While I strongly believe that no road-going bicycle should ever sport a quick-release seat clamp, that's mostly a stylistic quibble, and I'm sure some people have valid reasons for using them. However, there's definitely no reason to have a quick-release anything on a bike that's going to spend any time being locked up outside (unless the quick-release is there so you can remove the component and take it inside with you), and there's even less reason to lock your bike by that quick-release component and nothing else.
I have to admit that I am completely baffled as to why, of all the tubes visible in this photograph, the owner chose to pass his lock around that one. He might as well have locked it to a FedEx truck, or to a sprig of bougainvillea, or to a fragrance wafting out of a bakery. Perhaps he didn't spend enough time doing mazes with crayons on diner mats as a child and can't differentiate between closed- and open-ended.
Granted, passing a lock through a bike can sometimes be complicated, and even I have found myself staring at the ganglion of chain and cable before leaving a bike, lest I realize I got so preoccupied with securing both wheels that I forgot to pass the chain around the pole or something. But this one's just bad. It's not even like he locked only the wheel to the pole or something. In this case, the thief will get away with 100% of the bike.
The only thing that, for me, could have made it worse would have been if he'd also locked up his helmet. I don't understand why people so often lock their helmets along with their bikes. You should never, ever leave anything you intend to wear unattended on a sidewalk and attached to a pole. Unless you like wearing things that have been urinated on by dogs, bring the skid lid inside.
After looking at this bike, and Friday's bike, and Fatty's bike, I began to wonder if maybe there was something about Leader owners that might explain kind of behavior. But then I stopped myself. It's tempting to make generalizations about people based on only a few examples, but ultimately it's wrong. My generalization of Mini owners as text-messaging vinophiles was met with outrage in the Mini-driving community. I've also gotten in trouble for declaring that Canadians are lazy, people who drive Nissans are idiots, and that people who watch the sitcom "Two and a Half Men" become inappropriately aroused when their pets nestle between their legs. So having been wrong before, I'm not going to do it again. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there riding Leader bikes who know what they're doing.
There is one generalization that is true, though, and it's that Bianchi Pista owners ask too much for their bikes. The NYC PistaDex is at 550 this morning, thanks largely to this overpriced offering:
Beautiful Bianchi Pista (Silver) with Kryptonite Lock + Extras - $700 (Inwood / Wash Hts)
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2008-08-17, 12:30AM EDT
Beautiful Bianchi Pista for sale. Pics attached.
Fixed gear and Free wheel gear (just flip the back wheel)
Handle bar grips (not in picture)
pedal toe clips
Also have a Timbuk2 Laptop Messenger Bag for sale ($55) if you want it.
It's a great ride, the fixed gear allows you to get a real feel for the road (every little movement of your legs, it feels like an extension of your body).
It's a simple but elegantly designed and well built bike. Great for the city!
I like how the "handle bar grips" are "not in picture." Of course they're not. It's a Pista! Why would they be on the bike? I also like the poetic bit about how the "fixed gear allows you to get a real feel for the road." You'll also get a real feel for the road when your hands slip off the bare bars and you rub the asphalt with your face.
Poetic as this may be, if you want to see art in the service of Pista salesmanship, you have to go to eBay. A reader recently forwarded me this offering:
Unfortunately the listing has since been removed, but I was able to manage a few screen shots before that happend. I'm sure you'll agree that this is perhaps the most evocative and controversial Pista ad ever devised. Unlike the Cervelo porn we saw awhile back, I saw no reason to censor this, because this is not porn. Not only are the naughty bits artfully obscured, but it's also kind of sepia, and anything sepia is art. That's the rule.
Then again, it is possible to abuse the "sepia rule," which is probably why eBay pulled the listing. And I must confess these photos do sort of call to mind those somewhat disturbing Lewis Carroll photographs:Finally, in the spirit of incorrect generalizations, another one is that Rivendell enthusiasts are above shopping on Craigslist:
Dear Universe: Plz send me a Rivendell. I love you. Amen.
Reply to: [deleted}
Date: 2008-08-16, 5:16PM EDT
Dear Dear Dear Universe,
You know I love you. I want only to celebrate you through excessively awesome bicycle riding whereby all humans and their children will see the bike which I will ride, and frolic in orgasmic gasps of joy about me. So please, please, please, in your mercy, send me a Rivendell bike. 54-56 cm frame would be best. Color can be whatever, for I have faith in you.
In return, I swear to irritate those snotty carbon-frame riders, who will have no choice but to acknowledge the superiority of those things which you in your infinite wisdom have given us, like custom fitted lugs. And I will spread your truth and light to the aluminum riders, who have been led astray. Moreover, I understand aluminum gives you Alzheimers, and that is a terrible thing to have in your crotch. Indeed, they know not what they do.
But because I have asked you in your infinite bounty, I know you will provide. Thank you in advance, Universe.
Your friend and true believer,
C. (the hot one with the legs and the hair, you remember me, right, Universe? Email me, we'll talk.)
I don't know which is more misguided: looking for a Rivendell on Craigslist, or attempting to communicate with a higher power on Craigslist. It's pretty much the last place you'll find either. The person who wrote this probably also freaks out at the local bodega because they don't have truffle oil. I'm also a bit disturbed that this person seems willing to trade sex for a Rivendell (although I suspect the bit about "the legs and the hair" is a typo and should simply read "with the leg hair," since we are talking about a Rivendell fan), and even more disturbed by the revelation that aluminum can apparently give you Alzheimers of the crotch. All I can say about that is, thank the Universe the model in the eBay ad is straddling a steel bike!
Somebody forward this to Grant Petersen.