This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I finally listened to the professionals

     No, No,  I didn't take up racing.  Despite constant badgering and begging from Mario and Brad, I still have not given in and bought at CF crotch rocket.  But I did finally listen to the behavior of the professionals on the street.   You know those out pedaling their asses for coin...the messengers.
        I've never had a real problem with bike theft, even when living in Kansas City or Atlanta where the crime rates can get ugly in different parts of town.  But I have come to like my bikes more and more; especially after the upgrades I've made the past couple of years.  I would hate to not ride the Hunq or Sam or Byron for fear that one might disappear.  I really don't trust cables, but can't justify the overkill or the
4 lbs of the Abus Bordo on a daily basis either.  

   The pros use U-locks and remove all the quick release everything.  I've got no quick release anything, long ago I decided that quick release levers were like a donation to the local pawn broker, and lawyer's lips have made them useless on the front wheels anyway.  I looked around the market and the 3 most likely suspects were Abus, Kryptonite and OnGaurd U-Locks.  Abus probably makes the most secure and certainly most expensive lock, OnGaurd seems to have a loyal following and is the least expensive of the three, but the most popular brand among the pros is Kryptonite.  I guess either the Evolution or NY Forgetaboutit are the most secure for city messengers but since I don't live in a high crime area, I chose the Series 2 Mini 7.  I just wanted to make sure a bottle jack wouldn't fit and that no hand tools will get through; an angle grinder and a little bit of darkness will beat any lock out there.  I also wanted a shackle long enough to fit around something nearby.  I know it won't work on everything, but the 5 1/2 inch model just looked too small to be really practical.
    The first issue I had to deal with was Kryptonite's customer service.  The key broke off in the lock the first day!

It would work because the broken part was wedged in the tumblers, the broken length fit in and turned the cylinder and the shackle engaged and disengaged just as it should.  But, obviously that could not be left that way.  I went to the shop, the owner asked that I contact Kryptonite.  I sent them an e-mail explaining the situation and asking their advice.  While I waited, I managed to dislodge the broken piece with a paper clip.  With the broken part out, I could use the extra key normally so I went to the their website and directly ordered two free replacement keys.  Within 16 hours, I received two responses, one verifying that two keys were being sent right away, the other said "I would take it back to the dealer for an exchange."  So that's what you get, no policy, explanation or guarantee after the sale, just bounced back between the dealer and the company.  Oh, well.  Just for the sake of knowing, Kryptonite is owned by Schlage Locks and Security which is one of many companies under the Ingersoll Rand umbrella.  We can just about expect the same treatment from any of their companies.  It didn't really discourage me. I've been in corporate management for too many years to think this broken key was normal, they have too well established a reputation for this to be anything more than an isolated failure.
Once that was out of the way, I was really quite happy with the lock.  It works well with most bike racks and  fits around the top tube,seat tube or down tube and nearby objects quite well.
It works as well as a ring lock for quick stops at a coffee shop or convenience store,

and even works around the ornamental trees which are among my favorite(for not scratching my bikes).
I liked it well enough to wrap a bunch of bright yellow and silver reflective stuff all around it.
It may add  to visibility when in traffic.  Can't hurt.

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