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  1. #1
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Businesses with no bike racks

    Today I had to get 200 6"x9" mailing envelopes for a project we are working on. Staples is only about a mile from the office so I rode my bike. When I got there I discovered they had no bike rack or any place to secure the bike, so....

    I walked the bike inside and wheeled it down the aisles while getting the envelopes. No one said anything to me and I didn't get any strange looks.
    Have you ever done this?
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  2. #2
    Banned
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    Never did but a lot of people on bikeforums did it. I always can find a sign post (handicapped parking) or rack where I shop.

  3. #3
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    I used to ride my bike to the grocery store all the time. I just left it right next to those steam cleaners and stuff they rent. The things are locked into a rack that would also do well as a bike rack. Plus there was an employee tending the 5 or 6 self checkout lanes right next to it.

  4. #4
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH
    Today I had to get 200 6"x9" mailing envelopes for a project we are working on. Staples is only about a mile from the office so I rode my bike. When I got there I discovered they had no bike rack or any place to secure the bike, so....

    I walked the bike inside and wheeled it down the aisles while getting the envelopes. No one said anything to me and I didn't get any strange looks.
    Have you ever done this?
    I have done this, at a convenience store many times because, I choose not to lock my bike outside. The only, marginally decent place, to lock it up is, a USA Today newspaper stand. When I have had to visit the county goverment building, they have one of the large bike racks so, I can lock my bike up safely. When I visit the hospital, I have to utilize one of the outdoor support beams, to lock it up. When I go to the local Ski Hut(www.theskihut.com), I can bring it inside with, no problem. When I go to the local library, I can make use of, the bike rack. When I go to the local K-Mart, I have to make use of the mechanical horse outside the store. When I go to any of the grocery stores, they all have bike racks. When I go to the local police to make a report, I bring the bike inside the station. If I have to go to another part of the station, I lock it up outside.

  5. #5
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I almost always take my bike inside stores, but have never walked it down an aisle. In places like Staples (we have Office Depot here) I either place it in the area between the 1st and 2nd door (storm door and entrance door) or right inside where there is some space. Our local grocery is quite used to my bike being parked in the wide entrance way leaning against the tile wall.

    Bike racks are almost always somewhere out of sight, hidden away to the side - perfect location for someone to either rip off the bike or accessories on the bike.

    This is a VERY bike-oriented town, and likely the store manager also has a bike that he worries about also and perhaps does the same thing. Anyway, no one has ever complained, nor have I ever asked permission.

    In smaller places like Subway, I lean it up outside against the window where I can continuously see it, and then choose a seat right next to the bike.

    I think most bike racks are an open invitation to theft.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  6. #6
    Disgruntled Planner bpohl's Avatar
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    I've walked my bike into the grocery store on many occassions, and I've never heard one word about it,except for a few mentions of "nice bike". The way I see it, walking your bike down an aisle is no worse than walking a huge grocery cart down the aisle. I also bring my bike into class with me, too.
    Last edited by bpohl; 10-30-04 at 07:17 AM.
    Don't waste your breath to save your face when you have done your best.

  7. #7
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    People take baby carriages into stores all the time. Why should bikes be any different?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pedal Wench's Avatar
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    I've taken mine into a convenience store located off a local trail. They don't have a rack, and they're probably used to this, being so close to the trail. I've brought it into a Subway, and not-so-LBS too. If anyone complains, I'll just take my business elsewhere. I was wondering if anyone's taken their bike into a restroom - I would hate to leave it outside, but I also hate bringing a lock on a rail-trail.

  9. #9
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I was wondering if anyone's taken their bike into a restroom - I would hate to leave it outside, but I also hate bringing a lock on a rail-trail.
    Sure, all the time. Those trail-type restrooms, and state park rr's, generally fairly large. I know of eight rr's that I take my bike into always, and I am not the only one.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  10. #10
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    of all the places I go to run errands on my bike, only the library, wal-mart and 1 out of 2 grocery stores have bike racks. I usually lock it up to a sign post or tree or bench. I try not to lock it to the handicap sign because if a handicap person parks there, my bike may be in their way.

