The resistable force meets the movable object

OK, that was much too easy.Congratulations to Nic and Toby for correctly identifying the object as a frame-mounted bike-immobilizer.

And I’m disappointed to hear about bike thefts in Helsinki being on the upbike copy. But clearly it’s not such a problem as in London where no one would dream of locking their bicycle with anything that did not secure it to an immovable object. Maybe the solution is just to have a bike so old that no one would want to pinch it.

Where I hope I am not being naive is in feeling much safer as I go around Helsinki. Although there’s a fair smattering of drunken behaviour it doesn’t seem to translate itself into aggression in the way that it does in so many British towns and cities. But talking of crime, I was surprised to see a leaflet in the tourist office warning people against handing over their wallets to people posing as police officers. Is this a rising form or criminal activity I wonder.

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3 responses to “The resistable force meets the movable object

  • Toby

    HS international did a couple of stories recently on bike thefts in Helsinki:
    http://bit.ly/3GCVKz
    http://bit.ly/33iowE
    Helsinki police had already had reported to them by the end of August this year 2320 bike thefts. I have no idea whether its per capita better or worse than say London but it gives a sense of the problem. And they say the majority seem to be pro-thefts for reselling.

    I have a friend who has been leaving a basic halfords mountain bike outside of Paddington for the last year and a half with no problems. He takes the train into London, then bikes from the station to his office a few miles away. So the bike stays there at weekends etc. Obviously he locks it to something, and in a place with loads of other bikes, but he has been pleased that there hasn’t even been any vandalism.

    One of the big problems biking in Helsinki is because of those funny locks being so normal the city has only in very recent times started providing cycle parking where you can lock the frame of the bike to something. Traditionally it is those racks where you push the front wheel in and you could lock the wheel to the rack, but then I can take my front wheel off in about 4 seconds! I told the landlord rep of the building where my office is, my bike was staying inside behind locked doors until they got proper bike racks outside. They seem to have just given up now and let us keep them in the cellar area – which is much better as it lets the bike warm up and dry off during the wetter/colder bits of the year!

    BTW, on feeling safe in Helsinki – which I heartily agree with – just remember you are by my reckoning about twice as likely to murdered here as you are in the UK: http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.com/2008/01/murder-in-north.html and you are massively more likely to die by getting shot (by someone else or self inflicted!): http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.com/2007/04/time-to-get-some-body-armour.html

    Besides that, Finland’s bloody great! 🙂

  • instantkaamos

    Hi Toby,

    The number of cycle thefts in London for 2008/09 was 18,218 according to this artlice: http://tinyurl.com/yfw5asp — I don’t know whether you can make comparisons with Helsinki — London’s population is about 13 times bigger. I am not sure whether the ratio of population is what matters given that it seems as if a far higher proportion of people in Helsinki cycle. Also I think the London figure might be lower due to bike thefts not being reported. Unless you’re insured, there doesn’t seem much point in reporting a crime which you know the police are not going to investigate.

    As for the chances of being murdered, shooting yourself (cheer me up, why don’t you!), from what I’ve heard it is (as you say in your blog) mainly a case of murders within families so hopefully I can go on feeling safe on the streets.

  • Toby

    Yep. Just desperately avoid becoming a middle aged, unemployed, divorced man with a drinking problem because then basically you’re f***ed. 😉

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