Monthly Archives: May 2019

Passing notes: on securing a bike lock

A few days in a row I saw the same bike locked up in the same place outside of Workantile (the co-working space I belong to on Main Street).  And it was always locked like this:

a bike locked up through the wheel

This is insecure as only the front wheel is locked to the post.  A thief has only to open the quick release skewer and then carry off the bike, leaving the front wheel behind.  It would take seconds.

After several days of walking past this, I wrote a short message on a yellow Post-It note.  I didn’t want to draw attention to the target by putting the text out in the open, so rolled it up and tucked it into a gap on the handlebars.

Not knowing anything about the rider, I took care not to mansplain.  I politely suggested that their bike could be locked much more securely if the lock passed through the frame, and signed off “Happy Riding! :)”

The next day, their bike was locked in the same place – but with textbook-quality locking technique.  The U-lock passed through both the frame and the front wheel.  It’s appeared that way each morning since.

Today I saw a sticky note fluttering from the bike’s seat.  It was a reply to me:

thank you for the tip :)

Here’s to anonymous kindness and old-fashioned passing of notes.

Installing a top of stairs baby gate without drilling into wood trim or banister post

The challenge: in an old house with nice woodwork, mount a baby gate at the top of the stairs such that it’s secure – without damaging the wood.

baby gate at top of stairs
The final product

This was a fun project.  Got some ideas from YouTube videos (a learning format I usually dislike) and improvised a little.  This is built from scrap parts I had on hand, plus a baby gate I had installed at our previous home.

The uneven surfaces presented by the trim on both sides pose the creative challenge.

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