An extension cord is not a good bike lock (seen at Broadway/Denny)

@stephburg spotted this bike at Broadway and Denny, locked with what appears to be an extension cord. This could possibly be my favorite bad bike lock ever. I think the idea is to wrap it so annoyingly that thieves will just leave it alone. I hope it worked, wonderful Capitol Hill bike parker!

Speaking of bad bike locking jobs, Elly Blue started has been promoting a Flickr pool for the documenting of bike lock fails around the world. So if you spot any funny or bad examples on your adventures around town, add them to the pool.

Here are some examples submitted so far:

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9 Responses to An extension cord is not a good bike lock (seen at Broadway/Denny)

  1. @PDogB says:

    Embarrased to admit this; but some of these lock jobs look acceptable to me….(Hanging head in shame,kleenex please.) Looks like I need to hone some skills before someone rips off my Electra! Thanks for this…

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Don’t be embarrassed! It’s not always obvious how to lock a bike properly. It takes either seeking that information on your own or learning from experience by finding your bike stolen.

      Here’s a good video if you want an entertaining curmudgeon to explain it:

      My general rule is that a u-lock holding your frame to a secure pole is the bare minimum. After I spent several hours learning how to build bike wheels by hand (super fun!), I went out and got a cable that goes through both my wheels and hooks into the u-lock, which locks my frame to a pole.

      Basically, my locking priorities are that it is secure enough while still being easy and fast. For me, taking off a wheel/saddle or lugging a super-heavy chain are simply not options (though some people think the extra work is worth it). I also have a sorta rusty old bike, so that might help, too.

  2. Elly says:

    Tom, thank you. This extension cord job might just be the best example of the genre yet.

    By the way, I’m proud to have some images in that flickr pool, but it was begun by my friend Caroline who, incidentally, makes the finest cycling caps around.

  3. Doug Bostrom says:

    Supposing one has forgotten to carry a proper lock, presumably anything that moves probability even slightly in the direction of “not stolen” is better than nothing.

  4. Wes Sauer says:

    I’m sorry to admit that I once lost a beautiful bianci that I had locked carefully to a tree with a u-lock. The lock barely fit around the tree stump. In the morning I found the bike gone as well as most of the limbs and leaves on the ten foot tree. Lesson learned.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      It’s unbelievable what lengths some people will go to steal a bike. Your story reminds me of this video:

      In the end, it’s not your fault if your bike gets stolen, it’s the thief’s. But since the odds say you will never know who stole your bike (though many will get caught eventually), that isn’t likely to make you feel much better…

      Imagine how cool it would be if you could just put down the kickstand and expect your bike to be there when you return.

  5. Todd says:

    Hilarious! I give the guy/gal serious style points. Besides, somebody may actually want the cord and not the bike. Heh.

  6. Simon says:

    An extension cord can be an outstanding theft deterrent–provided it is energized!

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