Tying a Bowline

By Kent

Aside from the knot for tying your shoes, the Bowline is one of the most useful knots you can learn. The purpose of this knot is to form a loop or eye of a fixed size in a piece of rope. The principal advantages of this knot are that with most materials it will not slip, and you can untie it after it's been exposed to a load. The disadvantage, however, is that you cannot tie or untie it when there is a load upon the rope.

It is easiest to learn to tie around your body, but once you've got the technique down you can quickly tie a small loop and hang it over a handlebar or turn signal as a solid anchor for securing your gear. Just follow the steps below:

1. Hold the short end in your right hand, and the long end in your left hand. Tying a Bowline Step 1
2. Cross the short end over the long end. Tying a Bowline Step 2
3. With the short end held against the long end, twist the long end and form a loop. The short end should now be passing up through the loop. Tying a Bowline Step 3
4. Pass the short end around behind the long end. Tying a Bowline Step 4
5. Insert the short end into the loop. Tying a Bowline Step 5
6. Snug up the knot. Tying a Bowline Step 6

If you forget, remember the old saying "the rabbit comes out of its hole, around the tree, and back down the hole again (sounds silly, but it works).

Ride safely.

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