IDK, if I had a backpack like this, I’d probably give it to someone who could use it, you know, somebody living off the grid or in an arid, equatorial land…
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I don’t know, I suspect that if this U-lock had been just a skosh smaller, it wouldn’t have been so easy to break.
I still think that protecting accessories is the big issue, so consider this image a kind of Minority Report.
Evidence of a clean getaway in the Financh – unusual these days…
Be on guard. This place is full of vultures, vultures everywhere,everywhere.
Now, back in the day, back in the 1970′s and 1980′s, bike thieves would strive to take your whole bike, and usually, they would succeed. But then came the U- Lock. The Bike Theft Community responded by carrying around Volvo car jacks, and freeze gas, and whatnot. But that wasn’t too practical, it turned out. And U Locks got better – physically smaller and harder to pick. So, the Bike Theft Community responded by being satisfied to simply strip parts from your bike for easy resale. And that’s the situation we have now.
I’ll tell you, back in the day, the 415 didn’t have such a robust market for stolen bike parts running 24-7 the way we do now. That’s why, especially when compared with most other parts of the USA, your focus should be on protecting accessories on the frame as opposed to the frame itself. Sure, U locks still get broken, but not at all at the rate of two decades ago, that’s for sure.
Now, because the average low-life bike theft tweeker has seemingly lost the technology of breaking U locks, you can safely go cheap, like a $15 OnGuard / WalMart.com special. That’ll free up some of your cash to protect the things that matter:
How do you do that? I don’t know, cables and chains and leashes and locking skewers and ball bearings superglued into your headset, thusly. Anything to make your low-life tweeker bike thief carry a bunch of different kinds of tools around, anything to make your low-life tweeker bike thief reconsider a few life choices.
Encountering a 21st century horse thief outside of your favorite local bar. Oh well:
I’ll tell you, back in the day, back in the 1990′s the law school I ‘tended was so notorious for bike theft, a lock company decided to test its products there.
Something like “BONZ” was the name of the outfit – the locks had cross-braces (the namesake bones, I s’pose) to make sure the little monsters didn’t crank the things open with stolen Volvo car jacks. Ah memories.
Now, the new canine-themed bike lock company out there is called On Guard, competing with Kryptonite and what have you. Fine, but here’s how they get you, they’re selling a Chinese-made U-Lock with a security cable for just $15. See?
This thing feels like a toy compared with my old school New York Lock (the kind with the pre-9/11 World Trade Center skyline logo – they said wouldn’t change the design but they did, oh well) but it doesn’t look too much different from the real deal.
Of course, with the Wal-Mart version, you only get two keys instead of five and there’s no key number for getting a replacement key and there’s no warranty on bike theft, but, in mitigation, this set-up would probably make the average San Francisco bike thief move on for easier pickings.
Anyway, if you see these locks on sale in SoMA (and you will if you look) that’s why these decontented-but-still-usable locks are so cheap.
And remember, it’s in the way that you use it.
The owner of this Schwinn bicycle took a bit of care before locking it up for the last time ever. Note the $50 Kryptonite Evolution Mini (quite fashionable, non?) avec cable for the wheels – that’s a perfectly cromulent way of a locking a bike on the mean streets of San Francisco. (A lesser lock would have succumbed like this.)
But the owner might have dared to leave it overnight, when the freaks come out.
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The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has some thoughts on the issue of protecting your bike. Check it out, after the jump.
You don’t see too many bikes around there, but you sure see a lot of busted locks near the bushes. Do thieves just dump these things there on a regular basis for some reason? Apparently so.