Monday, July 27, 2009

Please Don't Fix that Flat

Here I was, feeling sorry for myself that my bike got stolen from safekeeping at Police Headquarters. I was surfing the web looking for my next bike, and planning the accessories I want this time.
Last time, I got a yellow leather Terry women's bike seat with a nice gap in the middle -- as the company says, "nothing where you need it most." And a luggage rack to hang my saddle bags, so I can carry my groceries. And I got pinhead locks to keep folks from stealing my wheels and my seat off the frame while my bike is parked.
Pinhead locks. Unique locks. Big Fat Funny looking key.
For the first time, I had hope that I might get my bike back.
I still have the key to those locks. This is a unique key. Nobody will be able to get those wheels off that frame, even to change a tire, without a great deal of effort. At my shop, where I bought these locks, they refuse to fix my flats if I don't have the key with me.
I wrote Pinhead and asked them to keep a lookout for any bike shop ordering a key for my locks. I told them my bike was stolen and the "new owner" isn't me. I want my bike back.
Yes, I ordered more locks for my future bike. Locks that fit my key.
But I can't ride for several more months. Maybe the thief will get a flat tire before I have to buy a new bike. Everybody gets flat tires.
I don't have to depend on karma.
Please -- if you fix bikes -- please -- don't fix a flat on a bike with pinhead locks unless the rider has the key. Contact Pinhead. Return the bike to the real owner. I'm not the only person out here whose bike got stolen.
It's a truism that most stolen bikes never get returned. But maybe these locks will make a difference. Yes, I know, the thief got my bike for nothing, so it will mean nothing to throw it into a trashbin and forget about it.
But if somebody brings you a bike with a flat tire and the wheel is secured with pinheads to which they don't have the key, it might be my bike. The person who brings you the bike may not be the thief. The person may have bought it from the thief, thinking they were buying a legitimate used bike. But this is my bike. I want it back.

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