how to kill sean bean

Here's a thing that needs to happen. We need a television series starring Sean Bean where his character is (apparently) killed every episode, and every episode ends with a dramatic death scene. Of course, at the start of every next episode he is recovered, and we can learn how he actually survived.

To make things more interesting, the time line could be totally mixed up, so the episodes are not actually chronological. And it will be known that he does actually die one of the times, but we have to wait until the last episode of the season to find out for sure exactly which of the death scenes really did kill him.

how to lock up a bicycle

I recently wrote about the one true bike lock, but I didn't explain how to use it. Here is the post about how to use that lock.

TL;DR

  1. Use locking skewers for your wheels, and 
  2. use your U lock around the rear wheel, inside the rear triangle

Where to put your U lock

where to put your U lock

the U lock position

This method of locking a bicycle with a U lock around the rear wheel is known as The Sheldon Brown Lock Strategy. It's a little bit counter-intuitive. When you first hear/read this, it seems like a thief would be able to just detach the rear wheel and walk away with the bike. But the reality is that the thief would have to pull the rear triangle over the wheel, which is impossible without either destroying the wheel or wrecking the bicycle frame. Compare the diameter of the wheel to the size of the rear triangle, and you'll see it.

This position has the double advantage of securing the rear wheel and the frame while allowing use of the smallest U lock.

It is true that it is far, far easier to saw thru the rear wheel than to saw thru either the U lock or the frame. The fact is, though, that the rear wheel is generally the most valuable piece of the bike, after the frame. To destroy the rear wheel in order to steal the bike is very nearly a waste of time and effort. Thieves don't do it. If this changes, if thieves do start cutting wheels in order to steal what's left, then we'll revise this advice. Until then, this lock position is widely recognized as the best way to use a U lock.

locking skewers

I assert that locking skewers are a far better thing than a cable, or even a second U lock.

Commonly, people use a cable, attached to the U lock, to secure the front wheel. Or even, they may use a second U lock to secure the front wheel. I say that you're more likely to have a bicycle stolen (or stolen and never recovered) with either of those than if you use locking skewers.

In order to understand this, you have to realize that the purpose of all these things we do to "lock" our bike are really just deterrents. Mostly people want to buy locks to be 100% sure that the bike will not be stolen. They are looking to make the bike theft-proof, and it seems that, for instance, a second U lock on the front wheel will stop a thief stealing the bike better than having a locking skewer. That is to say, most people think that making the bike harder to steal is the one and only goal.

The major flaw in this reasoning is that once you've got one quality U lock on your bike, adding a second U lock only makes your bike twice as hard to steal. If your bike is being stolen by someone who can defeat one U lock, don't you think they can defeat two? If it takes them 10 minutes to get thru one, it'll probably take 20 minutes to get thru two.

The reason that people use a second U lock is that a cable is ridiculously easy to defeat. Putting a cable around the front wheel is definitely more secure than a quick-release skewer (the standard attachment method), but that's not really saying much. A cable is pretty much a token effort to not lose a front wheel.

Let's take a step back. The reality is that bikes are generally stolen so that they can be sold. There is an entire branch of bicycle security devoted to uglifying your bicycle in order to deter theft. By making a bicycle hard to sell, you deter thieves from stealing it in the first place. 

The beauty of locking skewers boils down to this: locking skewers

  1. are better than a cable in preventing wheels being removed from a bike,
  2. are lighter and less hassle than a second U lock or a cable for locking up,
  3. communicate to purchasers of the bicycle that perhaps it is stolen (when the thief cannot produce the key),
  4. and deter theft because of #3.

Locking skewers provide a completely separate vector of theft deterrence than just anther external lock. Once a thief has defeated both of your U locks, which he can do if he can defeat one, there is no clue that the bike was stolen. With locking skewers, when the thief attempts to sell the bike, he will be asked for the key. A bike with locking skewers is harder to sell than one without. A bike that is harder to sell is one less likely to be stolen. Assuming a thief does steal the bike and the buyer fails to notice the locking skewers during the sale, they will eventually understand that there was something "off" about the deal they got when they learn they don't have the key. Hopefully this will inspire them to seek out the original owner (you) and return the bike.


small kine scare

Just had a bit of a scare coming down Makakilo. I'm trying out the tires that came with my muirwoods. As I was coming to the light next to malama market the light turned yellow. No problem. I've stopped there many a time when the light changed like that. It got exciting about 1 second later when I learned that these tires do not stick as well as my regular tires. The back tire was slipping.

I realized that I was going to end up on the middle of the intersection. There was nobody there but it still seemed like a bad idea.

I quickly made an executive decision to turn right. I immediately executed. I turned and easily stopped on the side road, it being slightly uphill.

