Thursday, May 8, 2008

Feeling Secure?

Maybe you should think again.

With bike transportation at an all-time high at the building where I work, we're feeling the pinch. (It's fantastic! On Tuesday I counted 24 bicycles in the racks; that could be 5% of the building population, which is phenomenal.)

A month or so ago, they replaced the two old bike racks with the nicest rack I've ever seen... it's one-of-a-kind, built by Thomas, who is an extraordinary craftsman. (I happily served as his consultant.) But that rack filled, and there was pressure for more bike parking. So one of the old racks came out of retirement.

The old rack was festooned with abandoned bike locks of every shape and size.

People have a BAD habit of using the racks for long-term lock storage - there were locks that I swear hadn't been used in 10 years! And they were occupying rack space that could have otherwise been used for bike storage.

No more long-term lock storage... the locks came off.

Interestingly, all it took was a BIG freakin' bolt cutter. Here are the results:

(Don't feel too insecure, my friends, as long as you lock your bike. The wielders of the cutter had plenty of time, and weren't like meth-heads, casting furtive glances over their shoulders while working. In my experience, I've had two UNLOCKED bikes stolen, zero LOCKED bikes stolen.)


Clancy said...

A gaggle of locks.

I am fortunate to be able to park inside at work. I always lock up except the other day at the autoparts store. I had to go to 2 NAPA's no bike racks. At the first one I locked to a Handicap sign and the second I couldnt lock anywhere.

Anonymous said...

OK, we don't live in NYC, but check this out:

These guys lock up their bike, come back later and steal it on video. No one even tries to stop them.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! That's quite a picture. I've been thinking a lot about bike security recently. We're not a high-crime area here in Boise, Idaho, but I still wonder. I'm also fortunate enough to park inside at work, but I park outside plenty of other times. I use a U-lock and extension cable to get both wheels, but my seat and rear rack are never locked up. And seeing the cut U-lock in your picture here is alarming! It seems like a bit of overkill to spend $100 on the New York-level locks from Kryptonite, but at the same time, I keep thinking that $100 could one day save me replacing nearly $1000 if my bike wandered away. It's an investment I might just make.

Jon said...

Locks keep honest people honest, no more and no less. If some a$$hole wants your bike, you are going to lose your bike. Nothing can stop a thief, except maybe people (or high speed lead poisoning).

db said...

Happy Bike Week, everyone.

Anonymous said...

@jon -- Agreed, however, slowing down a thief enough may entice them to wander further away for an easier mark.