Sunday, March 2, 2014

Self-Propelled Idiots

The photo behind the title of this blog was taken by yours truly at our very own Transient Center. If you look closely, you'll see that there is nothing preventing the average person from simply lifting the bicycle and its lock free of the former parking meter post. I thought it was a good graphic representation of the type of idiocy demonstrated by some of the people who frequent public transportation.

Yesterday I spotted a new variation on the theme:

This was on an adult-sized tricycle. As you can probably see, the lock is coming through the rear basket and passing through the spokes of one of the rear wheels...and then just resting on the bike rack instead of actually locked to it. Dafuq?

I'm not sure which photo represents the greater idiot. In the top one, it appears at first glance that the bike is securely latched to the post, but a sufficiently motivated thief could probably ride the bike with the lock dangling in the middle of the frame, or at least walk the bike to his bike thief lair and then work on the removing the lock at his leisure.

In the second photo, the trike is unrideable with one wheel locked to the bike itself, but being a tricycle, it shouldn't be too hard to tilt it up off that frozen wheel and walk it away on the other two wheels. Admittedly, that would be cumbersome and attention-attracting, and there probably isn't much of a market for stolen tricycles, anyway. So the trike is probably safer than the bike.

That leaves the question of why do these things happen in the first place? I think that the owner of the bicycle probably thought he was actually locking his bike to the post. In other words, he is an idiot.

The owner of the trike, however, must have known that the lock was only just sitting on the rack. Perhaps he was going on the same assumption I stated earlier that no one would try to walk away a trike on two wheels. However, that leaves the question: why? If he had time to lock the wheel to the bike, he had time to lock the trike to the rack. And it's not like he had no choice. Back in the day, an acquaintance of mine had forgotten the combination, or lost the key to the lock, of his bike lock chain, so he simply tied his bike to the rack with the chain in such a way that it looked like it was locked. A sort of "keeping honest people honest" ploy. It didn't work with me, though - knowing his trick, I once borrowed his bike when he wasn't around to ask - making me a dishonest person, I suppose. Which may explain why I seem to spend so much time looking at how bicycles are secured.

Anyway, since there's no fathomable reason that the trike owner couldn't have locked his trike to the rack, I conclude that he is also an idiot.If I ever decide to make a sideline out of bike theft, it appears that it won't be very hard to find easy pickings at the Transient Center.