A friend of mine had his bike stolen last night. It was doubly annoying for him because he was a bicycle-requiring distance from home and so the disappointment of no bike on his return was reinforced by a tedious early hours walk, giving him plenty of times to come to terms with his annoying loss.
I am quite a newcomer to Oxford cycling but, now I have a bike, it does make me wonder quite how I managed without one. I am the new Jack Bauer: I can get anywhere in Oxford within the space of an ad break. Before, I had to walk, and the terrorists might have got away a long time before I arrived, as opposed to moments before I arrive in this new drama-inducing bicycling setup.
However, this recent bike theft has resurrected a paranoia which I thought I’d shaken off earlier in term about locking my bike to things.
I have quite a long cable to lock up my bike with. I also have a quick-release saddle, which I don’t want some comedian or saddleöphile to run off with. Thus, I usually put the cable through some metal loops underneath the saddle, around some stationary object, around the bike frame, and around a stationary object again. So far so good.
My paranoia stems from the notion that, given my extremely complicated tying-up pattern, I could create one of those not-a-knots so popular in puzzle books, IQ tests and magic tricks which look extremely complicated but aren’t actually attached to anything. Then, I worry that in trying to avoid that situation I might end up tying my bike to some railings by just the saddle…the quick-release saddle…thus leaving comedians and saddleöphiles disappointed, but serial bike thieves quite happy with their complete-but-for-a-saddle haul a mere twist of a quick-release thingy away.
To compound my psychological issues, I have also had the McCain Microchips jingle from the mid-nineties (“When you get back from work late, du-duh-duuh-duh, three minutes flat, they’re on your plate, quickety-quick, Microchips!”) buzzing through my unfortunate skull because someone asked me to recall a Milky Way advert from a similar time about a red car and a blue car having a race, which I erroneously sung to myself with the tune glorifying the savoury ready-meal. I’m pretty sure that they rhyme ‘race’ with ‘space’ at some point, and I’ve heard tell that it involves the red car going on something of a celestial body eating binge. If anyone can remember the full tune or storyline to put me out of my Microchip misery then please let me know.