January 15, 2014

How about "Wheel Leashes"?

Experts agree. In all but the most crime-free of neighborhoods, a cable lock provides piss-poor security against bicycle theft.

When I registered my (since stolen) bike with the Arlington County Police Department back in 2011, my decal arrived in the mail with the enclosure shown at left. Cable locks, you can see if your eyesight is sharp enough, "are not sufficient to deter theft." Exclamation point.

Might as well not even call them locks.

For to refer to the flimsy things as "locks" (noun pl.) makes it easier to be lulled into thinking one can "lock" (transitive verb) one's bike with one of them.

And this, as I discovered the hard way, is just not true.

So, since language has the power to influence thought, I suggest we re-name these glorified wires. The new moniker should reflect the reality, i.e. that while cables do have a place in a responsible bicyclist's ride security system, they should never be used solo. Something like "wheel leashes," perhaps? Suggestions?

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