Ebay For Sale -- £5,000 bike.

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Sunday 27 June 2004 6.04pm
Billionaire's bike stolen from City Hall
26 June 2004
London SE1 website team

Just read this on the home page.

Self-made billionaire Caudwell, 51, chained his bike to a stand outside City Hall before going inside to meet the mayor and fellow Olympic torchbearers.
Mr Caudwell said "I am horrified by the state of law and order"
I don't suppose Caudwell 'cut any corners' when amassing his billions.

If I had a 5,000 bicycle, I wouldn't be daft enough to leave it chained outside City Hall. I would have carried it up to Ken's office, and even then I'd have chained it to my wrist.
I'm just checking ebay to see if a custom built carbon fibre and titanium cycle has been listed today that can be bought for a snip!!!!!.
Monday 28 June 2004 9.16am
Aside from the Shadenfreude element of this story, there is a more serious issue here:

1. More London, who own the site, have implemented the usual cycle-unfriendly policy of prohibiting the parking of cycles ANYWHERE except the designated cycle racks at the rear of City Hall. Any bike left chained anywhere else will be removed by More London's private security firm.

2. Since the designated cycle racks are tucked away at the back of City Hall, they suffer from lack of visibility, which makes it extremely easy for professional cycle thieves to steal any bike parked there.

3. Point 2 is compounded by the lack of CCTV provision around the cycle racks. Again, cycle thieves can carry out their crimes safe in the knowledge there is no one watching them.

You will probaly find that Mr Caudwell wasn't being "daft", as you describe. He was simply locking where he was told to. You will find that City Hall's insurance will not cover the risk of someone injuring themselves on a cycle pedal whilst esaping a buring building (hence why More London would not have allowed him to take it up to Ken's office!).

ps. Fully agree with James' comments in a previous thread: let's not drag name-calling into this discussion.
Monday 28 June 2004 10.15am
You will find that City Hall's insurance will not cover the risk of someone injuring themselves on a cycle pedal whilst esaping a buring building (hence why More London would not have allowed him to take it up to Ken's office!).

Much as any cyclist's third party insurance will be reluctant to cover him for riding on the pavement. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Monday 28 June 2004 10.36am
Martin Underwood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> 1. More London, who own the site, have
> implemented the usual cycle-unfriendly policy of
> prohibiting the parking of cycles ANYWHERE except
> the designated cycle racks at the rear of City
> Hall. Any bike left chained anywhere else will be
> removed by More London's private security firm.


Just like for all other vehicles, then. Oh, no. Actually, I would rather say that cyclists are the ONLY group for whom More London have made specific parking provision.

I'm a half-full person myself, and perhaps that explains it, but if I were you I wouldn't be complaining Martin. I'd start off from a position of thankfulness and then try to get (what you see as) the shortcomings of the current provision sorted out to your satisfaction.

When will some people be happy?


...if you press it, they will come.
Monday 28 June 2004 11.21am
"Actually, I would rather say that cyclists are the ONLY group for whom More London have made specific parking provision. "

Try telling Mr Caudwell that :)

There's a difference between making a provision that is fit for purpose and one that gives the IMPRESSION of being fit for purpose, but only creates more problems.

A (rather twisted) analogy:
Suppose John Lewis had a special offer: A special brand of kettle for free. Sounds good? excellent! People from far and wide claim their free kettles, get home and make lots of cups of tea. Except there's a catch: owing to a design defect this particular brand of kettle will deliver an electric shock every third cup of tea. Should we be thankful to the shop for providing consumers with free kettles? or should we as consumers point out that the design defect far outweighs the advantage of the kettle being free?

(and please, Mapmaker, haven't we put the pavement discussion to bed now?)
Monday 28 June 2004 11.30am
Is anyone forcing you to take the free kettle, Martin?

Are the cyclists (who might be parking their bikes in this place that you say is unsafe) small children, bereft of the ability to assess whether the suggested parking space is safe or not?

Are people being coerced into parking there?

If either of the above is true, then you've probably got a point. Otherwise, you're not being any more hard done to than any other type of transport user.

...if you press it, they will come.
Monday 28 June 2004 11.35am
*censored for Ivanhoe's benefit*



Edited 2 times. Last edit at 28 June 2004 2.17pm by stevenl.
Monday 28 June 2004 11.49am
"Is anyone forcing you to take the free kettle?"

To all intents and purposes, the kettle looks like a normal kettle. The only (apparent) difference is the retail price: "Wonderful news!" the consumers cry, "this shop is so generous it is giving away its kettles for free!". So, why wouldn't the innocent consumer purchase the free kettle over the 20 version? Except, behind the shop's apparent benevolence lurks a design defect that will electrocute innocent little people with every third switch of the on/off button.

... on second thoughts, maybe I shouldn't give such twisted hypothetical analogies...

Actually, for a real-life analogy, try looking at the story of Hoover's attempts to offload a warehouse full of washing machines and vacuum cleaners with their "free" holidays.

"Are people being coerced into parking there?"

Well, as I've said, people are being given the IMPRESSION it is safe to lock their cycles there (and, yes, they ARE being coerced into parking there because More London refuse to allow people to park in more visible and therefore more secure areas).

I'm normally a half-full person myself, but I don't kid myself that companies are doing us a service by providing half-hearted measures.
Monday 28 June 2004 12.23pm

I was staring enviously into the window of Evans the other day - they had some gorgeous titanium-framed, disc-brake-equipped, 30 gear speed - absolutely-beautiful bike hanging in the window.

If I had a 5,000 bike I wouldn't let it out of my sight in sarf lahndan. that is a shame because people should be free to leave their beautiful, lovely, gorgeous belongings out wherever they like and not worry about them being half-inched by the local hoody-wearing thugs.

So I too am half sorry and half Shadenfreude - my lovely (and much-loved) yellow speed machine cost less than 200 and is just fine for se1's toughest potholes.

But I hate it when busybody firms try and keep bikes from cluttering up their nice clear forecourts and railings. There is something inherently beautiful about bikes locked to local street furniture - it says - "people here are bright and beautiful (as of course we know most bike users are) and move easily about the city with the wind in their hair..."

Tidying up bikes is the same kind of corporate-clean mentality that says - "don't walk on the grass" and "get your hair cut" and "stay late to finish that report" I will have no truck with it at all.



rm
Monday 28 June 2004 12.24pm
Unfortunately in London it is pretty safe to argue that there is nowhere where it is safe to lock bicycles - in the same way that it is not always safe to park cars or leave your handbag on the tube floor.

At the risk of annoying people...

Sorry - but it's a chance you take and that is why people insure things.

Make the choice. Take the risk and don't expect other people to provide impossible services.
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