When I bought my bike I also bought a huge keyed Kryptonite chain lock (it's pretty bad ass when I wear it around my neck) and a smaller keyed cable lock. I used to take my front wheel off and lock it to the back wheel with the body using the big chain, then use the small cable for the seat and my helmet. Then I started getting lazy and used the cable for the front wheel (without removing it), keeping my seat vulnerable. "It's not a quick-release" I remember arguing to a fellow cycler. "Doesn't matter, people will take it." Well, he was right. Last Friday I came out from work and my seat was gone. Are you kidding me? How lame is that. Thank God for Larry's bike shop on 2nd Ave at 87th which is open until 8pm when all the rest in the UES close at 6:30 (so much for the city that never sleeps). After getting a new post and seat, I decided to also upgrade the "security system" on my bike. I bought the OnGuarg axel and seat locks, that require a special key to open. It seemed worth the $60 since I didn't have to ever lock up or remove wheels or seats.
So to begin the ironic section about the bike related incidents that happened to me this week, yesterday afternoon I was riding back from the office and swung by Citbank to get some cash. I used that small cable lock since it's quicker than the chain, and I was only going to be a minute at the ATM. I came out and went to unlock the cable and I could't get the key in. Now, the key had been a little fidgety recently but never to the point that I couldn't even get it in the hole. I seriously worked at it for 20 minutes, but to no avail. I even ran to the deli and bought a lighter thinking maybe something got stuck in there and if it was flammable I could burn it out. I was pretty desperate to say the least. The looks I was getting as people walked by at the busy intersection of 79th and 1st were pretty priceless. But those looks were topped by the looks I was getting when I decided to give up, run to the hardware store, buy a hacksaw, and go to town on this cursed lock, made by, guess who, OnGuard. It took me about 10 minutes with the saw to get through the steel cable (the plastic sheathing actually helped my case by making a groove for me). I then slowly rode back to my apartment wondering if anything crazier could happen.
This morning something crazier happened. I rode to church and on my way back I quickly noticed something was wrong with my front wheel. I looked down and realized the axel, yes the new special secure axel lock I had JUST bought was missing. "You have GOT to be kidding me" I screamed out load. I went back to where I had locked the bike up and found first the axel, then the washer, then the notched lockable cap, BROKEN on the ground. The thing was made of steel, I thought. If it is, it's defective steel.
I was wondering how it even happened and my best guess is that somebody saw the wheel unlocked from far away, went in for the quick snag, saw the special notched cap, tried to open it anyway with pliers, broke it, then somebody walked out of the church and scared him so he ran away (the wheel was still there, vulnerable). Either that or it became fractured due to stress while I was riding and just fell off when I parked it. Good thing I can ride my bike without an axel (the arms slip right on the wheel but unsecured so don't go over any bumps). I got home and put back my old quick-release axel and filled out the warranty card and sent that bad boy in.
Oh yeah, did I say that I was also in the bike shop earlier that week to fix a broken chain? It's just not my week for biking.