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  1. #1
    Snakebite gritface's Avatar
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    Walking your bike through stores?

    I will frequently ride my bike to the lbs and walk around with it while I shop. I haven't tried doing this at supermarkets or other stores. I'm absolutely afraid to lock up to something outside the store. Has anybody tried shopping at Safeway/Kroger/Albertsons with your bike?

    I did see a guy with his 5200 at the Apple store at the mall and he seemed to be left alone.

    I can see it being an issue if it's been raining or if you actually ride in the store.

    Does it work out or have you gotten busted? I can't imagine the risk is any worse than driving a cart around the store, especially the type with the plastic car for the kids attached to it.

  2. #2
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Have done it at the local Save on (a drug store) when standing in line to pick up a perscription... hey too bad they put the drug counter at the back of the store...

    Nobody said a thing.

  3. #3
    Rocketship Underpants Dwayne's Avatar
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    During college a lot of times I'd take my bike right into the classroom and put it against the wall at the back. Never got a comment from anyone, though I did become better friends with a professor who rode.

    I take it into my LBS all the time, but that's to be expected.

    I've taken it into the local mall and was promptly told by the mall rent-a-cop secutiry guy to go lock it up outside.

    I take it into the gym all the time, too, they don't mind. I just don't take it in if it's muddy.

  4. #4
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    It's not having the bike in the store that is the problem. The concern (and a big one) would be if a small child (or even a teenager) would run -and they often do- around a corner and slam smack into your bike and get hurt. There is also the possibility of the bike being damaged because of such an incident. The responsibility would be the store's. Not only does the store have to take care of the liability, they also get a $10,000 fine for any kind of accident involving bodily injury. A lot of customers will see that as an opportunity to sue. Sometimes a clerk would ask you to take the bike outside (especially if they see a lock on it) but if you explain that you will be careful and will be in and out quickly, they will usually allow you to do it as part of their customer service.

    By the way, the same result would occur if the kid ran into a cart, but explaining to the Safety yee-haws why a bike was there is a little more difficult. It would definitely be the store's "fault". Automatic lawsuit, automatic payment. But if a wild child was proven by video tape (that is on 24 hrs) that he ran into the GROCERY CART, then the results might be in the store's favor. But the $10,000 fine would still be applied.
    Last edited by Siu Blue Wind; 10-13-05 at 09:59 PM.

  5. #5
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I think it's damn presumptous to bring a bike inside a store. I think the same about non guide dogs.

    A bike shop is one place it's usually okay, but you walk around with it? That seems a more than a little obsessive. If I was a customer there at the same time i'd have a hard time not laughing.


    Somehow America has become the 'it's all about ME!!!' nation and it stinks.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 10-13-05 at 09:31 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lt.Gustl's Avatar
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    I tale my bicycle into grocery stores because it's easy since they have wide isles for carts, nobody has ever even looked at me funny, once I took my bicycle into a kmart to put air into a flat tire with one of the stores floor pumps in the sporting goods section, nobody seemed to care.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    I think it's damn presumptous to bring a bike inside a store. I think the same about non guide dogs.
    People don't generally ride their non-guide dogs to the store as transportation (though I'm happy to be proven wrong).

    That's the difference: a bike is transportation, and if a store doesn't provide a safe place to lock a bike up, then people wanting to bring their bikes in with them is part of the cost of doing business. Part of their lease for that land pays for safe, well-lit parking. If they don't have that, they lose customers, and if they're not willing to apply the same attitude towards their bicycle-riding customers, then that's their decision, but bicyclists are free to respond to that by shopping elsewhere, or asking to take their bike inside with them.

    I don't take my bike inside stores, but I can see why many would. Even losing a seat and seatpost could put you out a fairly large amount. Stem/bars/brifters? Yikes. It's definitely not the same as taking something which excretes various things, is an allergen to many, barks, and bites, into a store when you didn't exactly need it to get there.

  8. #8
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    I am actually curious how one would shop while walking their bike around the supermarket. It'd be a task to push a bike in one hand and a cart in the other. Or even shopping with a basket or a bag, I'd imagine one would have to repeatedly lean the bike up against something while they handle the products. And how would the check out process go? The checkout lanes nowadays are pretty small and people seem to always be hovering on top of one another. Do you hold onto your bike as you go through, or do you stash your bike first and then check out? If the store is dead empty, then having a bike probably wouldn't elicit much reaction, but if the store was crowded, I'd be hesitant to bring it in.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    I always ask if it's okay to bring my bike in if I feel the need. Most of the time I just lock it up outside. The only place that has ever said no is a bike shop. Go figure!

  10. #10
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    People who shop with bikes usually have some sort of pannier, back pack or basket. They load the stuff into such carriers, then upon checkout (which lanes are wide enough for electric wheelchairs) remove them to be paid for. Nobody would hassle someone loading their bags unless they have exited the door with no intent of paying.

  11. #11
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    When I had a full-size touring bike, I used to bring it into malls with me, slung over a shoulder a-la cyclo-cross. NEVER heard a complaint.

