Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lock and Key

or: Nothing stands before the Swisstool.

 This morning I had occasion to investigate the comparative quality of a very low budget bike-lock and the awesome Swisstool, my favourite multitool.

While riding home yesterday evening, the key belonging to the above-mentioned lock had fallen off my key-chain, and I lost it somewhere on the way. This did not take me by surprise, since the key was partly plastic, and only hanging on to the key-chain by an increasingly thin strip. I was, as they say, monitoring the situation, staying on top of the developments, etc. I also new that I had a replacement key, and not only knew where it was but also found it later that evening.

The cabin of the elevator in my apartment building has no interior doors. While riding it up and down, you can see (and touch) the wall and doors of the various floors rushing by. Consequently, there is a gap between cabin and the walls of the elevator shaft, a gap that yawns about two centimetres wide and leads to the fathomless and inaccessible depths beneath the elevator cabin.

I think you can see where this is going.

Right in one: This morning, while riding down to my bike and trying to attach the new key to my key chain, I inevitably dropped the former, straight into the gap. There wasn't even a "plink" to mark it's passing - it vanished soundlessly into the abyss. Which leads us directly and finally to the following picture:


Swisstool versus bike-lock: 1-0, 30 seconds. Which is, I'll maintain, a Good Thing. Consider: A better lock would have meant calling the landlord, who'd have called an elevator technician, who'd have billed me. This way, I'll just buy a new lock (20 CHF or so). Everybody wins!
And if my bike gets stolen because of my inferior lock-technology? No worries, now I know that I can get a new one in about 30 seconds...


  1. I don't use a great number of locks, but it begs the question of why you'd bother at all.

    On the other hand, my husband LOVES his multitool (though it's a Leatherman rather than a Swisstool). I'm just hoping he doesn't try this on our bike locks for entertainment value.

  2. Well, you can't leave your bike unlocked, now can you? Somebody might steal it!

    A lock in a sane prize-range (read less than my bike cost in the first place) will only deter drunks and spur-of-the-moment thefts - any bike-thief worth his salt will have big bolt-cutters or battery-powered circular saws anyway.

    Better be quick to offer something up for your husband's multitool though - something needs repairing? Anything?

  3. Get a combination bike lock, then you'll only have to worry about losing your head in the elevator. Just joking, of course. That's a fine tool you used if it can cut cable.

  4. Either a fine tool, or a very crappy cable ;)
    No you are right, the SwissTool is awesome.