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Old 12-27-06, 02:47 PM   #1
JohnBrooking
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How to run Bike Valet Parking?

I am thinking about offering the services of my Commuting Club to run bike valet parking at some local events this summer. I've never done it before, but have read about how it works in some larger cities. I have some ideas, but I can't seem to find any web pages with actual tips on how to do it by those who have done it. Anyone know of any such resources, or can share your experience here?

I am also planning on talking to my state bike coalition, as I know that they sometimes do it.

Thanks.
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Old 12-27-06, 03:13 PM   #2
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Every year the city of East Lansing has a Folk Festival, and the League of Michigan Bicyclists hosts a valet parking area for bicycles. It seems to work well and is quite popular. You might try contacting someone there for more details.

http://www.lmb.org
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Old 12-27-06, 03:36 PM   #3
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Also try the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in Portland, Or.
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Old 12-27-06, 04:49 PM   #4
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I went out to San Francisco for the Grand Prix for a few years - I believe it was the San Francisco Bike Coalition there that was doing the valet service and it was excellent. I was worried at first with our middle of the road bikes (one steel, one aluminum, 105 and ultegra components at that time, favorite saddles, pedals, etc) but compared to the high dollar bikes we saw out there ours would have been the 'bones' of the pickings for any theft-minded persons, but it sure was a well-done service. Nary a problem despite all the pricey rides they were minding... Their service was advertised in advance as being free, but of course we tipped them well as they deserved. You might want to talk to someone from that group and Good Luck to you-
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Old 12-27-06, 08:30 PM   #5
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I'm sure that the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition does it a lot, and I know that the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition does it a few times a month. You might contact them and they will be glad to tell you how they go about it.
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Old 12-27-06, 08:47 PM   #6
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The CVS golf classic is down here at R.I. Country Club. I think every year. They have been using a fenced in paddle tennis court as a cage for parking. (Smaller than a regular tennis court, and fenced in better.)

I heard they had tickets, one for the bike and one for the rider. I think that's all there is to it.

It's not really valet, but the other person does put your bike away for you. But you are right in front of the parking cage.
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Old 12-27-06, 09:23 PM   #7
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It shouldn't be all that different from any other valet parking. Provide security and documentation as to who belongs to which bike.....
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Old 12-27-06, 11:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randya
Also try the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in Portland, Or.
+1 They do it quite a bit around here.
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Old 12-28-06, 04:41 PM   #9
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The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation provides valet parking for many Chicago events.
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Old 12-29-06, 07:40 AM   #10
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How are the bikes generally stored? My bike coalition said they hang the bikes from a pipe supported by 2x4 A-frames, but that sounds like a lot of setup. OTOH, I can see where it wouldn't be desirable to have all the bikes leaning on each getting and possibly getting scratched. Not all will have kickstands, and those that do can still fall over. A chain-reaction fall would not be good PR. Do the host organizations generally bring along a bunch of racks or something? I guess this is probably my biggest question. The rest, as you say, is pretty simple.
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Old 12-29-06, 08:40 AM   #11
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We have offered bike parking services at several local events where biking or walking was encouraged because of limited parking for cars.
We didn't valet, we simply offered free (donations were graciously accepted ), secure bike parking. We had a large area with several bike racks inside a fenced-in area (racks and fencing provided by the city) with volunteers "guarding" the bikes, give claim stubs for parked bikes, and offered cable locks for anyone who wanted to lock their bike but didn't have a lock.
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Old 12-29-06, 10:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
How are the bikes generally stored? My bike coalition said they hang the bikes from a pipe supported by 2x4 A-frames, but that sounds like a lot of setup. OTOH, I can see where it wouldn't be desirable to have all the bikes leaning on each getting and possibly getting scratched. Not all will have kickstands, and those that do can still fall over. A chain-reaction fall would not be good PR. Do the host organizations generally bring along a bunch of racks or something? I guess this is probably my biggest question. The rest, as you say, is pretty simple.
It looked to me that the country club was just laying the bikes on each other. If you have a long wall or fence to use, it makes sense to make as many short stacks of bikes as possible instead of one long stack.
That way you can move less bikes if someone on the bottom of the pile leaves early.

My experience is that no matter how carefull you are some bikes get scratched. I always take an old bike on the Martha's Vineyard or Block Island ferry.
They lay the bikes in carefully, but the bike seems to get scratched anyway.
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Old 12-29-06, 08:03 PM   #13
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I've helped out with the bike parking booth put on by the bicycle commuter coalition of the inland empire at the Redlands Classic before. The set-up basically consists of several saw-horse style racks that you just hang the nose of the seat over, and a couple of eazy-ups. We use a dual-wrist band type thing where one goes on the bike, and one with a matching number is given to the bike's owner. Not sure where they purchase the wrist-bands.

It's pretty popular with families with kids who ride down to the races, and then want a place to stash the bikes while they walk around the start-finish and expo area.

Makes me kinda wonder how much more often people would ride if better facilities were available downtown all the time.
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Old 12-29-06, 08:51 PM   #14
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The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition also has "valet" parking. Snow fence around an area, things to lean bikes against, and people to park and return the bikes. They insist on handling the bikes as a security feature. You get a numbered receipt. No locking. City, county, and commercial events often ask the SCBC to provide the parking. Once or twice a year free stuff is given to the first X people to show up. Last year at the first of the downtown summer street fairs the first 50 people got free handlebar baskets which Coalition mechanics installed for free.
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