Whether it's a quick stop to refill the water bottles or a longer break for lunch or coffee, sometimes we need to pause the ride and walk away from the bike for a few minutes. Of course we don't want to haul around a heavy and unwieldy u-lock, so we're either taking turns watching the bikes or just leaning them somewhere that seems safe and hoping for the best.
It's this problem that had me recently wondering aloud on Twitter and Facebook what might be a good, light, easy to carry solution to this common problem.
I received a number of suggestions, many of them excellent, but soon stumbled quite by accident upon what appeared to be the ideal solution: the Knog Milkman.
I wasn't a fan of Knog from the beginning. While I admired the simplicity of their stretchy silicon's ability to fit to almost anything on a bike, the early versions of the Frog light - dubbed the hipster cyst by BikeSnobNYC - seemed to me to be fairly useless even as a 'be seen' lighting solution.
But fast forward a few years, and the Knog Boomer front and rear lights have proven to be essential in my goal of surviving every bike ride. They are bright enough to alert motorists of my presence on a sunny day, and they can be quickly and easily moved from one bicycle to another in a matter of seconds.
So it was not as a skeptic, but as a satisfied customer, that I decided to give the Milkman a try.
So what exactly is the Milkman? It is, simply put, the perfect solution to the Mid-Ride Stop problem.
The Milkman is a lock that is small enough and light enough to stuff in a jersey pocket. At 75x75x20mm and only 110 grams, not only can you fit it next to your inner tubes and gels and Eddy Merckx trading cards, but you won't even notice that it's there.
I've taken the Milkman on my last five rides and although I only ended up using it on two occasions, it has never felt cumbersome. It's slightly curved in a way that rests nicely against the small of your back, and is light enough to disappear into the rest of the junk in your pockets.
When it comes to locking up, it has to be said, it should be clear that it won't be the most secure lock you'll find. While I'd strongly recommend against locking up overnight or all day, it's perfect for what it's designed for. In short, the Knog Milkman is a quick, easy, light, and portable way to lock up for a short time without weighing you down on the ride.