Lost and Found

I’ve had the worst luck losing stuff lately – and the best luck finding it again.  Last Wednesday, I arrived at work and went to lock my bike as usual.  I reached for my u-lock…

…but instead of hanging on the rack as shown above, the lock was simply gone.  Yeesh!  I reasoned that the lock must have popped off the rack at some point during my commute and  wheeled the bike into my office for safe-keeping.  On my way home that evening, I stopped at J.C. Lind Bike Shop for a new lock.  I needed one ASAP, since I was meeting my friend Sara for dinner and a movie, and I’ve been wanting to upgrade to an Abus chain lock.

While at Jon’s shop, I also picked up a new Cat Eye front blinkie light.  My old Cat Eye also popped off my bike a couple of days ago and shattered.

Am I the only one with stuff popping off my bike left and right?  Maybe I need to secure stuff better, but part of the problem is the awful conditions of Chicago’s streets.  Potholes galore.  Well, would this … thing … pictured below even count as a pothole?

This has been there for years and I can never go around it because traffic’s always whizzing by on my left.  Right next to this monstrosity is where I found my u-lock the next morning.  A kind bicyclist, I assume, moved my lock from the street to the sidewalk – or maybe it really popped that far??

So now I am the proud owner of one bike lock too many, but I’m sure it will come in handy one day.

My u-lock is not the only thing that I lost and found that day.  I also forgot my helmet under my chair at the restaurant where I met my friend for dinner.  I didn’t realize I was missing my helmet until hours later, after a movie and drinks.  By 11 p.m., the restaurant was dark.  But as I unlocked my bike, the owner, who was about to drive away, popped out of his car and said, “You forgot your helmet, right?”   He unlocked the restaurant, went in, and appeared a couple of minutes later with my helmet.  Very kind of him!

Now let’s see if I can go a few weeks without losing anything else.  :-)


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20 thoughts on “Lost and Found

  1. my hyggelig says:

    it’s karma ☺

  2. Sungsu says:

    Just yesterday, my rear light cover popped off along with one of the two batteries. I spent five minutes looking for the battery to no avail.

    You could leave your extra lock at work.

    • Dwayne says:

      Would you get it trouble if you left the lock locked to your work bikerack? That way it would always be there for you.

      • LGRAB says:

        I always want a lock with me, because I make stops to and from work a lot. Once I tried leaving an extra u-lock where I lock my bike at work, but being outside constantly during the winter snows made it freeze shut.

      • LGRAB says:

        I always want a lock with me, because I make stops to and from work a lot. Once I tried leaving an extra u-lock where I lock my bike at work, but being outside constantly during the winter snows made it freeze shut.

  3. Ash L says:

    I have a lock for every bike, too much risk of forgetting it at home on another bike otherwise.

  4. Scott says:

    Take both locks to high risk park ups? They would both need different tools to break.

  5. Dennis Hindman says:

    I had a small waterproof bag of spare tube and tools that popped out of a mesh side pocket on my Arkel pannier while I was riding along at night about a year ago on the Balboa Park bike path in LA. I had forgotten about the area that has an edge of one of the concrete squares that sticks up about an inch and a half. I’d hit it pretty fast, which jolted my bike into the air, and about a mile later I looked back at the pannier and oops, the bag was gone. I remembered seeing only one person who was walking along in the area where the bag probably was and I hoped that he would walk past it. But alas, no, I guess he thought it was a pretty useful bag to have.

    The Arkel Bug pannier I was using at the time was originally designed for students. It has a outside holder for a U-lock and helmet. This was very useful for always carrying the lock with me and also provided a place to quickly put my helmet when I take transit bus rides. Not fashionable, but a practicle pannier for what I needed it for. It can also has hidden shoulder straps so that you can use it as a backpack. I don’t usually forget the lock using this pannier, but I have neglected to lock the bike several times when stopping off at Trader Joe’s. Lucklly, the bike was always there when I went back outside.

    Its not comforting knowing that almost all battery powered handlebar mounted headlights are easily stolen and will sometimes fall off unexpectedly if not tightened firmly. I have a high powered headlight that has the equivalent output of lights on the market now that sell for at least a hundred and fifty dollars. The problem is its a lot of trouble to remove it for security and then reattach at the needed angle when I use it at night.. So I usually just leave it on the bike when I hit Trader Joe’s and hope for the best, which is not a good idea.

    Unless you have a rack to secure it to, tail lights are also usually easy to steal and may fall off while riding. My hundred dollar Light and Motion taillight has a rubber strap that holds it onto the seatpost. The light came off once while riding after I thought I had reattached it securely on the seat post when I came out of a store.

