Monday, July 13

"Just a Minute" Locking

Saturday, I took Frankenbike out for a little exercise. We went to Downtown Fort Worth with a little assist from the Trinity Railway Express, better known as TRE. I'll do posts in the future about TRE, and on my experiences trying to use bikes in combination with local transit.

Anyway, to make a long story short, the train came, we hopped on (clean bikes are welcome on the TRE).

Before you knew it, we were at the Sundance Square Starbucks, home of other famous blog posts, and ready for the title demo at one of the unique Fort Worth "Star" bike racks. You'll note this one has attracted a bit of half-hearted graffiti. You'll also note that the city has found it necessary to label the things so we'll know what they are. They don't mention this in the link above. I notice Dallas doesn't have to label THEIR bike racks. Hmm.

Anyway, in this case, I was going to swing in to Starbucks for "just a minute" to pick up my coffee. Real coffee, none of that artsy fartsy stuff. Well most of you know that many bikes are stolen while left unlocked at such places for "just a minute." For your consideration (and probably criticism), see my "just a minute locking." Below, not the inferior job at left.

(click on picture at left or on one below for bigger view)

Here's why I think it makes sense:
  • Lightweight lock fits in the seat bag, making sure it's always along
  • Cable delays the thief while he goes back to car to get a pair of cable cutters
  • Cable cleverly "protects" both the frame and the QR front wheel
  • Nutted IG hub forces thief to get a wrench if he wants to steal the back wheel. Cable is too short to protect both wheels at once
  • Bike value not much more than the cost of the lock. The REAL value here is in the back wheel and there's not a big market for 7 speed Nexus hubs

This is NOT a strategy to keep that bike secure for long, but it DOES work for - "just a minute." Anyway, when catching the train back to the Hurst Bell Station, I found out I could stay aboard the TRE, sweep clear over to Dallas and catch "A Taste of Dallas." Pretty cool - or it would have been had it not been rapidly approaching triple digit temperatures. Still, we did the family trip to "Taste of Dallas" later on via TRE. Full Monty Metroplex!


Rantwick said...

I'll take that Nexus 7 speed hub you can't find a market for...

Seems like an infinitely sensible lock job for the "quick run in".

Steve A said...

What Rantwick is REALLY saying is that he's jealous that I snagged the unloved 7 speed before he got to it. It took me quite a while to snag one. He'll either have to get his own or wait outside the RIGHT Starbucks and then hope I've hit a line that keeps me inside for TWO minutes. Give current air fares, he's not high on a suspect list.

PM Summer said...

For "just a minute" trips, two other EZ things you can do.

1) Take your front wheel with you. Surprising how unappealing a bike without a wheel is for the quickie thief.

2) Release the rear brake. If someone were to snip your cable and hope on your bike to ride off (the usual M.O.), the first time they hit the brakes they'd be on their head. Just remember to reset the brake's QR every time.

ChipSeal said...

I always take my front wheel with me...

...and the back wheel and everything else!

If they don't want my bicycle inside with me, then they don't want me as a customer.


Steve A said...

When I go with "Buddy," I follow the ChipSeal strategy. However, I innocently inquire of him how I might have demonstrated the "just a minute" technique if I'd just taken the bike in with me? Also, I treat security differently when I take my $1500 bike than my $30 one.

While both of PM Summer's suggestions are certainly EZ, both have a problem. In the first suggestion, you've got to take the wheel off and then put it on again. That'd lose you several spots in line that you wouldn't lose with a "laughable lock." In the case of the second suggestion, the fatal flaw is that last part. That "remember" part. Uhh, not that I have ever forgotten, of course...

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