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Old 02-08-06, 12:08 PM   #1
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Bike rack usage

I had to run into an office yesterday. There were some benches and handrails in front that would have been very acceptable spots to lock a bike. But there was also a very nice dedicated bicycle rack in the covered parking deck across the street. Walking across the street to the rack would have taken an extra 3-4 minutes and I was only planning on being at the building for 10-15. This raised an etiquette question: if the company is kind enough to provide good bike parking, should we go out of our way to use it?
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Old 02-08-06, 12:24 PM   #2
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i give it a "maybe, have to see it" answer. it depends where a "good" bike rack is. a covered parking deck sounds dark and potential theft target. (maybe it's not in this case)

big metal hand rails right near a front door that are cemented into the ground are excellent security, and a less visible choice for theft.
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Old 02-08-06, 03:30 PM   #3
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I would say that unless you have serious reasons to fear theft from the garage or fears for your personal safety in the garage I would use the rack. The more often racks are used -- even by one biker -- the harder it is for someone to argue that the space is wasted and have the racks ripped out. Obviously if the theft or the assault risk is high then right in front of the door is your best bet.
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Old 02-08-06, 03:33 PM   #4
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Use the rack provided when it's reasonably useful. After all, you can't park a car next to the handrail either, can you?
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Old 02-08-06, 03:36 PM   #5
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I've heard cyclists complain if racks are too far from where they want to shop, etc. In that instance, I can't see crying about it. In your case, however, I think it depends on how much of a hurry you were in. Chances are that nobody would notice your bike in either location if it was just there for 10 or 15 minutes. If you worked in that building every day all day and the covered rack was safe, use it.
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Old 02-08-06, 03:56 PM   #6
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As long as its a decent rack. I often ignore the local bike racks because most of them are curb high cement blocks with slots for wheels and a small steel loop to lock to. I can't use my U-lock bacause it too short to reach between the loop and the frame and my cable lock won't fit through the loop. Given a chioce I lock to hand rails, benches or gas meters.
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Old 02-08-06, 05:14 PM   #7
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One other key factor--are you there to do them a favor, or are you seeking a favor from them? If your company is trying to convince them to do business, you should use the rack.
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