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|,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


  • 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