November 15, 2013

Reject "Nihilistic Surrender to the Inevitability of Theft"

"When John Loughlin lowers a cordless angle grinder onto a section of a TiGr titanium bike lock clamped to a table, it emits a piercing scream of something that has a reason to live."

Thus begins Gina Welch's piece in the December issue of Bicycling magazine. Called "Unlocked," its title spread shows none other than Hal Ruzal—dreadlocks, cutoffs, four inches of pink sock visible above purple-laced Converse high tops—taking an angle grinder to chain lock on a New York sidewalk.

If you see a copy of this latest Bicycling on an airport newsstand or in your dentist's waiting room, by all means give the feature a look. (Or read it online.) Not only does Welch's piece give insights into what folks at TiGr, Kryptonite, OnGuard, and Knog (out of Australia) are up to; it's paired with two informative boxes, one detailing the results of the magazine's "smash lab" test of various locks and the other offering tips for deploying your lock to greatest effect.

And the author, who seems resigned at the outset of her trip to the "new frontier of bike security," ends her investigation markedly more upbeat.

Welch on her bike lock, p.46: "I use mine because it narrows the pool of potential thieves from All Jerks to just Jerks Carrying Tools. But I don't trust my lock to withstand an attack, and every manufacturer I spoke to supported my reasoning: If someone with skills and criminal intent wants my bike badly enough, he'll get it. End of story."

Welch's final paragraph, p.66: "Given the perpetual cat-and-mouse game that defines the industry, it seems cyclists can assume one of three attitudes: nihilistic surrender to the inevitability of theft, old-school reliance on brawn, or an adventurous ground-floor investment in something new. After watching designers press head, I decided to abandon Option One. I threw out my old busted U-lock and will double down on a better, sturdier systemarmed with a glimmer of hope and crossed fingers."

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