    Frankly, as long as I wasn't hurting anyone or damaging anything with it, I'm a paying customer - if you want my cash, you adapt to my wishes.

    These days, I ride a folding bike. I'll get pictures of it in the shopping cart at the grocery store and post them...

  12. #12
    Snakebite gritface's Avatar
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    OK, so I don't walk up and down aisles with the bike. You're right, that would look pretty strange given the size of most local bike stores. You could laugh at me at my expense.

    I spent a lot of money on my bike and letting it out of my sight is not acceptable to me. I also don't want to ride home to start up the car just to drive to the store.

    A bike in a supermarket is pretty close to the length of a shopping cart. And probably safer than the electromobiles.

    It sounds like the "all about me" that America has become is why one wouldn't be able to bring a bike in the store for reasons Siu Blue Wind mentioned.

    I see the non-guide dog issue a problem for people with animal allergies. I can't think of one for a bike.

    It also seems to be presumptuous to enter a drive-thru to order a latte or a McDonalds. For the reason that bikes in our culture don't belong there.

  13. #13
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    The bike shop I frequent has a sign ride on in...With bike thieves having the tools to quickly cut a chain, wish walking a bike within the store more common... With wide isles what does it hurt.? As to dogs in stores...Love the French..Once within a French grocery store..Was initially shocked to hear dogs barking at one another..

  14. #14
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    I walk my bike into my local Bank of America twice a week.
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  15. #15
    Just a student norsehabanero's Avatar
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    some banks wont let me ride through thier drive through so i just bring my bike inside,
    i have seen several people with bikes walking through stores, one a older guy around in his late 70's with and old scwhinn cruiser with a basket on front going through the store its not that odd

  16. #16
    So say we all.
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    It's odd, you'd think Austin would be better for it, but every time I've stopped in a convenience store for a quick gatorade refill I've been chased out. "No Bikes!"

    If you're keeping score, the gas station on Barton Springs Dr. right outside of Zilker was particularly nasty about it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Placid Casual's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    I think it's damn presumptous to bring a bike inside a store. I think the same about non guide dogs.

    A bike shop is one place it's usually okay, but you walk around with it? That seems a more than a little obsessive. If I was a customer there at the same time i'd have a hard time not laughing.


    Somehow America has become the 'it's all about ME!!!' nation and it stinks.
    Ohhh...kaaaayyy....

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    While riding the bike trail, many times I stop at a couple of different local pubs for a cold one. Since it is usually early afternoon, the pubs aren't crowded. They welcome me to bring my bike inside. At a $1.00 a draft, it's hard to pass up.

  19. #19
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    If there is no feasible place to lock a bike in the front of a store, it's going in with me. If they complain, I'll take my business elsewhere and let them know how they can regain it.

  20. #20
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Maybe I've forgotten the 70's but NOBODY would have brought either a bike or a dog into a store unless they were incredibly self absorbed.

    What changed?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    Maybe I've forgotten the 70's but NOBODY would have brought either a bike or a dog into a store unless they were incredibly self absorbed.

    What changed?

    The incredibly self absorbed b@$#@&* who thinks just because my bike is sitting outside locked up with care is free for the picking just because i failed to hire a security guard to keep an eye on it while i was inside doing my daily errands....

  22. #22
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    Maybe I've forgotten the 70's but NOBODY would have brought either a bike or a dog into a store unless they were incredibly self absorbed.

    What changed?
    I agree with you on this one. Here's what I do for bicycling advocacy:
    I ride my bike in traffic. I practice common sense rules of the road and get from point A to B without pissing off any motorists,(hopefully.) When I stop, I bring a lock to lock my bike up. Since there is maybe one bike rack in Chattanooga, I've become adept at locking my bike to other things. Generally, any secure structure that your lock will fit around will do. Sometimes, I bring my bike into large grocery stores with me, since it's no bigger than a shopping cart. If someone asks me to take it outside, I don't find that offensive, and I've always got my trusty lock.
    See, the problem is, everyone seems to consider themselves the Rosa Parks or Mahatma Ghandi of cycling advocacy, getting all melodramatic and childish about being asked to leave places that get too crowded for bikes, and really being presumptuous about bringing them in in the first place, when that's what Kryptonite locks are for. If you want to change the world, just ride your bike with a smile, don't become this sour, super-martyr over nothing. Oh, I've got a dog, too, and he only comes in places where he's welcome. Petsmart and the vet love having him in their building, but I don't expect everyone else to. Now go ahead and accuse me of hating bikes and dogs, I've said my piece.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  23. #23
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    bouncy bouncy...ditto. There have been too many who have had bikes stolen even with locks on. What does it hurt. Not like we ride our bikes down the isles injuring their customers. WIsh we were more like Europeans.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion Steve
    While riding the bike trail, many times I stop at a couple of different local pubs for a cold one. Since it is usually early afternoon, the pubs aren't crowded. They welcome me to bring my bike inside. At a $1.00 a draft, it's hard to pass up.
    Where do you pay $1.00/draft? I would be drunk 24/7.

  25. #25
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    As owner of a couple of small businesses, I welcome my customers to bring their bikes in.
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