    A couple of new companies have come up with some theft-resistant designs for bike lights. One of them is the battery powered Defender headlight made by Gotham Bicycle Defense Industries It cost about sixty dollars, which is expensive compared to a blinky light, but consider that it probably won’t fall off the bike or get stolen, plus the handlebar mount and light casing are made of aluminum. This has the light output of newer design dynamo powered LED headlights. What makes it theft resistant is that you need a non-standard tool that the company supplies to remove it from the bike and to remove the batterys requires a tool.


    A tail light made by Blink/Steady is a sleek design that attaches to the seatpost and turns off and on automatically. This is machined from aluminum, and cost about twice as much as the Defender headlight. You also have to unscrew it from the seatpost to remove the batteries. Pricey, but its comforting to know that probably no one will likely steal this tail light if you lock the bike outside and you don’t have to bother turning the light on and off.

    Here’s a video from TechCrunch in which they visit the site where the Blink/Steady tail lights are machined and go through all of the steps to make each one:

    • Paul Rendon says:

      Its a shame that we have to always be weary of thief’s who are out there ready to steel our bikes, So we go around carrying locks and chains to protect our bikes, Because they are to lazy to work and earn there own money to pay for there own.

    • Paul Rendon says:

      Its a shame that we have to always be weary of thief’s who are out there ready to steel our bikes, So we go around carrying locks and chains to protect our bikes, Because they are to lazy to work and earn there own money to pay for there own.

  6. Maggie says:

    I almost commented on the ‘A Week fo Fall Outfits’ post to ask why you had different locks on your bike.

    I’ve had stuff pop off my bike, but fortunately heard it and was able to stop. Once I arrived home to discover my cyclo-computer was missing. I went and slowly retraced my route. I found it at the very end of the route.

    Like Ash L., I have a lock for every bike and also keep one at work.

    • LGRAB says:

      Good eye. :)

      I have a lock for every bike, too, plus now extra. I have, like, 6 bike key locks on my key ring for all of my and Mr. Dottie’s bikes.

      • Maggie says:

        On the ‘good eye’ subject, I can’t seem to find your ‘About Us’ page. There is a woman at my office who really, really wants to bike the 1.5 quiet, residential miles to work, but is afraid of traffic. I’ve sent her your ‘How to Conquer Your Cycling Fears….’ post, but would like to give an introduction to her as well.

  7. Dennis Hindman says:

    I found some bike light comparisons that might be helpful for riders that want to purchase a light powerful enough to illuminate the roadway in front of them.

    The high end bike lights in this Mtb review have widely dispersed beam patterns that are capable of shining a bright light into oncoming drivers eyes. This type of design might be good for seeing low hanging branches on a trail at night on a mountain bike, but it can be an annoying and rather useless waste of light and money if you just ride on the street:


    The Philips Saferide bike light seem to be the only design of the self contained flashlight style lights costing over a hundred dollars that does not have a round beam:


    The Cateye Econom Force 540 RC and the Philips Saferide lights have very controlled rectangular shaped beams as shown in this review of commuter bike lights from Mtb:


    Cateye has a good comparison of the beam patterns on their bike lights, However, the light output will not look this bright when you use them:

    Here’s a Mtb review video that demonstrates the Philips Saferide (the reviewer states Philips is a German company, when its actually a Dutch firm):

    Another Mtb review that gives details about how the focused beam of the Cateye Econom Force model is achieved (lumens is total light output and lux is how bright the beam is):


    The higher priced Cateye Nano Shot reviewed:


    And finally, the Philips Saferide, which has both a list price and beam brightness–at 39 lux–that is three times that of the Cateye Econom Force(Philips states 80 lux), according to the Mtb review:


    Just remember that if you purchase any of these lights to make sure that you do not leave it on your bike when its parked where the public can get to it. Otherwise, you might discover that when you go to retrieve your bike that it no longer has a front headlight.

  8. Dwayne says:

    I did have a nearly new pair of prescription glasses fall out of the pocket of my hoodie. That set me back about $300 to have them replaced. Wife was not too happy about that.

  9. LC says:

    My u-lock had the same fate as yours but unfortunately I never found mine :(

  10. Garth says:

    The picture of the rough spot on the street looks so familiar to me – Lincoln Avenue, right? Just past Ashland?

  11. Sajendra says:

    I always have a problem with lights wanting to come loose, but I think that is mainly because the mounts for the lights seem so poorly made compared to the lights themselves. I keep my lock on my rack as well, but have found a solution to keep it attached. I use a seat leash (http://amzn.to/THLT0j) to secure my seat and accessories when I lock up, so while I’m riding I just keep the leash attached on one end to my seat, and on the other end to my lock. It has kept my lock attached to my bike even after the former went airborne while going over a pothole.

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