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Thread: Help! My bike is locked up, and I lost my key.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Help! My bike is locked up, and I lost my key.

    My bike is locked up near an Arlington Metro station, and I've lost the key. I don't think I'm going to find it. What do I do? I called the nearest bike shop, and they told me to call a car mechanic who might have the right tools. I called the Arlington Police, because I figured they would have a protocol for that, and the guy who answered the phone said he had never encountered this before, but he agreed that I should probably call them before I cut the lock off, and they would send an office to supervise or something, because it would obviously be suspicious-looking to show up at the Metro with bolt cutters or whatever it would take. But I still don't know how to actually get the job done. It's a padlock and a fairly heavy-grade cable "chain" with a rubberized coating. Thanks.

    (Also posted in bikes and equipment, hoping to get quick replies.)
    Last edited by FrankF; 09-23-2011 at 10:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Winchester, VA
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    Borrow or rent a battery powered angle grinder with a cutoff wheel. Alternatively buy one then return it I guess. You'll only use it for about 60 seconds

  3. #3
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    Aug 2010
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    Don't worry about the Metro folks. The station managers could care less what goes on over at the bike rack.

    I wish I was joking.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2010
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    Call Lt. Heather Hurlock at the Arlington Police Auxiliary Unit. http://www.arlingtonva.us/department...aryPolice.aspx She cuts abandoned bikes all.the.time. It's not really a service offered to people in your position, but I imagine she'll probably know exactly how to do it. If you already have the info/tools you need to cut it, just go do it - but take some proof of ownership with you and be prepared to answer questions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    The great Falls Church area
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    If it is a cable lock then you might be able to get it with a burly cable cutter. Chain is best dealt with using a hacksaw. U-locks are pretty easy to break open with a car jack - safety first though with the flying end cap!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    extreme north Arlington
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    Any decent locksmith should be able to open a padlock.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2011
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    Suitland, MD
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    Don't really have to add much. Just cut it off. In the future maybe invest in a combo lock or something with a few keys to it. Hope everything worked out. Sorry for your troubles.


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  8. #8
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    Dec 2010
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    D.C
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    Actually calling the cops could work. Saturday i saw a cop trying to help a taxi driver opening the door with what looked like a tool you often see in movies to open car doors.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Yeah! I found my bike key. On Monday, a week after I lost it and long after I had given up hope, I discovered my bike key taped to the restroom door in my office building. I don't know if it was found on the floor in the restroom, where I had already looked, or in the hallway, though there was no reason for me to have lost it out there. Wow, I'm lucky. I also want to thank all of you who posted suggestions. I hope that's advice that I'll never need again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Alexandria
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    That's exactly where I lost my key a couple of years ago. A colleague found it and taped it where I would see it. Fortunately I got it back the next day, not a week later. I'm sure your bike is very happy to be free from its shackles.

    Otherwise, this is a great thread for people to check when it happens to them.

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