    I usually prefer to lock the bike up outside, but I wouldn't have any problems walking it inside, especially if there's no safe place to lock it outside. Like dnvrfox i wouldn't ask or even mention it. I'd just walk it in like I'm in charge.

  11. #11
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516
    I have done this, at a convenience store many times because, I choose not to lock my bike outside. The only, marginally decent place, to lock it up is, a USA Today newspaper stand. When I have had to visit the county goverment building, they have one of the large bike racks so, I can lock my bike up safely. When I visit the hospital, I have to utilize one of the outdoor support beams, to lock it up. When I go to the local Ski Hut(www.theskihut.com), I can bring it inside with, no problem. When I go to the local library, I can make use of, the bike rack. When I go to the local K-Mart, I have to make use of the mechanical horse outside the store. When I go to any of the grocery stores, they all have bike racks. When I go to the local police to make a report, I bring the bike inside the station. If I have to go to another part of the station, I lock it up outside.
    How is Stewart's? I'm sending my kid sister there to get an excercise bike.

  12. #12
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    Ive been following this thread pretty closely. Its got me thinking cause I keep thinking about riding my bike to do a few errands myself. Here in Huntsville, AL I dont think bike racks exist exept at schools. When I find a job I plan on moving close to where ever it ends up so I commute but then I run into the pre-existing problem of no bike racks. I guess Huntsville isnt really built bike friendly at all from what Ive been seeing in other cities.

    Whats a good way to get more places to put up bike racks? Petitions, letters, buy them myself and donate them to the businesses, etc? Then all I would have to do is get a lock!
    ^c

  13. #13
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    I have a list of bike friendly places that I do business with, some that are not friendly I do not do business with, that is the way that it is...

    Most places where I live do not have bike racks. I will usually lock the bike up somewhere inside if I can and outside on last resort. If it is a beater bike then I will just lock it up wherever I can...
    Just your average club rider... :)

  14. #14
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    Most retail stores around here have bike racks. I have recently discovered that Lowes home improvement, as well as Home Depot do NOT have racks. Luckily they are very nice about letting my keep my bike behind the customer service desk while I do my shopping. With all the security cams, thats almost better than a rack, so I'm not complaining. My local neighborhood hardware store does have a bike rack.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    I was just thinking again. Is it ironic that not even the LBS's are missing bike racks? Ill prolly go out of my way for the next week or so to look around for somewhere to lock my bike up at.
    ^c

  16. #16
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    My LBS has a bike rack outside but also does not have a problem with me wheeling my bike inside while I look around. I've never actually taken my bike INTO a store when they did not have a bike rack. Recently, a Kroger in town did not have anything even remotely feasible to which to lock a bike, so I took my business elsewhere as I didn't feel like hunting around for a place to lock it up.

  17. #17
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    What LBS would have a problem with someone taking their bike inside? I can't even imagine that. As to other stores, the way you walk will have a lot to do with what you can get away with. You'd be amazed what walking confidently will do--the store employees are far less likely to challenge you because, like you, they don't know if it's banned either. But if you ask, the employees might say "no" just to cover their rears.

  18. #18
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    Here in New York the City provides free bike racks to just about anyone who requests them. Of course people also chain their bikes to parking signs, tree guards, fences and just about anything else that doesn't move.

    I rarely carry a lock, so I just bring it into the bank, grocery stores and public restrooms. Nobody's objected yet.

    Stacy

  19. #19
    One less car Jay H's Avatar
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    I bike to work and I park my bike in my cubicle.. nobody minds..

    As far as grocery or restaurants, most of them have a gas hookup which means they typically have a gas meter and a gas line running to the back of the building. When I go food shopping, I typically lock my bike to the gas line, knowing that I don't think anybody is going to saw through a gas line (or if s/he does, I hope there's a spark).

    Has always worked fine but then again, my neighborhood is pretty safe. Sometimes I just leave it lying on the wall when I go to my bank and not the drive through.