I now have a greater appreciation of my schwalbe mondials. I didn't realize before how much better they are than "average" tires.

It also reinforces the fact that most rim vs disk brake discussions often miss out on more important factors, like does it make any difference at all if your tires give up braking before your brakes?

"pocket full of money"

This dumb "pocket full of money" thing came up in my tumblr feed.

The only time you will witness this phenomenon in your life.

This year, the month of August will count 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. This phenomenon occurs only once every 823 years. Chinese people call it: 'Pocketful of money!'

blah blah reblog blah send this to all your friends blah

This happens way, WAY more often than every 823 years. Here is the list of Friday, August 1sts from 1900 to 2100. The last time was in 2008 and the next time (after this year) will be 2025.

irb(main):007:0> (1900..2100).collect { |y| Date.new(y,8,1) }.reject {|d| not d.friday?}
[
    [ 0] Fri, 01 Aug 1902,
    [ 1] Fri, 01 Aug 1913,
    [ 2] Fri, 01 Aug 1919,
    [ 3] Fri, 01 Aug 1924,
    [ 4] Fri, 01 Aug 1930,
    [ 5] Fri, 01 Aug 1941,
    [ 6] Fri, 01 Aug 1947,
    [ 7] Fri, 01 Aug 1952,
    [ 8] Fri, 01 Aug 1958,
    [ 9] Fri, 01 Aug 1969,
    [10] Fri, 01 Aug 1975,
    [11] Fri, 01 Aug 1980,
    [12] Fri, 01 Aug 1986,
    [13] Fri, 01 Aug 1997,
    [14] Fri, 01 Aug 2003,
    [15] Fri, 01 Aug 2008,
    [16] Fri, 01 Aug 2014,
    [17] Fri, 01 Aug 2025,
    [18] Fri, 01 Aug 2031,
    [19] Fri, 01 Aug 2036,
    [20] Fri, 01 Aug 2042,
    [21] Fri, 01 Aug 2053,
    [22] Fri, 01 Aug 2059,
    [23] Fri, 01 Aug 2064,
    [24] Fri, 01 Aug 2070,
    [25] Fri, 01 Aug 2081,
    [26] Fri, 01 Aug 2087,
    [27] Fri, 01 Aug 2092,
    [28] Fri, 01 Aug 2098
]


the one true bike lock

The one, the best, the u-lock that I most highly recommend is the Abus Granit Futura 64, aka U-Lock 64/120HB150.

abus granit futura u lock

It’s small, it’s light, it’s extra hardened. It’s rated by the manufacturer as more secure that some of their other (heavier) u-locks.

Advantages/features of this lock:

  • small & light
  • locks both sides of the U rather than just one end
  • keyhole covered, keeps out crud
  • stronger/harder steel than other, heavier locks

Disadvantages/drawbacks:

  • no good bicycle mounting option
  • sometimes too small
  • not as secure as top-end u-locks
  • more expensive than less-good locks

Here are the trade-offs between smaller and bigger u-locks:

smaller               bigger
lighter               heavier
less convenient       more convenient
more secure           less secure

When locking with a u-lock, you want a snug lock-up. Longer u-locks may be more convenient, but they’re much easier to break with a leverage attack (pipe thru the lock, twisting). The Futura 64 sometimes is too narrow to fit around some thicker objects like parking meters, but I’ve never been in a situation where I couldn’t find something to lock to.

I would call this a “high-end” lock, but it’s not tip-top. If you live in a seriously theft-prone area, maybe you need a Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini Lock. (I don’t know if there is anything else as burly as that.) But for the vast majority of cyclists, the Fahgettaboudit is overkill. To my mind, the Granit Futura 64 is the sweet spot in terms of security per dollar, and security per pound.

second choice

My second choice option is the Kryptonite Evolution Mini 5. This is very similarly sized to the Abus, above, but is a little wider, increasing lockup options. The Mini 5 lock does have a very good bicycle mounting system included. The downsides are that the Kryptonite is heavier than the Abus, and locks on one side of the U with a bent foot on the other side. Theoretically, this makes it less secure than the Abus.

I don't really have any way to judge which of these has the stronger steel, but from what I've read online, it sounds like the Abus has better quality steel. Will it make any real difference? I don't know.

other options

Really, the difference between these higher quality u locks is probably not really significant to make a difference in your bike being stolen. There are other similar options from other brands which are probably just as good, for about the same price.

The important thing is to not buy a cheap u lock. Every brand has a range of u locks available (including Abus and Kryptonite). Deciding which u lock to buy based on brand is the biggest, easiest mistake to make. You really need to be looking for the most secure lock you can stand to take with you (having a smaller lock helps on this), and that you can afford. Buying a $25 u lock is probably a waste of money.

additional info

http://urbanvelo.org/abus-granit-futura-mini-u-lock/