Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Adventures in Bike Commuting

On Monday I learned that I had an all day meeting at work that would be getting over late. OK, where I work 4PM is a really late meeting. Since Tuesday is a normal carpool day and we normally leave quite a bit earlier than 4 this put me in a bind. How was I going to get home? Solution: ride my bike home.

I’m not much of a bike commuter because I live 20 miles from where I work and making the trek both ways just seems like too much of a good thing. On occasion I’ve talked one of my carpool buddies into throwing my bike in the back of his truck on the way to work. That way I only have to ride one way and I don’t have to figure out how to take a shower before I start working.

Well, on Monday night I packed all of my gear up in a bag and included a bike lock so I could secure my bike at work. Being the smart guy that I am I left the key in the lock so it would be right there once I got my bike to work. It’s good to have a plan.

Everything was working as planned. I put my bike in the back of my buddy’s truck along with a bag of my riding gear. Then I listened to my carpool buddies give me a hard time about riding home from work. It was like I was riding to work with two Eeyores. You know, “you’ll never make it”, “it’ll never work”. I tried to tell them that 20 miles was really doable and a fairly easy ride. What a bunch of rookies.

Once I got to work I pulled my bike from the back of the truck and wheeled into my building. My plan was to park it under the stairs and lock it to a sprinkler pipe. My well thought out plan was working great until I looked down at my lock and the key was no where to be found. I searched around the parking lot and the back of the truck, no key! Oh crud, what was I going to do. In a move of desperation I ended up looping the lock around the end of the pipe and sliding it up as far as it would go.

This didn’t secure my bike but it gave the illusion that it was locked up. Lucky for me, since my bike was parking under the stairs no one could see my bike anyway. This doesn’t mean I wasn’t a nervous wreck all day though. I went down to check on it a number of times and every time I went down it was still there. What a relief. Here’s some pictures of my bike and the lock illusion.

The ride home was a tough one with many hills but it was just what I needed. I even got to use my new light as I got home after dark. I still have the lock wrapped around my top tube though without a key to unlock it. I’m thinking my options are:

Cut off the lock

Keep looking for the key

Keep the lock on my top tube and amaze my friends with the bike lock illusion trick every chance I get.

I’m thinking I’ll look around for the key for a couple of days and if it doesn’t show up the lock with have a rude encounter with my hack saw.


Jeff said...

Non-cyclists (and non-runners) are always amazed by my exploits. "You rode 15 miles in one hour??!!!"

Good luck finding the lock key. I lost my key a long time ago and had to buy a new lock. Fortunately the old lock wasn't attached to my bike at the time.

Lizzylou said...

Loosing my lock key is something that I frequently worry about. That's why I started leaving my key in the lock AT ALL TIMES. (My key is attached with a string so I can't lose it). That way, when I finish grocery shopping I won't be stranded at the store with a locked bike to which I cannot find the key.

JoLyn said...

Great story Mike! I can almost hear you telling it!

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