Sticky Fingers (not the Stones album)

my sad Gary Fisher

my sad Gary Fisher

You would think that living in the heartland we would be somewhat insulated from bike theft. I’m here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. During my four years at the relatively small University of Northern Iowa, I had two bikes stolen, including my first Gary Fisher mountain bike which was U-locked to a stout railing outside, in what I believed to be a safe place (bikes were not allowed inside the building). I came back to school from a weekend home only to find a mangled Kyrptonite lock in the bushes and an empty spot where my bike had stood. It was my first encounter with property crime, and it hurt something terrible. I had lost my hot new ride — I spent the next few weeks wandering the campus aimlessly, scoping out every bike rack, every rider flying past, hoping to catch a final, parting glimpse of the machine I had spent all of my graduation cash on.

It was only a matter of time before they struck in Iowa City, as well. The bike shown above was a fairly new Gary Fisher Marlin that I had converted into something of a street cruiser after deciding that I was tired of eating dirt ever time I hit the singletrack at Sugar Bottom. It was a sweet, customized hardtail, and I had entrusted it to my brother who needed a reliable ride. And it worked great until he hauled the remainder of the frame home one day — it seems he forgot to lock up the front end of the bike, and an enterprising thief decided to take the wheel and the front fork. The bike has been sitting forlornly in my shed, waiting for another fork (maybe even something rigid?) or the even grimmer task of parting it out to the highest bidder (the cost-benefit analysis continues).

And this is why we can’t have nice things. Learn how to stop it, plus meet Hal Ruzal below.

Of course, it’s probably a little ridiculous for a Midwesterner (not living in Chicago) to bitch about stolen bikes, especially when New York City has an entire line of impenetrable locks dedicated to its larcenous ways, but the lesson here is that you can’t escape it, so it’s imperative that you stay on top of your own bike security. And while an old boss of mine used to say “locks only keep honest people honest,” a few well-placed chains will at least make those thieving bastards carry heavier tools.

The fine folks at Kryptonite give us the following tips for keeping your ride yours (via Jim Langley):

how to lock your bike

how to lock your bike

BONUS FEATURETTE: Grizzled, dreadlocked bike guru Hal Ruzal grades your lock job (not sexual).

Lock it up, B!

[Locking Your Bike and Getting It Back – jimlangley.net]


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