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Old 07-28-08, 10:31 PM   #1
mjw
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Folding bikes "unsanitary"?

Today at the local grocery store I place my folder into the cart as usual and pull the cart around the store as I shop.

I have some friendly conversation with the checkout guy- He's apparently a bike guy and commented that
mine was the second folder in the past hour that had come in to the store.

Anyway the store clerk comes over and says (I'm paraphrasing) "I'm kind of embarrassed to say this, but another customer has complained about your bike"

Me: ???

Clerk: The customer has said that the carts are for food and putting a bike in it would make it unsanitary. Next time, we'd be happy to keep your bike in the manager's room while you shop.

Seeing as I couldn't confront the complainant and really the manager was just stuck in the middle, I just said "ok" incredulously and left. Not sure that arguing would have done anything so I figured leaving was the best option. My bike with internal hub is very clean other than some dry road dust on the tires- no more dust than would be tracked in by, say, someone's shoes.

Hopefully I'll be getting some ikea bags soon for situations like this but what chutzpah of someone to complain!
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Old 07-28-08, 10:36 PM   #2
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My bike with internal hub is very clean other than some dry road dust on the tires- no more dust than would be tracked in by, say, someone's shoes.
The customer did have a point. Even though you say your tires had no more dirt than shoes, people don't step all over the inside of the carts with shoes, so the comparison isn't very relevant. I'm sure having the bike in a bag would be more than enough to satisfy the concerns of the complainant, unless that person was just jealous.
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Old 07-28-08, 11:00 PM   #3
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Bet your bike is cleaner than the average 8 year old... Maybe we should bag them, too.
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Old 07-28-08, 11:07 PM   #4
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I haven't thought of this angle before, but I also think the complainant had a point. Having said that there are items in our store which are even dirtier, such as bags of charcoal for the Weber. Not to mention the soil on some potatoes.
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Old 07-28-08, 11:45 PM   #5
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bring a blacklight next time. Think of all the unseemly bacteria you could find.
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Old 07-28-08, 11:47 PM   #6
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Bet your bike is cleaner than the average 8 year old... Maybe we should bag them, too.
+1
having to push a cart while checking for said 8 year old's leftover booger-balls is more my personal issue than a little road grease, but I suppose we all have our hangups.

Sanitary? I don't know if there is such a thing at grocery stores. That's why they have bags for produce.
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Old 07-28-08, 11:49 PM   #7
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I worked retail throughout college and there was a regular who would put his folding bike on the bottom of the cart. One day, another customer complained, and just like in the op's situation, we offered to keep the bike in the manager's office. The customer was understanding and knew where we were coming from.

What happens even more often is that people will bring their small dog and put them in the basket part of the cart or in the child seat. Then, the next customer might put their in the that same cart. That is far worse than a bike on the bottom of the cart. Carts are definitely dirty, but we did get them power washed every month.

I've been meaning to pick up an ikea bag myself. Although I really have no excuse since I pass by one every day on my commute to work. Now, I have been inspired to go tomorrow!
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Old 07-29-08, 12:43 AM   #8
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Why not just lock it up outside? I realize the obvious advantage of folders but we don't have to fold it up at every single opportunity. Did you feel like it was dangerous to leave it outside?
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Old 07-29-08, 01:33 AM   #9
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Why not just lock it up outside? I realize the obvious advantage of folders but we don't have to fold it up at every single opportunity. Did you feel like it was dangerous to leave it outside?
Please. If you have a nice folder we welcome you to London to lock it up outside a supermarket

I can think of a few US cities that I wouldn't wish to do so either. I say bag the bike for supermarket runs. For example even the Brompton has a handy saddle cover.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:43 AM   #10
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Arent mostly all foods packaged? and if they were not, say... carrots dont most people wash them before preparing them? and its the same with lettuce.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:46 AM   #11
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Bag?
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Old 07-29-08, 01:58 AM   #12
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I wouldn't put Snafu21's Dahon Matrix in a supermarket trolley after one of her country runs lol!
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Old 07-29-08, 02:50 AM   #13
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Please. If you have a nice folder we welcome you to London to lock it up outside a supermarket

