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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 10-12-10, 12:13 PM   #1
MJH
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Drive-up banking and other problems

I'm very, very far from car-free or even car-lite, but I'm trying to do what I can.

Today, I rolled up to the credit union drive-through and was told I would have to come inside. I said I would be bringing my bike in as they had no bike rack. I was told to leave it just inside by the door. I brought it through both sets of doors and propped it up where I thought was best for me, but out of the way. I did my banking and was going out the door. I looked over at 2 bank officers, one of whom I know is the branch manager and got, at least what I perceived, a very dirty look. I just smiled and said 'Hi" and left.

As I do this more and more, what other unfair situations should I anticipate? How might I handle different things? If there are threads you can suggest for me to read, I would appreciate it.

Thanks.
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Old 10-12-10, 12:30 PM   #2
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You did just the right thing..

If you wanted to be more "proactive" you could get on the bank about installing a rack...
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Old 10-12-10, 01:45 PM   #3
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My local branch has no problem with me bringing my bike in.

If you could do anything, just return that "percieved" dirty look with a big smile and a happy hello. Be nice to the tellers. The bike makes you easy for them to remember.

A few times and they will get to know you. And with bankers' you never know what may have happened just before you were there that might have given them a temporary bad attitude.
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Old 10-12-10, 02:39 PM   #4
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You know is it me or what I don't see any problem with riding up to a drive Thur and taking car of business just as if your in a car.
I mean they still have cameras and after all it is a drive Thur right ????
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Old 10-12-10, 03:05 PM   #5
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I have no issues using the drive throughs at my local businesses, under Maine law, cyclists are allowed to use drive throughs (at their own risk).
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Old 10-12-10, 03:43 PM   #6
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I'm very, very far from car-free or even car-lite, but I'm trying to do what I can.

Today, I rolled up to the credit union drive-through and was told I would have to come inside. I said I would be bringing my bike in as they had no bike rack. I was told to leave it just inside by the door. I brought it through both sets of doors and propped it up where I thought was best for me, but out of the way. I did my banking and was going out the door. I looked over at 2 bank officers, one of whom I know is the branch manager and got, at least what I perceived, a very dirty look. I just smiled and said 'Hi" and left.

As I do this more and more, what other unfair situations should I anticipate? How might I handle different things? If there are threads you can suggest for me to read, I would appreciate it.

Thanks.
Very few of the places I have gone to shop or bank have a bike rack, but I always carry a lock and find a pole or something to lock it too. I think this approach would be a whole lot less stressful to everyone involved.
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Old 10-12-10, 04:01 PM   #7
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Reminds me of the time I brought my bike in a grocery back in OH. It was a cold winter night and I was one of the only people in the store (24hr grocery).
The bike rack had a pallet of driveway salt sitting in front of it, so I just wheeled my bike with me to get a couple of things. No one said anything to me, but I had two employees follow me up and down the three aisles I had to visit. As I remember, I was kind of hoping they would have said something. I was a very grumpy person when I lived there.
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Old 10-12-10, 04:31 PM   #8
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I would ask the manager to review the drive-thru policy. It's no more dangerous to use the drive-thru than it is to ride up to the lobby entrance. Also inform them if you're aware of other businesses in the area that allow bikes in drive-thrus. If the drive-thru has longer hours than the lobby, you can point out that cyclists are getting inferior service, which seems unfair. Appealing to the credit union board is another possibility.

I agree with Baboo about the practicality of a long cable lock or chain lock. You can find a lot of things to lock to with a longer lock. In the long run this might be less stressful than arguing with every business owner who doesn't provide a rack or drive-thru access.
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Old 10-12-10, 07:12 PM   #9
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You did just the right thing..

If you wanted to be more "proactive" you could get on the bank about installing a rack...
Exactly!
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Old 10-12-10, 07:24 PM   #10
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Just bike where you want to go and lock your bike outside the place. Don't bring it inside unless you're invited to do so. You'll soon earn a lot of respect and if they see you're a regular customer, they may eventually set up bike racks.

If you insist it's your right to take your bike into a business, you'll get a reputation you won't want.
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Old 10-12-10, 10:21 PM   #11
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I simply use the bank drive through. I had one teller tell me the drive through was not for 'walk ups'. I informed her that the sign said 'vehicles only' and that I was on a vehicle (My bicycle)! The allow motorcycles and even dirt bikes without question, so why not bicycles!
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Old 10-12-10, 10:39 PM   #12
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I'd look around town to see if there is another banking facility that will accept bicycles at a their drive-up.

I really haven't had to deal with the issue of being turned down at a bank drive-up since all of our local banking facilities have automated their drive-ups many years ago, and ATM's cannot make biased decisions on one's mode of transportation.
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Old 10-12-10, 11:25 PM   #13
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With any issue surrounding car-free or car-light living, it's important to pick your battles. Some are more important than others and some have better odds than others.
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Old 10-12-10, 11:39 PM   #14
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I usually ask nicely before I bring my bike indoors and have never been refused. Maybe it's because I look like the governator and they think if they tell me no my then "I'll be back". Of course it could also be that Eugene, OR is a notorious hotbed of bike theft (and other annoying crime) and most employees in the downtown recognize that customers will take their business elsewhere if they risk being ripped off unnecessarily.
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Old 10-13-10, 02:52 PM   #15
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Just bike where you want to go and lock your bike outside the place. Don't bring it inside unless you're invited to do so. You'll soon earn a lot of respect and if they see you're a regular customer, they may eventually set up bike racks.

