Trivial topic to be sure, but I’m in need of a temp diversion to kill a bit of time before I get crackin’ trying to wrangle interviewees for an article due soon… so the subject is: bike locks. Specifically the happy ending that resulted in me obtaining this brand spanking new one for absolutely free yesterday:

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The story begins back in 1999 when I purchased a Kryptonite u-lock at a Pasadena bike shop, where it was put into regular and successful use ffrom that point forward securing my various bicycles and preventing them from being stolen. At some point along the way I lost one of its two keys, and I’m that type of personality that always likes to have a spare around. I kept on putting it off until I was finally spurred to action when I unearthed the original Kryptonite paperwork (I tend to save crap like that for reasons just like this) and discovered I could re-order a replacement key directly from Kryptonite for a nominal fee (like ten bucks or something).

Onto their website I went, navigating my way through to its key ordering section, where I met a mysterious deadend. Though the model of lock I had was listed as having replacement keys available, when I’d click to order the keys I was greeted wiith a request to contact Krypto’s customer service. So I did via email wondering why I was encountering trouble and got a rather cryptic reply directing me to a specific page of their website for more information.

It was there I learned about the company’s recall-and-replace campaign brought on by a class-action settlement in the wake of the ugly proof that a number of Krypto’s so called unbeatable lock models were easily defeatable with simple plastic ballpoint pen caps. I remembered back when all that crap came down and I considered swapping my old lock for a new and improved one, but I never got around to it and figured the window of opportunity had long since closed. Fortunately it hadn’t, and by following the online process I ultimately wound up with a pre-paid shipping label and all I had to do was pack up the old lock and drop if off at a UPS store and wait for the new one to arrive, which it did yesterday. With two keys.

Long story short: instead of $10 for a spare key for an old proven-fallible lock, I done got me a sweet new one. So the moral of the story is if you’ve got an old Krytpo u-lock hanging around, you might want to venture over to the Kryptonite Settlement websection and get yours while the getting’s good.

OK, time to get to work.