Friday, February 1, 2008

In a pickle... (and win a free lock)

I'm extraordinarily forgetful today. I forgot my bike helmet on the bus and I forgot my bike lock.

San Jose cyclist
I'm not horribly worried about the helmet -- the bus drivers are pretty good about taking stuff to the lost and found -- but my awesome Planet Bike Super Flash light is connected to the helmet. I have errands to run tonight after dark, and I'll have to depend on my significantly less bright Cateye LD500 (the one with the built in CPSC reflector) and Reelight tail light. Call me a nut, but on a Friday night with possibly iffy weather I'd like to be seen.

More important, though, is my lack of a bike lock. I absolutely need to run some errands tonight before I go home, and I absolutely need a lock since I'll be in the high bike theft area of Palo Alto, California. Does anybody have any ideas? I usually keep a spare in the office, but I took it home the last time I forgot my lock. I'm a little low on cash, too, so I can't really afford to just go and buy another lock.

Speaking of locks, my favorite lock company has a group on Facebook. Kryptonite is currently running a contest on Facebook -- post a photo of a Kryptonite lock to the Facebook group page and the best photo gets you a free Kryptonite Evolution Mini, which is the lock I use every day (when I don't forget it *doh*). To win, sign in to Facebook, join the Kryptonite Group and upload your photos. Add me as a friend while you're there. I've been using Kryptonite U locks since the 80s and have never had a bike stolen.

But before you do that -- any ideas on my lack of a lock?

"San Jose Cyclist" - Photo by me.


  1. ...fritz, now is the time to call in some markers...i assume you regularly spend money in the stores you have to visit...

    ...ask for store managers, explain how you are usually prepared but cha' screwed up today & don't be afraid to ask for a little are a consumer & regular customer...

    ..."why, thank you, i'll even mention your considerate cooperation, sir, on the two bicycle advocacy sites i write for"...(or tell everybody how you & your company don't really give a rat's ass about cyclist's & issues of sustainability, you so & so)...

    ...but hey, don't let me put words in your mouth... the helmet; ah, don't fall down ???...

  2. Fritz - I wish we didn't live a whole country apart or I'd run one over to you. Ugh!

    Does anyone at your office have a lock specifically for the office that they leave there over the weekend that you could borrow? You'd have to ride in with two locks on Monday, but would be worth it to keep your bike.

    Thanks so much for mentioning us...and for uploading some cool photos today to the Facebook group! I'm still marveling at that one lock up at the Handmade Bicycle Show. Thanks!!!

    Safe riding and good luck.

  3. Aren't you on the Strida? Fold that sucker up, tuck it under your arm and take it in with you!

  4. Wildman, my regular bike shop is near my home; they'd probably give me a loaner but it's too far away. I often buy stuff from Palo Alto Bicycles also, but they're a big and busy shop with a huge clientele -- I doubt if they'd remember me.

    Glad to help out, Donna.

    No folding bike today, otherwise that's what I'd do. I might just roll the bike inside the bank for my bank business.

  5., no, i'm not talking bikeshops, fritz, i'm saying ANY store...just make a point of telling them you'd appreciate their cooperation as you are normaly well prepared...let 'em think outside their controlled little frickin' box for a change, literally...

    ...& the bank, hell, i always take my bike into my bank...

    ...("although, i have to go there in my car today", bikesgonewild sheepishly explained & tried to further justify it by saying, "i have other errands that require it, honest")...

  6. Well, if all else fails loosen your quick releases, and your stem, park it at the top of a hill facing towards the bottom...should take care of thieves...might get you sued though...don't forget to disconnect the brakes. Assuming the bike is still where you left it remember to reassemble things as needed...otherwise look for an ambulance at the bottom of the hill. Might sound horrible but we have a really big bike theft problem in Austin and we can't seem to get any help.

  7. I'm with bikesgonewild--call those businesses where you do your errands and ask if you can roll right in. Be sure to let them know there's lots of good or bad publicity at stake, possibly region- or nation-wide if they're big chains. (Maybe bluff and declare your intention to bring your bike inside anyway, and then casually mention that you happen to know several excellent lawyers?)

  8. Leave a note on your bike that you ARE WATCHING and there is a vidio camara watching for the will RUN DOWN ANYONE WHO EVEN TOUCHES YOUR BIKE and the results WON'T BE PRETTY. Also remove your wheels and seat, take them with you. Pay an old lady who personally has no interest in stealing your bike to guard it.
    Yeah, that'll work! Good luck!

  9. Thanks for the suggestions, all. "Gazer" (who left a comment here) let me borrow his Kryptonite Evolution Mini. I went to his office at Stanford to pick it up than ran back down to downtown Palo Alto to do my stuff and.... I had to roll my bike into the bank anyway because THEY DON'T HAVE ANY BIKE PARKING! There aren't even any signposts or railings that I could use.

  10. my original suggestion was going to be a bear trap set next on top of the bike seat but I think that is more of a "Alaskan" solution - :)