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Lonely Locks

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Old 02-01-12, 07:44 PM
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Mark Stone
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Lonely Locks

I was on my commute the other day, homeward bound, when I made a little side trip to a convenience store to buy a drink. I got back on the bike and rode behind a strip shopping center to get back on route, and there, on a Gas company pipe behind a business I used to work at was a cable, locked to the pipe, no bike. I spun around to have a look and suddenly the cloudiness drifted away from my mind - it was one of my old locks! A Kryptonite cable lock that I had wondered where it went! I stopped working at this place over 5 years ago, so the cable has been there faithfully waiting for me for a long time! I of course do not have a key any more, so the cable will be there until the world ends. However, it made me think - How many orphaned locks do I have around town? At this time, 4. The Cable I just described, and three other U-Locks on three other bike racks around town. Hey, I don't have to carry locks around with me - I just have to remember which keys to bring! How many others have multiple lonely orphaned locks? Hope I remember where they all are if I leave town!
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Old 02-01-12, 08:05 PM
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Bought a really cheap u-lock 15+ years ago to use at work. Used it once or twice - the next time I rode to work couldn't get it unlocked. Lucky it wasn't on my bike. I abandoned the lock. It was still on the rack last year when the hospital replaced that rack with a new, modern wave rack. The old rack, complete with useless lock, is now somewhere else on the hospital campus. I'll keep my eyes peeled for it.
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Old 02-02-12, 01:42 AM
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I don't quite understand the thought process behind permanently leaving a lock at your destination. I honestly couldn't tell the difference between just a few pounds on the bike. It also doesn't seem to be of any use when your at point "C, D, E..." and your lock dangles at point "B".
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Old 02-02-12, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
I was on my commute the other day, homeward bound, when I made a little side trip to a convenience store to buy a drink. I got back on the bike and rode behind a strip shopping center to get back on route, and there, on a Gas company pipe behind a business I used to work at was a cable, locked to the pipe, no bike. I spun around to have a look and suddenly the cloudiness drifted away from my mind - it was one of my old locks! A Kryptonite cable lock that I had wondered where it went! I stopped working at this place over 5 years ago, so the cable has been there faithfully waiting for me for a long time! I of course do not have a key any more, so the cable will be there until the world ends. However, it made me think - How many orphaned locks do I have around town? At this time, 4. The Cable I just described, and three other U-Locks on three other bike racks around town. Hey, I don't have to carry locks around with me - I just have to remember which keys to bring! How many others have multiple lonely orphaned locks? Hope I remember where they all are if I leave town!
Now that you've found your "old" Kryptonite lock have you considered contacting Kryptonite and getting a new key?

And here's a good question for those of you who buy locks and leave them at a stores or businesses that you go to all of the time. How is doing that any different from those who lock their bike to a public bike rack and "abandon" it for months at a time?

Likewise, to those who are leaving locks "all over" town, aren't you worried that someone will figure out some way to get a duplicate key made? And then use said key to steal your bike(s)?
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Old 02-02-12, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Radials983 View Post
I don't quite understand the thought process behind permanently leaving a lock at your destination. I honestly couldn't tell the difference between just a few pounds on the bike. It also doesn't seem to be of any use when your at point "C, D, E..." and your lock dangles at point "B".
I agree with you. The few places that I go to on a regular basis I don't go to so regularly that I feel the need to leave a lock there full time. And I would MUCH rather have my lock with me so that I don't have to worry about not having it when I needed it.
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Old 02-02-12, 02:27 AM
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Something I see around town is a lock and a wheel locked to a rack. Not to worry, I see bikes advertised on CraigsList with one wheel missing. Seems like a good match.
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Old 02-02-12, 02:53 AM
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I'd just like to say, that if you guys have expensive bikes, make certain that you don't establish a pattern, as to where your bike is parked all the time. Every once in a while, you should change parking locations, if you can.

Also, if you're going to have an expensive bike, please have a quality lock to secure it!

Thank you

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Old 02-02-12, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
I'd just like to say, that if you guys have expensive bikes, make certain that you don't establish a pattern, as to where you're bike is parked all the time. Every once in a while, you should change parking locations, if you can.

Also, if you're going to have an expensive bike, please have a quality lock to secure it!

Thank you
Very good points. Sadly we humans are not only creatures of habit but we as a species are notoriously lazy. And any place that we habitually return to with great frequency is where we are most likely to be "ambushed."

So along with changing where one locks his/her bike one should also alter the route(s) that one takes to and from work, or any other frequent destination. Now granted, that said there are destinations that we habitually go to that sadly there just aren't a whole lot of alternate routes to take to get there. So within reason one should alter those routes as best as possible.
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Old 02-02-12, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
Likewise, to those who are leaving locks "all over" town, aren't you worried that someone will figure out some way to get a duplicate key made? And then use said key to steal your bike(s)?
Good point, now you've got me thinking . . . But wait, wouldn't they have the same opportunity if the bike was present? I like Slim's thoughts about not setting a pattern.
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Old 02-02-12, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Radials983 View Post
I don't quite understand the thought process behind permanently leaving a lock at your destination. I honestly couldn't tell the difference between just a few pounds on the bike. It also doesn't seem to be of any use when your at point "C, D, E..." and your lock dangles at point "B".
For me it just makes things a little easier, especially at bike racks I visit a lot.
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Old 02-02-12, 07:57 AM
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The only place where I need a lock regularly is at my office, so I leave my Krytonite locked to the rack when I'm not using it. Why lug it back and forth to work every day? It's not just the weight, which is considerable, but the volume it would take up in my seatbag or frame. I keep a small, lightweight cable lock in my seatbag in case I need to make a quick stop somewhere during my commute, but rarely every use it.

