26 April 2010

To the kids that frequent Culver Center...

STOP STEALING MY BIKE LIGHTS! Seriously. A few weeks ago while I was at the gym, my front light ran away. I replaced it but have been keeping it in my bag, only attaching it at night while riding, which is a total pain. Since the back light was still there I assumed it was uninteresting to potential thieves... wrong. Just last week I was leaving the gym, and when I went to turn it on it wasn't there.



This made me think about a very interesting social phenomenon: what an object means to me vs. what the same object means to you. For instance, my bicycle lights to a thief are probably a thrill, a fun toy, maybe something they can resell for $10? To me they are my safety, what keeps me visible, the difference between getting home in one piece and being roadkill. I don't ride for pleasure (though it is often pleasant), or for sport, I ride for transportation. Would you steal the bulbs out of a car's headlights? Cause that's what whoever keeps doing this is doing to me.

Obviously, I don't plan on leaving my lights on my bike while it's parked anymore. But I'm curious if my readers have experienced similar incidents: have you ever had anything stolen off of your bicycle? What are your habits as far as leaving accessories (lights, bells, seat, tool bags, water bottles...) attached while you're in a store, at the gym, at work?

6 comments:

Benard said...

I didn't know you could live in a major city without a car

mtkomori said...

In response to Benard..
Well, it's usually easier without a car in a major city, like New York City or Chicago, or even Boston where public transit works quite well. It doesn't sound like the public transit in L.A. is very efficient, even though it's a major city. It's nice to know LILAWAC has started up again recently and emKem and erinwdesign are actually going carless in a city where it must be very difficult to get around without a car. You'll have your share of interesting experiences and I'm looking forward to reading them.
mtkomori
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Anonymous said...

My front light is looped around my stem, so to take it, you'd have to break the flexible rubber loops that keeps it secure. My back light I take off every time I park. It's really easy to clip in and out, and isn't too big of a deal.

I lock my frame and front wheel with a u-lock everywhere I go.

Brendina Pederhold said...

Hi, so glad you are posting new blogs here! My fiance and I are from Seattle (I also got my bike from Recycled Cycles) and planning to move to LA this fall. For the past year we've been living in Germany and recently we bought bikes to get around with rather than using public transit. In Seattle, we had our bikes but didn't really use them. The hills were always too daunting to me. When we move to LA, though, I want to primarily use my bike, especially since I've been doing it in Germany. I'm really glad this blog exists, and I hope you keep posting regularly.

A.M. said...

Thank you for this blog! I have been wanting to travel to Los Angeles for a couple of years. However, every single person I've talked to has told me that I better learn how to drive a car or never go to Los Angeles. I'm going to check out your blog some more and read about your experiences.

Tim Skoglund said...

I have a headlight and flashing tail light attached to my bike helmet. The inexpensive headlight illuminates wherever I look and the tail light is about 7 feet off the ground when I am in the saddle so visible from behind. The lights are attached with zip ties so diffficout to remove without destroying, same with helmet, would have to cut the neck straps to steal, thus destroying utility of helmet so no theft yet.