Wake Me Up When September Begins

As a result of a couple of different health issues and the death of my old and much-loved mobile, August wasn’t shaping up to be a very good month already. But the biscuit was really taken this week during what turned into An Unexpectedly Expensive Night Out.

An Unexpectedly Expensive Night Out

It started okay: Ruth and went out for tapas, then for cocktails, and then to the cinema to watch the (pretty disappointing) Cowboys & Aliens. So a good start, getting worse. The food was cheap (hooray for vouchers!), the cocktails were reasonably priced (although we did have… a few of them), and the cinema was aided by Orange Wednesdays, so all seemed to be going pretty well, so far, until we came to going home.

Because when we got back to the cycle racks, my bike wasn’t there. By the look of things, somebody cut through my bike lock and had away with it, rendering me bikeless. Suddenly, it became a far more-expensive night out than I’d planned for.

Here's the kind of lock I was using. Turns out that it's insufficient to stop a determined attacker.

They say that you haven’t lived in Oxford until you’ve had your bike stolen[citation needed]. Well: now I have, and I’ve learned an important lesson about the ineffectiveness of moderate-security cable locks like the Kryptonite HardWire (the lock I was using) when up against thieves who are willing to put in the effort to, for example, bring bolt cutters on a night out.

I spoke to a police officer yesterday who’s going to see if any of the nearby CCTV cameras are going to be of any use in finding the bugger.  But in the meantime, I’ve had enough of August. It’s had highlights, like Liz & Simon’s wedding, but mostly it’s been less-than-great.

Wake me up when September begins.



  1. Bummer. :( Have you found out whether there are any more reliable security methods for if/when your bike’s recovered or replaced?

    1. Dan Q Dan Q says:

      Yes. For my next bike, I’ll be using a far heftier reinforced steel D-lock (which took a reviewer sixteen minutes to cut through using bolt cutters and about two minutes using an angle grinder: that’s pretty much a world record among bike locks), coupled with a cable-loop (to ensure that the wheels are all connected to the frame and can’t be removed separately). I’m also going to Datatag the whole thing (a widely-respected tamperproof labelling system using both visible and invisible markers): they’re not getting my next bike!

      I’m busy fighting with the insurance company right now, and for a couple of reasons I’m not sure I’m going to get a great deal, so I may have to buy myself a new bike in addition to whatever they try to palm me off with. I suppose I could always resell what they give to me… Anyway: new bike next week, I hope, along with some spectacular locking systems. They say that thieves will only target bikes whose locks – as a rule of thumb – are worth less than 10%-15% of the value of the bike (any higher, and the additional security of the lock doesn’t make the payoff worthwhile): so I’ll be aiming for a massive 18% or so, I think – and fuck you, thieves.

      I’m sort-of glad they nicked my bike this week, though, and not next week: I planned this weekend to replace my rear sprockets (gears), and it would have really stung to have them stolen immediately thereafter! Forever the optimist!

  2. Godzilla Godzilla says:

    Having both had my bike stolen (dispite it being locked up outside my bedroom window whilst I was asleep!) and being notoriously sick of August I’m all for hibernating until september, Lets do it!

  3. liz liz says:

    Sorry to hear about your bike. D-Locks are really good. i’ve got one for my bike.

    I was going to say that you can have our spare bike if you want.

    Alternatively, you may want to look into whether the university have a bike to work scheme, if you haven’t already. Most companies do have the scheme.


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