On my way home I stopped at a shop on a fairly busy street (lots of pedestrian traffic). I locked my bike to a sign post and went into the shop to get some food. When I returned to my bike I could not find my keys. I checked and rechecked my bag, checked the pockets of my work clothes. The keys were no where to be seen. Damn, I must have left them in the office. I called my boss but he did not answer his phone. Ok then, I'll have to break the lock and ride back to work. I removed the multi tool from the pouch and cracked open the plastic cover of the lock. Simple enough, then I got my shifting spanner out of another pocket and began gouging into the diecast metal body of the lock. After about 2 minutes of bending and breaking I got the lock open. What surprised me was that all the while I was attempting to force this lock, not one person questioned my motives. Note also I was wearing my winter gear and did not look like I would own the bike.

Eventually my boss called me back and my keys were not on my desk. I rechecked my bag and right down the bottom under everything were my keys.

So, the moral of the story is cheep locks are good if you can't find your keys, but don't ever expect strangers to question someone who is trying to break the lock. Also, if you are looking for something in a bag, don't assume they are not there until you have turned the bag inside out.

Enjoy the weekend rides.

Views: 12

Tags: locks, security

Comment by Neil Alexander on May 15, 2009 at 9:59am
Guess you only use the "cheep" lock for whistle-stop occasions. If you are parking for a prolonged squawk, you need the NYC-certified U-lock.

But don't talk to me about losing keys. Mine went missing for about 10 days recently -- house keys, parents' house keys, post office box keys; fortunately nothing important like bike lock key. When finally found by Alethea in the pocket of one of her jackets at the bottom of a washing pile, I almost didn't get them back because she thought divorce might result. (No such luck for her. I am very forgiving.)

What to do to prevent recurrence? Get one of those tags which whistles back at you when you whistle at it. It's gotta help.
Comment by Peter H on May 15, 2009 at 10:04am
I guess I am fortunate in that the only time my bike is out of my view for any periods of time is when it is locked up in my garage. At work it leans against the wall behind me. I know I should get a better lock, one day.
Comment by Adrian on May 15, 2009 at 10:04am
I've done the same with a cheap lock. It was quite an education to realise how easy they are to break.
Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on May 15, 2009 at 10:14am
I use a combination lock - always!

With my heavy duty Kryptonite lock, you can actually register the combination with their web site - in case you forget it, though you choose your own combination when you first set it up.

I guess combination locks are potentially less secure because a thief could spend a lot of time fiddling with it until they discovered the combination, but I figure that is less likely than me losing my keys.
Comment by Tony Arnold on May 15, 2009 at 2:33pm
Don't expect anyone to stop. Just watch the video titled "Bike Thief" on this web site.
http://neistatbrothers.com/

These guys have done some great videos. Check them out!

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