On the way home from work today I ran an errand on the bike to Pet Smart on La Cienega/4th Street. The only place to lock the bike to was the rack where you return your shopping cart to in the middle of the parking lot. It seemed fairly quiet, and I felt like maybe I could lock the bike to the rack for just a few minutes and run the errand, so I did, just using the U-lock on the top bar. I pulled off all the important stuff and did my shopping, and when I returned, lo and behold, the bike was still there.
I need to be able to take the bike on more errands and just get to feeling more safe about locking it up, but I also have such a fear of having it stolen. I must get over it.