Bike Thievery



  • (Attempted)
    Late afternoon - 5pm - on Byres Road across from Waitrose a grizzled middle aged man sat between the bike stands working on a combination lock. Caught my eye as I chained my bike up but didn't pay much attention.
    10-15 minutes later I'd bought my dinner, he was still there, so I challenged him: "Is this your bike?"
    Slurring & drawling- "Aye man, I'm just drunk and stoned."
    It's a nice afternoon for it, and I don't judge, "But, is this your bike?"
    Enter a young man, the actual owner, who unchains his bike and wheels it away from the man, telling him to go away.

    Turns out the combination lock wasn't attached to a bike at all, just tangled up around one.

    In a busy street, with many people walking by and others sitting outside the nearby bars looking on with a clear view of what this man was attempting to do, how long would this man have needed to crack the 4 number code and would anyone else have tried to stop him?


  • administrators

    @douglaswaring Reminds me of Neistat's video of his experience in New York: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGttmR2DTY8

    Good of you to say something and glad to hear the bike wasn't taken.


  • administrators

    Please correct my maths if wrong. For a 4 combination lock with 9 numbers: 4^9=262,144 combinations.



  • Including 0; 4^10=1,048,576
    He was definitely in "the zone". Maybe I'm overly harsh on all the bystanders, maybe they all knew it was an orphan lock and wanted to see his reaction when he cracked it and realised he wasn't getting the bike.


  • Global Moderator

    Your maths is wrong @un :)

    You've got a lock with four digits from 0-9. Intuitively that's going to give you 9999 combinations (becuase you're just counting from 0001, 0002, 0003, etc), plus "0000", so 10,000 options. Or 10^4.

    4^10 would be a lock with ten dials, each with four options.


  • administrators

    @DarkerSide Welp, there goes my attempt at combinatorics XD Thanks for correcting me - seems easy when you put it like that. At least I didn't try and get a factorio in there!


 

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