I can think of a few US cities that I wouldn't wish to do so either. I say bag the bike for supermarket runs. For example even the Brompton has a handy saddle cover.
Yeah, no doubt some places are shady--that's why I asked the OP if he felt the area was dangerous or something. I just wonder if sometimes the novelty of folding outweighs it's practicality. Personally, I try to respect what I feel are "normal" expectations of myself and others for establishments such as restaurants, banks, stores, etc. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:52 AM   #14
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Yeah, no doubt some places are shady--that's why I asked the OP if he felt the area was dangerous or something. I just wonder if sometimes the novelty of folding outweighs it's practicality. Personally, I try to respect what I feel are "normal" expectations of myself and others for establishments such as restaurants, banks, stores, etc. Just my 2 cents.
For sure you are right. With some folders they are fine for packing and stowing but invasive in other situations. I don't get that with the Brompton though and I'm allowed in most pubs and restaurants. something I couldn't quite do with my Downtube as nice a bike as it is!
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Old 07-29-08, 07:31 AM   #15
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I agree with the others that while, yes, the tires are unsanitary, so are children's clothing/shoes and charcoal.
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Old 07-29-08, 08:30 AM   #16
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I cringe when I see children sitting in a supermarket trolley so I think the person who complained had a point and it was good of the manager to say you could leave the bike in his office. As I run the risk of having dog poo or anything on my groceries from the bottom of shoes I always use a basket when shopping which is ok as I shop little and often. I know the baskets aren't always clean but you don't see parents carrying their children around in them
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Old 07-29-08, 10:22 AM   #17
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actually the charcoal bothers me the least..... lol
A good way is to have a regular leaf trash bag ,,, put the bike in and store it at the bottom of the cart..... make sure you let the cashier look into the bag when you check out..... than roll up the bag , but it into the saddle bag and off you go...

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Old 07-29-08, 11:06 AM   #18
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Why not just your bike as the shopping cart and load goods directly into your baskets?
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Old 07-29-08, 11:25 AM   #19
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Just carry a bag for the folder. It'll keep the squished peaches or whatever was left in the bottom of the cart off your bike.
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Old 07-29-08, 11:26 AM   #20
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Why not just your bike as the shopping cart and load goods directly into your baskets?
Not all folders stand stably enough while folded to support heavy and possibly unbalanced loads of groceries. I assure you that having your "cart" tip over, dumping all your groceries all over the floor while on the checkout line is very embarrassing.
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Old 07-29-08, 11:48 AM   #21
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I wouldnt want road dirt on my new purchases.

but its not just dust on the tyres
theres dog dirt too.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:11 PM   #22
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I could see obliging the request if there were more than one complaint, or if the bike were visibly dirty. But for the store to bend to the will of one, come on. We live in a society here. I am much more grossed out by the morbidly obese shoppers ferrying themselves about in those motorized carts, yuck. Probably a much bigger issue on this side of the pond.


Nothing is worse than a fat sweaty American running over your toe to get to the last bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:18 PM   #23
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good point gdh
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Old 07-29-08, 01:36 PM   #24
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I could see obliging the request if there were more than one complaint, or if the bike were visibly dirty. But for the store to bend to the will of one, come on. We live in a society here. I am much more grossed out by the morbidly obese shoppers ferrying themselves about in those motorized carts, yuck. Probably a much bigger issue on this side of the pond.


Nothing is worse than a fat sweaty American running over your toe to get to the last bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.
Excuse me I happen to be a fat and obese person and take great offence to the fatist comment you just made.

I'd like to sit all my 342 pounds on your folding bike and flatten it.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:58 PM   #25
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I wouldn't sit on my bike if I knew where it had been.
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