the front wheel and moves the bike out of position. Toe strap to the rescue.

And wow, Defiance, Missouri: nice job with the new racks and benches just off the Katy Trail.


Another way to park, of course, is to rely on a low center of gravity and pull your feet in. Nature’s original RV on the trail.


Of course some folks have little to do with parking and even less to do with toe straps. This fellow off Greens Bottom Road, for instance, simply will not be mocked.

About 16incheswestofpeoria

Former bicycle mechanic, current peruser of books, feeder of birds.
This entry was posted in Co-Motion tandem, Equipment, Report from the road and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to How to park a bicycle with a toe strap

  1. MG says:

    So smart! We may be employing your method w/ our tandem parking…

  2. Despite not actually using them for their intended purpose, I carry toe-straps with me on every ride (and in the car!). They are so handy and useful!

    • When I worked at the bicycle shop, I used a strap instead of a belt. Just ran it through a couple of belt loops in back and tightened. That was when I preferred to spend money on cereal and bananas over street clothes.

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