    Jay

  20. #20
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    I rode my bike to the Dr's office which is in a office block connected to the hospital. I wheeled it in through the clinic waiting area to the elevators. A lady actually held the elevator door for me so I could get my bike in. I wheeled it into the Dr's waiting room and leaned it against the wall. The receptionist and office staff thought it was cool. The Dr. got the chance to vent about the locals racers who ride in his area every Saturday morning. But all-in-all everyone was all right with it. I had two more appointments and took the bike to each one. It was a much more satisfactory experience than driving around the already overcrowded dingy parking garage looking for a space for 30 minutes. If anybody said anything about it being dirty and such, I was going to say it was not any dirtier than my shoes would be if I had walked and point out that I kept it in the living room at home. I also would dare them to find any dirt on it, I had just cleaned it so the frame and chain were immaculate. I have on occaision kept a bike or two in my office overnight but I deal with most of my clients/supervisors by email or phone, so few would even know I had a bike there anyway. If it was going to be there regularly, I probably put up one of those racks to hang ot by its front wheel on the wall.

    I ride to the butcher shop regularly and either prop my bike outside against the window if it's my old bike. My new one I take inside and prop it against the wall. The butcher has named my bikes after various horse from the 1950's TV shows and always asks me how they are and who I rode today.
    Last edited by Kayakado; 11-01-04 at 08:13 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ajay677's Avatar
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    I brought my bike inside a local Tim Horton coffee shop recently. They served me but questioned why I had the bike inside. I told them it was because the store lacked a rack to secure my bike. They told me not to bring it in the store again. I replied that wouldn't be a problem because I wouldn't be patronizing them again. Around here, most businesses do not have bike racks. Even the administration buildings of the local public school board, which I work for, has no bike rack. Fortunately, the detention centre I teach in allows me to bring my bike inside and lock it in a secure area.

  22. #22
    Bike Nerd Mr. Jim's Avatar
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    I always take my bike into the grocery store. I normally leave it between the two sets of doors if it is the mt bike or my old commuter. If I am riding my race bike however, I will walk the isle with it. I try not to do this much because my race shoes are hard to walk on tile with then anything else. Once on a long training ride, I stopped at a small grocery store for some snacks and water. Manager pointed out that I couldn't have the bike in the store because "it was tracking up his floor" no problem, I slung my Cervelo over my shoulder and continued shopping. I could tell he wasn't happy but he couldn't think of a thing to say. At 16 lbs no big deal. Wouldn't want to try that with the steel frame fuji and trailer though.
    Jim
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  23. #23
    misses the city
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    I was yelled at for taking my bike into a grocery store here in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago. A friend of mine ended up complaining via the website (something I hadn't even thought to do) and got a call back within a few hours apologizing for the manager who yelled at me and saying that not only was it fine to take my bike in but that they'd make sure to call the store and let every employee there know it.

    I thought that was about as good a response as I could get. I can't wait to take it in today (I go to the grocery store to deposit checks for my office as part of my daily routine).

  24. #24
    Senior Member progre-ss's Avatar
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    When I worked in Ottawa, I was able to bring my bike up into my office. My 2 other coworkers (and sometimes a 3rd) would do the same thing so on any given day there would be 3 bikes in our part of the office!

    An LBS I frequent near my work has their bike rack inside the store, by the front window. Very good shop and very friendly people! Cosmic Wheel in Ridgefield Park, NJ if anyone's wondering.
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  25. #25
    Cheesmonger Extraordinair natelutkjohn's Avatar
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    Good thread. I usualy have no problems bringin my bike into shops, but recently I have been getting trouble from the two post offices in my area. So I guess this is a US question only .

    They tell me that bikes are not allowed in the post office, although I can see no signs. The real kicker is that neither have a bike rack outside. When I mentioned that to the post guys, they just say that it is not in the budget. Does anone know if there is a rule that bikes are not allowed in federal buildings, or is this just them being jerks? Anyone know of a list of laws like that that I can show them if I need to bring my bike into the post office again?

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