When I rode into work the other day I saw a man lock up his bike then look thoughtfully at the bike next to him. When I came closer, he said, “This bike here is unlocked, and there’s a lock on the ground. I’m wondering whether they forgot to lock up?”
This is a tough one: what do you do? The lock looked as though it had its key in it. Should we lock up the bike and then bring the key to security?
Then we took a closer look. What we’d seen wasn’t actually a key but a piece of the lock, which had been neatly cut, probably by an angle grinder. It was one of the locks that secures only one end of the U, rather than both, so once cut it pulled right open. That was unnerving. The bike racks at my office are generally pretty safe, in part because there is a security guard patrolling the area on foot. But apparently not that safe.
We’ve long since upgraded our locks from a standard U-lock to a Abus lock that secures both ends, and that is made out of stronger metal so it’s harder to cut through (and that costs a fortune). Our bikes also have frame locks, and they’re Pitlocked, and they’re registered with the San Francisco police. And they’re listed on our renters insurance in the event that they get stolen anyway. But on some days I wonder whether I’m paranoid enough.