Author Topic: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?  (Read 6230 times)

CarolynM

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What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« on: November 19, 2012, 11:16:17 AM »
I brought my childhood bike back from my parents house to start using it for commuting more. There are bike paths all through my entire town, so it's easy to get anywhere within town.

But when I started trying to go places, I discovered that there are no bike racks. I found one outside the library and that's it. None near any of the grocery stores, none near the dollar store, none anywhere else I want to go. I'm confused that my town went through the trouble of making awesome bike paths but installed no bike racks.

How can I use my bike for commuting when there is no where to lock it up while I'm in the store?

TLV

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 11:36:09 AM »
After checking your local ordinances to make sure it's legal, lock it up around a tree, streetlight, fence, etc.

CarolynM

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 11:41:02 AM »
I'm not sure how to go about finding out if that's legal. I'm terrified that my bike is going to get removed by a cop. Is that something I can google?

TLV

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2012, 11:48:51 AM »
If you live in a town of any size, you can probably find the city code by googling "[your city] city code". Then search within the code for "bicycle." If you find the legal jargon too difficult, post a link (or the city's name if you can't find the code).

CarolynM

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2012, 01:12:53 PM »
Thank you!

I did a bunch of searches (I live in Columbia, but Maryland and not South Carolina. Difficult to find, but found something when I looked for the county).

What I found talks about wearing a helmet and riding on the sidewalk, but I'm not seeing anything about where I can lock it up. http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientID=14680&stateID=20&statename=Maryland

I'm not that talented at searching!

secondcor521

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2012, 01:14:52 PM »
Or just call your local police station non-emergency number and ask them.  That's what I've done in the past.

2Cor521

galaxie

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2012, 01:40:44 PM »
If there's no bike rack, I lock it to a street sign or lamppost.  Trees are usually too fat unless I've got a chain.  My town is bike-friendly, so there are constantly bikes locked to any available post-like object.

Will

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2012, 02:19:59 PM »
Just make sure that whatever it is that you are chaining it up to is 1) sturdy and 2) tall.  I've seen people lock up bikes to things that weren't very secure at all (a rickety fence, a sapling of a tree) or parking meters or signs on short posts that a thief could easily break or lift the bike up and over.

capital

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2012, 02:51:01 PM »
Unfortunately, even in towns with a lot of bike paths, the paths are often designed for recreational rather than practical usage, so practical infrastructure like bike parking is often missing.

If you're locking your bike up properly with a U-lock & just heading in and out of a business, there's no way your bike will be removed while you're in a shop, since the hypothetical policeman would have to have to call in a DPW employee with an angle grinder.

A lot of suburban businesses have aisles large enough for you to just wheel your bike through with you, too. I did that a lot when I was in San Diego. Just use the panniers on your bike like a shopping cart.

Debbie M

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2012, 03:28:21 PM »
You could also try sending letters to your favorite destinations and to your city council requesting bike racks.  Not that I've tried this, but it's another approach for the long-term.  You might also get advice from a local bicycling group.  (Or help, in say, circulating a petition.)

smalllife

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2012, 05:25:10 PM »
Once you are in the store track down the manager or customer service and point out that you biked there and noticed the lack of a proper parking spot.  It gets the issue on their radar and might result in a bike rack or two.

matt_g

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2012, 05:55:14 PM »
Once you are in the store track down the manager or customer service and point out that you biked there and noticed the lack of a proper parking spot.  It gets the issue on their radar and might result in a bike rack or two.

I'll second that.  Ask the store where you are shopping.

sheepstache

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 08:47:19 PM »
If biking for errands isn't common in a town, property owners and police are usually too confused by the sight of a bike locked up to something to worry about what the law is.

Paul der Krake

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2012, 09:49:15 PM »
It's happened multiple times that I leave my brain and the lock home. If the store is big enough you can just bring it, lean it against a wall and ask a cashier to keep an eye on it. A big smile goes a long way!

kisserofsinners

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 10:04:28 PM »
Thank you!

I did a bunch of searches (I live in Columbia, but Maryland and not South Carolina. Difficult to find, but found something when I looked for the county).

What I found talks about wearing a helmet and riding on the sidewalk, but I'm not seeing anything about where I can lock it up. http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientID=14680&stateID=20&statename=Maryland

I'm not that talented at searching!

This search might yield better reseources: http://www.google.com/search?q=howard+county+md+bike+club&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Also Check out your local bike stores:http://www.google.com/search?q=howard+county+md+bike+stores&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&client=firefox-a&oq=howard+county+md+bike+stores&gs_l=heirloom-serp.3...241154.246477.0.247407.10.10.0.0.0.0.125.894.6j4.10.0...0.0...1c.1.5_BfKISWImo

It sounds like you might benifet from a quick demo from people in your community. Stores especially are great at knowing the local laws, they're have regular business hours (vs bike clubs and advicates), and usually a space with staff stoked to teach you whatever you need to know.

When i first moved to the city i learned from the guy at the bike store how to lock my bike properly and i do it the exact same way today.

igthebold

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Re: What do you do with your bike when you get to the store?
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2012, 06:55:11 AM »
I lock mine to the outside of the shopping cart return area. Haven't had any problems. If they had bike racks I've used them.

Incidentally, the one bike rack I've noticed in the city is at the library, and instead of making it practical, it spells out "BOOKS" and is almost entirely useless for locking up more than 1 or 2 bikes, even though it's a good 10' wide. Before that, I'd never seen a decorative bike rack before.