Monday, October 4, 2010

Bicycle PTSD

It was like Christmas this morning when I walked downstairs to leave the house.

Yay for my new bike in the hallway!

And... I've decided not to name her coz I'd get too attached to Snow White... Oops I mean "her"... And as I've been warned - "In Amsterdam, you don't get attached to your bike AT ALL." For obvious reasons (aka "Roxanne").

I am writing this post from my new BlogPress app on my new iPhone4. Let's test drive this baby and see how we do.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Er... I gave up, posted that as a draft on Blogger, and now here I am on my laptop instead.


Not that the app is not good. On the contrary, it's brilliant if you're blogging on the go. At this point, it seems ridiculous to do that since I'm sat at home with my computer. That, plus I still don't have patience with touchscreen-typing.

Today, I was on an all-out mission to get locks for my brand-new bicycle. Most bike stores are closed on Mondays in Amsterdam (because they're open on Saturdays, their weekend breaks are Sunday and Monday. What a good life!)

I ended up getting a back lock for the back tyre (it's standard here to have that or you're asking for trouble), aka an O-lock, or ring-lock. And for the front tyre and frame: THE KING OF ALL CHAIN LOCKS!!

Yes, all in capital letters.

The Viro lock.

Yes you heard me. The makers of heavy-duty padlocks like this.


And this.

Read this and this. Taken from the first link:
"…A true Amsterdam bike thief noticed the commotion and offered his services to remove the lock. He opened his jacket to reveal a portable tool shed and, for a small fee, did the job. He was also nice enough to give us a rundown of what locks we should and shouldn’t have if we’d like to ensure our bikes are safe from him.

His top pick to deter him: a Viro chain lock.”

Some people are even more maniacal and use THREE locks on their bikes: A ring-lock on the back tyre, like mine here:

The second lock being the chain lock like the Viro I've got.

The third lock: yet ANOTHER chain-lock on the back tyre again. I guess it's anything you'll do to slow down those damned thieves!

This 1.5metre chain lock is super-duper HEAVY though. I'm guessing about 5kg in total? I need to get proper support struts for my wicker/ rattan basket too, if I'm gonna dump that damn heavy chain-lock in there, along with a bagful of groceries.

Oh... this lock is also a mega-whopping gajillion dollars worth. To put things in perspective: This Viro is half the price of my bike.

That's pretty insane, right? (This bike better damn well not be stolen again coz this lock's worth too much money! Er... Yeah, even if I did get the bike for cheap!)

In the meantime, the best deterent of all (even with my back-lock and chain lock), is to keep her indoors, in my hallway. Talk about PARANOIA!!!

(While I'm cycling, the chainlock's on the handlebars coz it's too heavy to put anywhere else, so I've just left it there since she's indoors.)

I think I have PTSD. Y'know... "Post-Theft Stress Disorder". I'm afraid to leave this bike unattended. If it were a child, I would be its smothering parent. HAHAHA! This is not going to be healthy at all! I actually found myself awake last night, worrying about how to prevent this bike from being stolen.


I thought I took the theft of Roxanne pretty well. I suppose it just takes a new bike to bring up all this latent anxiety. I guess my Dutch workmates are right when they say "In Amsterdam, you don't get attached to your bike AT ALL."


She's just too pretty! (I haven't even ridden around that much in the 24hrs I've had her, but on street corners, people have been doing double-takes to look at this shiny beauty!) While buying the bike-locks, another customer asked "You've had this bike for what, one hour? It's so shiny!"

OK. I need to seriously stop talking and thinking about this bike now.

Maybe I should get back to being obsessed with yoga. Hehe.

PS. All photos in this post taken with my iPhone4. Pretty good right? I might just seriously do away with the Sony digital camera and onlt have this one gadget in my pocket!


  1. Have you considered bringing your bike indoors when you're not using it? This might work out okay, since you have a hallway. I do that with my bike and it holds up so much better since it's not exposed to the weather.

    I love Snow White...erm...I mean your new white bike. Lovely! Looks like a comfy ride too!

    Word veri: bedfun (For reals! I didn't make that up!)

  2. Haha! Blogger anti-spam's not smart enough. Should've been "bikefun". ;p

    Yup - I should probably just leave it in the doorway. It's just that I have to duck under the bike to enter/ exit with the bike there. A little bit cumbersome. And I'm guessing on rainy days, will be extremely messy. And you know how I'm anal about dirt right. Hehe.

    Just playing with the chain lock again. IT IS FREAKING HEAVY! I might just take this 1.5 metre one back to exchange for the 1 metre one. I seriously can't be arsed to lug around such a heavy chain all day, everyday! How long is your chain lock? I'm wondering if 1 metre's gonna be too short though...

  3. as much as I enjoy your free-ranging through your many worlds, this Ashtangi very much appreciates your getting back to obsessing about yoga. :D or at least in addition. can you only obsess about one thing at a time? (some obsessive people are like that. me, not so much. )

  4. Dear Jaime
    No, no PSFfft, I don't blame you. I did exactly the same in Florida when my fancy bike was stolen. I bought a similar chain, approved for streets of NYC, was the caption. It weighs about 40lbs. It was a drag lugging that around.

  5. ...I meant to say that I'm observing people not locking their bikes here in Japan, or only doing the lock that comes with the bike. I've seen the weakest, silliest of bike locks. I guess there isn't a culture of stealing bikes here...

  6. Thanks Fran! Today's post is in your honour. ;)

    Arturo - I guess when more and more people start switching to bikes (and fancier bikes), Japanese bike theft will go up. Then again... the Japanese are vibrating on a whole different consciousness altogether, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's not in their DNA to steal!
    Psst. That original chain lock at 1.5m was TOO HEAVY and TOO LONG. I took it back today and went to another store where I found a shorter 1.2m chain with the same lock. Oh, and it had a cooler design too. All black with a graphic orange logo on it. Looks much better! ;p


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