Wednesday, April 13, 2011

... as I was saying yesterday

I went out to run some errands, and headed over to the Bridgewater Promenade shopping center. I went to go lock up my bicycle at Target and was greeted by this:
The bike rack was completely blocked by shopping carts. Fortunately there was another bike rack at the far end of the building, but it goes to show how low-priority bicycle parking can be.

What's worse is that Target is the only shop in that center that even offers bicycle parking, I went to Home Depot and found nowhere to lock up, in fact the support columns of the building's facade seemed to be designed deliberately to prevent people from locking bikes to them, and I had to go out into the car parking area and lock to the security camera post (trying not to damage the bundle of exposed wires around the base).

I was somewhat tempted to just walk my bike inside with me and use it as a shopping basket, but figured it was all wet and muddy and it would just bring grief to someone who had nothing to do with the lack of bike-friendly facilities.


Neil said...

I do just that -- walk my bike through the aisles with me. I figure if the bike is wet, so are the shopping carts. Only once have I had a complaint, and I think it was in southern New Jersey somewhere.

LuckyChow99 said...

Matt, I just discovered your blog. Great blog the last couple days on bike issues. Your an excellent writer and I enjoy reading your experiences on bike parking. Unless you're in one of the "chosen" cities like Portland, I'm afraid it's the same everywhere. I've been trying to get my local coffee house to put out a bike rack. He agreed to do it and showed me where he intends to put it. Unbelievably, he plans to put it over the top of a storm water drain fron the street. I thanked him for deciding to get one, but told him he might want to reconsider the location. I politely pointed out that he is missing a very important point of bike parking ---- we all want to be able to see our bikes while in the shop! Also, many of us want to see what other bikers are riding --- its part of the culture. He says he never thought about that so he might reconsider. And so it goes everywhere. As biking becomes more popular, I'm hopeful the general public will eventually come around with our help. We're slowing making progress. If big companies will make the effort, the smaller ones will follow. Keep up the good work!

Matt DeBlass said...

Thanks for the kind words!
It seems like there are a few businesses that "get it," but not all of them have caught on. Coffee shops have a great opportunity with cyclists because there's almost a universal link between coffee and bikes: sport riders like to begin or end their training rides with some caffeine, recreational riders find a cruise downtown for a latte and snack a nice way to enjoy the afternoon, and those of us who commute by bike just need our damn coffee on the way to work thank you very much!
A rack full of bikes can lend a classy air to the right place, especially if it's trying to capture a bit of old-world style.

LuckyChow99 said...

A rack full of bikes can lend a classy air to the right place, especially if it's trying to capture a bit of old-world style

Well put, Matt!