Racking up Points

The good news is a lot of places have started adding bicycle racks to accommodate people who arrive by bike. The bad news is, these racks don’t actually accommodate people who arrive by bike.

Putting a rack in some dark corner does not make a place bike friendly.

Racking up Points

I’d no more want to leave my bike there as a parent would want to leave their child here:

Racking up Points

Even when the bike rack is placed in plain daylight out front, it doesn’t necessarily mean we can actually lock up to it.

Racking up Points

Also, the bike rack you bought may have been designed to fit your budget but not actually designed to fit real bikes.

Racking up Points

These bike-friendly gestures are basically empty gestures. None of us will bother to lock up to these racks since we want to keep our bikes (and all it’s pieces) intact. It’s our ride home after all.

Instead, we will lock up to something, anything, more secure.

Racking up Points

So, when buying and installing a bike rack please consult someone who rides a bike.

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49 Comments on "Racking up Points"

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Uncle Robot

Oh yeah, and then there are the bikers who take up the entire bike rack parking parallel to it, the bikers that leave their bikes there forever until they grow Rip van Winkle rust beards.

Marge Evans

so true!


Those crappy wheel-bender racks? I park parallel to them or on an end because it’s the only way to get a u-lock through the rack and my bike frame.

Opus the Poet

The local Target store has bike racks installed too close to walls on 3 sides meaning you can’t lock up to it parked straight in or crossways because the front wheel doesn’t fit past the rack far enough to get the lock on the frame and the rack, and you can’t put an adult bike there sideways between the walls to lock the frame against the rack. I have discussed the problem with the customer service desk, but no changes have been made yet.

Opus the Poet

And my bike was stolen last week because my local grocery store doesn’t have a bike rack and their cart corrals are concrete curbs instead of tube racks. The area I was told to park and where I have been parking for years (since at least 2007) was not even covered by a TV camera when my cargo bike was stolen.


My local target (Fridley Minnesota) did something similar. I wrote a letter to customer service and followed up with the store manager and the racks got moved. It took a long time, but it got fixed.

When I lived near a Wal*Mart (stuff-mart), I’d take my bike right in. I’d throw stuff into the bike basket as my carriage and thus never buy more than I can carry. I never got a sideways glance. Nowadays I frequently bring the same bike right into Stop & Shop, and Whole Foods. Home Depot is a great place to just bring the bike into also. Maybe it’s the Americans with Disabilities Act that shields me – after all, my bike is an “assistive device to inoculate against metabolic syndrome”, if ever asked or challenged (it also has wheels and… Read more »
Uncle Robot

Fabulous idea!

traffic cyclist

Yes, I just roll the bike into the local drug store–it has a spacious checkout space–and lean it against a shelf while I shop! Once in a while a clerk would ask me whether my bike is a fixed gear, though I wonder what management makes of me. Cycling in this multi-million-people city is rare enough that I imagine the populous sees a cyclist as a peculiarity to be tolerated, not (yet) an annoyance to scorn at. so the lack of racks is not an issue, just lock or park the bike anywhere reasonable.


Really? You;re one of the many cyclists giving the rest of us a bad name.
Lock your bike outside and act like an adult.


Yep, I walk into Lowes and Home Depot quite often with the bike. I’ve also done that with a local Mexican resturant. They have a big open area in the back of the resturant that I park my bike in and they have no problem with that. The looks on some of the customers faces are priceless though!


Now do bikes and cowboy rodeos fit? We have the Calgary Stampede, which attracts over 1 million people annually. It’s a meg-rodeo, country ‘n western mega stars, pancake breakfast and souped up agricultural fair all rolled in one. It’s been around for last 150 yrs.

For the first time I saw over 20 permanent bike racks. And they were sturdy, decent.

Finally.. bike parking. Permanent.

Expecting bike valet would be nice but waaaaaay too much for some folks, the cowboys arriving in their jeeps, pickup trucks and SUVs.


We have a local grocery store where have the bike racks are on the other side of the “your grocery cart will lock up past this point” line. I have a Madsen and stick my whole week’s worth of groceries in the back of my bike and I need my cart to get to my bike. Imagine if drivers couldn’t wheel their carts to half a parking lot!

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