BTW, I have a similar problem with combination locks. I have a combo lock that is almost new but I can't use it because I forgot the combination. Generally I write down the combinations for all of my locks in a place where I can find them, but forgot with that lock for some reason.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:26 AM
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I think the OP anthropomorphizes too much. Locks are neither lonely nor faithful. They are just locks.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:38 AM
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I leave my NY Fuggadaboudit U-lock at work because it's heavy and annoying to carry. I have several other locks at home I can take with me when I go out somewhere else and need to lock up. Several different cable and U lock, depending on where I'm going and what bike I'm riding. But the heavy duty NYU-Lock lives at work, since I lock up there the most often.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:41 AM
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Makes a huge difference if you commute in every day and lock your bike in the same place. I bought a lock just to leave at my office rack even though I don't ride every day. Saves weight, space, hassle and time.

Sometimes on my way home I take extended rides, up to 30 miles, 3500+ feet. Pretty sure I'd rather not have the lock.

As for the OP, I have 3 locks and 3 keys on my keychain, and I know where they all are
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Old 02-02-12, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Radials983 View Post
I don't quite understand the thought process behind permanently leaving a lock at your destination. I honestly couldn't tell the difference between just a few pounds on the bike. It also doesn't seem to be of any use when your at point "C, D, E..." and your lock dangles at point "B".
I used to carry my lock back & forth from work. Then one day, I forgot my lock at home. I had to hide my bike in an unused shower in the men's locker room all day. The next day, I left a lock at work & haven't taken it home since.
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Old 02-02-12, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
I think the OP anthropomorphizes too much. Locks are neither lonely nor faithful. They are just locks.
Just because you have not built a personal relationship with your locks doesn't mean they don't get lonely or remain faithful. Remember, locks are people too!
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Old 02-02-12, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
The only place where I need a lock regularly is at my office, so I leave my Krytonite locked to the rack when I'm not using it. Why lug it back and forth to work every day? It's not just the weight, which is considerable, but the volume it would take up in my seatbag or frame. I keep a small, lightweight cable lock in my seatbag in case I need to make a quick stop somewhere during my commute, but rarely every use it.

BTW, I have a similar problem with combination locks. I have a combo lock that is almost new but I can't use it because I forgot the combination. Generally I write down the combinations for all of my locks in a place where I can find them, but forgot with that lock for some reason.
I write down the combinations and put them in a safe place. Now if I could just remember where that was.
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Old 02-02-12, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MK313 View Post
I used to carry my lock back & forth from work. Then one day, I forgot my lock at home. I had to hide my bike in an unused shower in the men's locker room all day. The next day, I left a lock at work & haven't taken it home since.
This.

I keep a lock on the rack at work, and a spare lock and key at my desk in case I forget the key to the lock on the rack. The spare lock has also come in handy a couple of time when the other lock was frozen.
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Old 02-02-12, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
I agree with you. The few places that I go to on a regular basis I don't go to so regularly that I feel the need to leave a lock there full time. And I would MUCH rather have my lock with me so that I don't have to worry about not having it when I needed it.
Not interested in carrying a u-lock plus a cable/padlock every time I ride to work and especially not interested in getting to work and realizing I forgot the locks.
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Old 02-02-12, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
I'd just like to say, that if you guys have expensive bikes, make certain that you don't establish a pattern, as to where your bike is parked all the time. Every once in a while, you should change parking locations, if you can.

Also, if you're going to have an expensive bike, please have a quality lock to secure it!

Thank you
Expensive is relative.
If someone really wants to steal my bike from it's moderately-secure location at the hospital where I work, then they will take it. If they have the opportunity and tools.
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Old 02-02-12, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
Remember, locks are people too!
No. It's the corporations that make and sell locks that are people.
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Old 02-02-12, 05:30 PM
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I agree that leaving a lock at a frequent (as in several times a week) lock-up point makes sense - and isn't too much of an impact for the benefit obtained.

Abandoning a lock there for weeks (or more) isn't great. I know a place where the lock forest grew to the point that security chopped them all ... rusty spiderwebbed ones and frequently used ones.

If only the frequently used ones were there, it probably wouldn't have been as much a visual problem. There were probably 40 locks and I never saw more than 2 or three bikes apart from my own. It also wasn't a bike rack - it was a steel fence.

I did lock there daily, until I lost my lock (in the chopping). I got a new one for the nearest bike rack, and for the next six months didn't see more than 5 empty locks there - and 2 at the former lock-forest. I think the lock-forest was a multi-year gathering from students who left them there over the summer and never came back.
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Old 02-02-12, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by gronk40 View Post
I agree that leaving a lock at a frequent (as in several times a week) lock-up point makes sense - and isn't too much of an impact for the benefit obtained.

Abandoning a lock there for weeks (or more) isn't great. I know a place where the lock forest grew to the point that security chopped them all ... rusty spiderwebbed ones and frequently used ones.

If only the frequently used ones were there, it probably wouldn't have been as much a visual problem. There were probably 40 locks and I never saw more than 2 or three bikes apart from my own. It also wasn't a bike rack - it was a steel fence.

I did lock there daily, until I lost my lock (in the chopping). I got a new one for the nearest bike rack, and for the next six months didn't see more than 5 empty locks there - and 2 at the former lock-forest. I think the lock-forest was a multi-year gathering from students who left them there over the summer and never came back.
I wonder if the "lock forest" was a local university's art project?
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Old 02-02-12, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
No. It's the corporations that make and sell locks that are people.
You've clearly never tried to put any effort into your relationship with your locks.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
You've clearly never tried to put any effort into your relationship with your locks.
You've been talking with my locks, haven't you?
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