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  1. #1
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Are we "obscure"?

    I thought you all might get a kick out of this. My office has recently relocated near to the local mall (I'm going to be lovin' it around next Christmas when all my co-workers are stuck in the traffic jams! ), and I headed over to it with my bike for the first time Friday over lunch hour to do some shopping. Since I didn't see a bike rack near the store I wanted to enter through, I just locked it up to a lamp post or something, but once inside, I thought I'd stop by the Customer Service desk and ask if there was a real rack outside anywhere.

    Of course the guy at the desk had no idea, so he called up someone else. He started the conversation with "Yeah, I've got an obscure question over here in Customer Service." Obscure?! I muttered it under my breath; I don't know if he heard me or not, but I made sure to say it loud enough that he might have.

    It ended up, in case you care, that there was one by the service entrance next to the food court. Not the most convenient, but I suppose I can use it if I'm going to the food court...

    It was a good advocacy day overall. I also had the opportunity in the morning to ask about a bike rack at the nearby supermarket, and hearing that they had none, filled out a customer service card asking for one, making sure to include my name and work phone. Not that I'm holding my breath over it...

  2. #2
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Good thinking John. At least you did something, even if the results are slow or not what you like, you made an effort. If everyone would do the same thing a lot of places would be more bike friendly.

  3. #3
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    I work across the street from Potomac Mills Mall, supposedly the largest mall on the East coast. There is not a single bike rack on the place. Then again, I've only seen three bikes parked there in all the years I been going there and I doubt the lack of facilities is the reason. Human powered transportation just isn't very popular here.
    Yeah, we're obscure, but we can't really blame the mall for not taking the initiative for installing racks when there seems to be no point. Besides, providing facilities for bicycles might encourage people to actually bike there. That would severly limit how much stuff a customer could buy considering the limited luggage capacity of a bike.
    Last edited by Hal Hardy; 02-19-05 at 11:04 PM.

  4. #4
    broken runner
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    http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/planningsc...avpp/52_34.pdf

    Interesting to hear about the (lack of) bike racks. I've got to say we do seem to see more and more of them around Melbourne - may be it is actions like the new planning laws (see the link) that are kicking in - the State govenrment here is trying to achieve 20 % of all trips by public transport ( i.e. not by car) over the next 25 years - so they need to make the alternaitves as attractive as possible.

  5. #5
    FOG
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    Marley Station Mall, which is adjacent to the Baltimore and Annapolis trail has a few bike racks,a nd good sccess from the trail.

  6. #6
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Next time U lock your bike to the hand rail right in front of the mall. See if you remain OBSCURE.

  7. #7
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Next time U lock your bike to the hand rail right in front of the mall. See if you remain OBSCURE.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Hey, our Performance bike shop here in Torrance (Southern California) doesn't even have a rack out front. (However, in the parking lot, I sure see a lot of racks on big SUV's. )

  9. #9
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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    In Portland the city will install a bike rack for free in front of any business. You just have to call them up. I'm not sure if this is the case where you are at, but it wouldn't hurt to ask the city transportation department what they can do.

  10. #10
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Probably reflects the unspoken belief that the only people who'd ride a bike to the mall are the guys running the deep fryers at the food court. But a customer? Inconceivable!
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  11. #11
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    The Walgreen's I frequent, which is along a raod with bike lanes, put a bike rack out front after I kept taking my bike inside.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member iowarose's Avatar
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    I see your point, and agree with it, but I do think that this young man just didn't get what tone "obscure" gives. To him, it meant "difficult, because I haven't heard it before, and don't know how to respond." I doubt it was anything more.

    FWIW, both malls in Iowa City have lots of bike racks.

    You should post the mall's information desk number so we can all call to ask where we can lock up our bikes.

  13. #13
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowarose
    I see your point, and agree with it, but I do think that this young man just didn't get what tone "obscure" gives. To him, it meant "difficult, because I haven't heard it before, and don't know how to respond." I doubt it was anything more.
    Yes, I'm not getting all righteously indignant here, I just got a chuckle over it and figured you all would too.


    Quote Originally Posted by iowarose
    You should post the mall's information desk number so we can all call to ask where we can lock up our bikes.
    That is tempting...

  14. #14
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    I was thinking everyone on the forum gets one bike from the trash and we lock them to a railing by the front door.


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    give it a try of going to the traffic engineering dept. of the city, it may work; in what rnagooka said --- more than several of the PBS bike shops around here don't have bike racks either. The Stater Bros. that I go to doesn't have one in a safe place. So I lock the bike where I can view it: next to a tree. Regarding letylore: the foreign countries will always win, when it concerns bikes as transportation --- this is a motor-hog country.

  16. #16
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    The Plaza Camino Real regional mall (Carlsbad / Oceanside border) has lousy old-fashioned wheel-bending bike racks and an unposted policy of confiscating all bikes locked to lampposts, street signs, etc. Fortunately, Sears is about the only store I ever visit there, and I can arrive early enough in the morning to lock my bike to the end of the racks, in a wheel-friendly fashion.

    The Encinitas YMCA has very nice bike racks right in front, in full view of the weight room.

    When the City of Encinitas redid the Highway 101 corridor through downtown, they installed very good bike racks on every block. The Highway 101 streetscape has won several awards for excellence in urban design, and the bike racks contributed to the score.

