[Chat] my new bike lock

Emil Volcheck volcheck at acm.org
Wed Oct 20 01:36:46 EDT 2004

About two weeks ago, I biked to the Eisenhower library and locked my
bike up by chaining it to a bench with my 1/2-inch Kryptonite cable

When I came out of the library, I was surprised and befuddled to find
that someone had locked my bike to the bench with a chain and padlock.
I couldn't take my bike!  I figured this was some practical joke, so I
went to Security.  It turns out, there had been a recent rash of bike
thefts.  A Hopkins security guard saw my bike and put the additional
lock on it to keep it safe, because my cable lock was not good enough.
Hopkins Security now insists that you have a strong lock, like a
horseshoe lock or a sturdy chain lock.  The guard who came to remove
the lock from my bike told me that a thief cut through a 3/4-inch
cable lock that same week.  That's pretty hard for me to imagine,
but I got the point.

Last week I went to the Mt. Washington Bike Shop to buy myself a
horseshoe lock.  It was my luck that they were out of horseshoe locks.
Did you hear the story that broke a few weeks ago about how most
Kryptonite brand horseshoe locks with a cylindrical tumbler are
vulnerable to easy lock-picking with a plastic ballpoint pen?
Well, Kryptonite issued a recall for all its horseshoe locks,
and the Mt. Washington Bike Shop returned all of theirs but had
received no replacements yet.  So I ordered a top-of-the-line
Kryptonite horseshoe luck on the web: the New York 3000, for about
$55.  It's the biggest honking horseshoe lock I've ever seen, and
it's about 3 pounds of some kind of Vanadium steel.  It claims to
be "resistant against lock-picking and leverage attacks".  I wonder
if it will resist the attacks where the thief slips a diamond-shape
car jack into the horseshoe and slowly cranks it open until it pops
the horseshoe.  But the lock comes with a $3000 guarantee against
theft, and I think Hopkins Security will leave my bike alone because
of it.


P.S. In case you haven't heard, yes, my bike did get stolen out of
my backyard last year, but the loss was covered between the Purchase
Assurance plan on my gold Mastercard and my Homeowner's Policy.

Emil Volcheck
volcheck at acm.org

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