How Not To Secure Your Bike

This is my #throwbackthursday look back to a story from my past.

Back when I was a lad of about 13 I had a paper round and I used my beloved mountain bike to do this round. Without the bike, I would struggle to get my round done between the time the shop opened and the time I needed to set off for school. The bike was important.

The bike was kept in our garden shed. Now back in those days the shed wasn’t locked and sadly times changed. I went out one morning to find my bike was gone. Devastation! Bless my Dad because he replaced it, I still remember going to the local bike shop to pick a new bike. With the new bike came new security measures – the garden shed (we always simply referred to it as “the hut”) was now locked with a good padlock.

Some months later and many happy miles in the new bike’s tyres devastation (or rather the scumbag thieves) struck again. This time the hinges on the hut door had been unscrewed and the door taken off with the bike, once again, gone. This didn’t deter my Dad however and we were soon back at the bike shop picking out yet another new bike. At this point I will point out my parents weren’t wealthy, we are very much working class and these bikes were not cheap for my Dad.

Security measures increased further. The hut was now locked with two high security padlocks, the hinges replaced with thief proof nuts and hex bolts. The bike itself was secured inside the shed with a custom made steel loop bolted to the shed’s support beams and locked up with a D-lock. The bike was now, surely, un-stealable!

I was wrong. The tenacious local thieving scum were a determined bunch and returned once again – probably having noticed I was out on a another new bike. This time they must have been at it for hours, unheard by even me sleeping in the bedroom overlooking the shed. The bike was gone – again!

There wasn’t much more that could be done other than putting more locks in place and that is what we did. However, one school holiday I devised a cunning new security feature for the hut.

In my frustration at my bike being stolen so often, I rigged up a pulley system to the door of the hut. This pulley system worked in such a way that when the door was opened (and it opened outwards) a large mallet would swing down from the roof and smash into the face of the the person opening the shed. In testing, this came down with a tremendous force and the only way of avoiding it was to know it was coming and get out of the way – or so I thought.

You see I made two crucial errors. Error number one was that I set the swing height of the mallet to hit someone of my own height in the face and I was very tall for my age – much taller than my Dad. The second error was not actually telling anyone, even my parents, that I had put this system in place. Then I forgot I had even set it up, until Saturday afternoon came.

My Dad, just how I remember him

Dad had returned from work and set out to do some gardening. He needed things from the shed and went to get them. That’s when my security system was called into action for the very first time. However, Dad wasn’t an intruder determined to steal my bike. As he opened the door he vividly saw in slow motion the large mallet swinging down towards him. He had no time to react and stood motionless as the mallet swung down and skimmed across the top of his bald head.

The mallet had done no lasting damage, thankfully, to my Dad. Had he been taller it would have done some rather nasty damage I would expect and I would have been in a heap of trouble. Thankfully, with no harm done, he saw the funny side but advised me not to take shed security into my own hands again.

This story is one I think about often. It makes me smile at the way he laughed about it and sad because my Dad is no longer with us. The shed was taken down a couple of years ago, that garden shed held so memory memories for me.

If you have a funny story let me know!

Thanks for reading.

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