    The Encinitas Home Depot lacks bike racks, but no one ever hassles me for locking my bike to a Handicapped Parking sign in the parking lot. (If anyone ever tells me not to do so, I plan to respond that "I own the place" -- actually, I own about 0.000001% or so of HD. )
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    Of course the guy at the desk had no idea, so he called up someone else. He started the conversation with "Yeah, I've got an obscure question over here in Customer Service." Obscure?! I muttered it under my breath; I don't know if he heard me or not, but I made sure to say it loud enough that he might have.
    Consider yourself lucky they don't have a bike rack. Otherwise, you'll have to park next to rusted Huffy's and other beaters from the 70's. You also have to hope these other kids (Adults included) are honest and leave your bike alone which is not always the case. One of the malls around my way will take away your bike if you don't use the rack so you're better off without them anyway. This gives you the opportunity to chain your bike anywhere you please.

  18. #18
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    The Plaza Camino Real regional mall (Carlsbad / Oceanside border) has lousy old-fashioned wheel-bending bike racks and an unposted policy of confiscating all bikes locked to lampposts, street signs, etc. Fortunately, Sears is about the only store I ever visit there, and I can arrive early enough in the morning to lock my bike to the end of the racks, in a wheel-friendly fashion.

    The Encinitas YMCA has very nice bike racks right in front, in full view of the weight room.

    When the City of Encinitas redid the Highway 101 corridor through downtown, they installed very good bike racks on every block. The Highway 101 streetscape has won several awards for excellence in urban design, and the bike racks contributed to the score.

    The Encinitas Home Depot lacks bike racks, but no one ever hassles me for locking my bike to a Handicapped Parking sign in the parking lot. (If anyone ever tells me not to do so, I plan to respond that "I own the place" -- actually, I own about 0.000001% or so of HD. )

    Looks like you have collected some nice rides there, John E... cannot read them all... have any pics? Bike "porn" as it were...

  19. #19
    Alien lifeform
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    My local Kroger has a pretty nice bike rack. However, since christmas, it has looked like this. I've complained to the customer service desk several times, without any effect. I spoke to a manager who said he was "going to write a note to the manager responsible", but that he "couldn't tell another manager what to do".

    I am going to send in a complaint through the Kroger web site. I've had good experience with this in the past when complaining about the quality of the organic dairy and produce departments in the two Kroger stores in my area. I got phone calls within a couple of days, and a $25 gift card for my "inconvenience". It's going to be interesting to see what kind of response this one is going to get. And yes, I am going to send them the picture as well.
    Last edited by samundsen; 03-01-05 at 06:29 PM.

  20. #20
    misses the city
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    Always write to them. I used to get yelled at in my local grocery store because I took my bike in while running the deposit in for work. I always stayed out of people's way, and geez, it's smaller than a shopping cart!

    Anyway. I had people yell at me and I wrote via the website and was called and told that yes, it was fine to take my bike in and that they'd call that store to make sure that they knew that. I had a few cashiers tell me "You can't bring that in here," after that, and I'd reply, "Yes, I can. If you'd like to call your corporate office, I'd be happy to wait."

    Oddly enough, nobody ever took me up on it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member CPcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Next time U lock your bike to the hand rail right in front of the mall. See if you remain OBSCURE.

    Ahhh just take it in with you it is not like other wheeled vehicals don't go in to the mall.


    Note: It is much easier to go in to a store with my bike wearing shoes w/look cleats then it is to push a double stroller with 3 kids in a store.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    Probably reflects the unspoken belief that the only people who'd ride a bike to the mall are the guys running the deep fryers at the food court. But a customer? Inconceivable!
    That's actually the case at Santana Row, the expensive shopping place at Winchester and Stevens Creek Blvds in San Jose, Ca. The employees at most of the restaurants fill up the bike racks. They've got some beaters and some medium priced bikes.

  23. #23
    Alien lifeform
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    My wife got a call from the store manager this morning. He apologized profusely, and promised it would be cleaned up today. I'm going to stop by on my way home from work to see if that actually happens.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by samundsen
    My local Kroger has a pretty nice bike rack. However, since christmas, it has looked like this. I've complained to the customer service desk several times, without any effect. I spoke to a manager who said he was "going to write a note to the manager responsible", but that he "couldn't tell another manager what to do".

    I am going to send in a complaint through the Kroger web site. I've had good experience with this in the past when complaining about the quality of the organic dairy and produce departments in the two Kroger stores in my area. I got phone calls within a couple of days, and a $25 gift card for my "inconvenience". It's going to be interesting to see what kind of response this one is going to get. And yes, I am going to send them the picture as well.

    Wonderful.. A bike crook wouldn't need a crowbar to pop open your U-Lock since the store provides one!

    The bike rack at the neighborhood mall in my neck of the woods can be lifted off the ground! It's one of those old type of racks (wheel benders) with all the metal bars bented. There are wheels still attached to the rack and broken U-locks still on the floor. Now you know why I don't park there.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnagaoka
    Hey, our Performance bike shop here in Torrance (Southern California) doesn't even have a rack out front. (However, in the parking lot, I sure see a lot of racks on big SUV's. )
    Supergo in Santa Monica lets you bring your bike inside. What passes for the LBS over here has a decent bike rack inside the store as well, next to the register.

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