so last night i went to watch a movie with Joe and Yuki at the vista and when we came out, slightly disappointed by the movie i must say, we had three wheels stolen. it was like a gradient of good to bad locking practices. Joe had a U-lock locking the frame and one wheel and an extra cable lock for the other wheel. i had a U-lock locking my rear wheel in the fashion discussed here by Sheldon Brown and Yuki had her u-lock just locking the frame only. and in that order Joe had two wheels left, i had one (my bike on the picture), and Yuki none.
sad as it is we all saw it coming. i have heard rumors of more and more bikes and wheels being stolen in L.A, but had failed to take any further measures. i’ve been locking my bike in the same fashion for at least four years and this is my first time having a wheel stolen on the street. i had been trusting that thieves out there where going for the quick releases and not carrying that 15mm wrench you need to steal most of those fixed gear wheelsets. fixed gear bikes have are increasingly popular and i think that is great. bikes in Los Angeles are increasingly popular and that is even better -in fact that is one of those things a lot of people here at the LA Eco-Village have been dedicating ther time and their lives to- and popularity is desirability. and with more people desiring bicycles, more bicycles will be stolen. so our three wheels rolling in the horizon seem to me like a good sign. a sign that the city is changing for good. its also a reminder that any change we desire has unintended consequences. but carrying and extra lock in exchange for more people riding bikes and cleaner air seems like and ok compromise to me.
now, friend/neighbor/co conspirator Jimmy Lizama pointed that L.A. bike riders have had a recent history of using and displaying ultra fashionable bikes, from colorful deep V rims to imported keirin frames from japan, and that might be coming to an end as people start favoring practicality. call it uglyfing of camouflaging your bike, or just getting a beater bike that you will not mourn too much if it gets stolen, L.A. bike owners might start behaving more like riders from other cities like San Francisco or New York or Amsterdam where bike theft (and bike usage) is just part of life.