If you insist it's your right to take your bike into a business, you'll get a reputation you won't want.
But what if there is absolutely nothing to lock the bike up to within a reasonable distance of the place? One clothing store in a big-box-hell-strip mall the best I found to lock up to was a sidewalk rack of clothing. They probably weren't amused at that although noone said anything. I picked winter coats on a warm sunny day figuring nobody would be trying on the coats. Another place I wanted to go to in box stripmall hell I skipped entirely as I didn't see anywhere reasonable to leave the bike and I didn't feel like walking across miles of parking lot. Parking lot seas often have literally nothing to lock a bicycle to.
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Old 10-13-10, 03:45 PM   #16
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But what if there is absolutely nothing to lock the bike up to within a reasonable distance of the place? One clothing store in a big-box-hell-strip mall the best I found to lock up to was a sidewalk rack of clothing. They probably weren't amused at that although noone said anything. I picked winter coats on a warm sunny day figuring nobody would be trying on the coats. Another place I wanted to go to in box stripmall hell I skipped entirely as I didn't see anywhere reasonable to leave the bike and I didn't feel like walking across miles of parking lot. Parking lot seas often have literally nothing to lock a bicycle to.
Are there any parking meters, No Parking signs or light standards around? If not, is there a railing behind the store, near the loading dock, where you might be able to lock up?
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Old 10-13-10, 04:01 PM   #17
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I've been refused drive-through service on motorcycles too, and no one can pretend those are not vehicles. Apparently business owners (or maybe their insurance companies) are somehow convinced that sitting at a drive-though window is so dangerous that you need to be surrounded by a steel cage.
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Old 10-13-10, 04:05 PM   #18
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But what if there is absolutely nothing to lock the bike up to within a reasonable distance of the place? One clothing store in a big-box-hell-strip mall the best I found to lock up to was a sidewalk rack of clothing. They probably weren't amused at that although noone said anything. I picked winter coats on a warm sunny day figuring nobody would be trying on the coats. Another place I wanted to go to in box stripmall hell I skipped entirely as I didn't see anywhere reasonable to leave the bike and I didn't feel like walking across miles of parking lot. Parking lot seas often have literally nothing to lock a bicycle to.
Almost every parking lot has light poles, which are great for locking. The steel racks for cart corrals are also good--except it's possible your bike could get scratched if somebody carelessly rolls a cart into the corral.

I wonder--do you use a U-lock? These are much less versatile than the cable-type locks. You can wrap a cable lock around almost anything--poles, trees, railings, even a sewer grate!
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Old 10-13-10, 06:00 PM   #19
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Almost every parking lot has light poles, which are great for locking. The steel racks for cart corrals are also good--except it's possible your bike could get scratched if somebody carelessly rolls a cart into the corral.

I wonder--do you use a U-lock? These are much less versatile than the cable-type locks. You can wrap a cable lock around almost anything--poles, trees, railings, even a sewer grate!
I need to post pictures of the cart corrals at my local shopping center...there is NO WAY that I would lock a bike too it, scary part is they had to drive on the road to get to the shopping center. I have used Handicapped signs on more than one occasion to lock to. I think we need to fight for zoning laws to force shopping centers to provide some form of parking for cyclists. One parking space with bollards and racks can hold close to a dozen bicycles.


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Old 10-13-10, 06:24 PM   #20
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I go through the drive-thru on my bike all the time. One time the teller asked if I needed a car loan. I thanked her and told her I was all set.
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Old 10-13-10, 09:16 PM   #21
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.....One time the teller asked if I needed a car loan......


I had a similar scenario, this banking facility did not have a drive-up, but it did not stop one of the tellers from mailing a very nice hand written letter telling me that I was pre approved for a $40,000 auto loan. I'm sure she didn't realize that the only reason that I had such good credit and a fat bank account, was that I wasn't paying for a $40,000 vehicle.
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Old 10-13-10, 10:14 PM   #22
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No issues on the drive-throughs on my bike I've been doing this for years. Hang in there you are doing everything right.
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Old 10-14-10, 02:56 AM   #23
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Just bike where you want to go and lock your bike outside the place. Don't bring it inside unless you're invited to do so. You'll soon earn a lot of respect and if they see you're a regular customer, they may eventually set up bike racks.

If you insist it's your right to take your bike into a business, you'll get a reputation you won't want.
I would never make a stink about having a right to bring it in, but... I always walk in and act as if I assume it's o.k. It's very unusual for anyone to try to stop me, though they might give a sideways look. I just smile and act friendly, and they usually accept it.

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Are there any parking meters, No Parking signs or light standards around? If not, is there a railing behind the store, near the loading dock, where you might be able to lock up?
Yikes! If I do lock up outside, I want high visibility, preferably right in front of the main entrance. A tree on the grass island in the parking lot, a handrail leading to the front door, a bike rack if it is sturdy and positioned for visibility... anywhere but the loading dock!
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Old 10-14-10, 11:29 AM   #24
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Mine recently told me due to a bank robbery via bike that they wouldn't allow me to bike through the drive thru. Really silly, according to the news the robbery was commited inside then the crook took off via bike not the drive thru. I would expect they eventually they will figure out a way to fee us on this. Really the only other minor annoyance I have with being carfree is the check your bag at the cashier in the store with no way of identifying my bag to me. Whish they would do it like a coat check and give you a ticket so no one walks off with my bag. I am thinking about printing a picture of myself to my bag just so there will no confusion on returning my bag to me.
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Old 10-14-10, 11:52 AM   #25
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Mine recently told me due to a bank robbery via bike that they wouldn't allow me to bike through the drive thru. Really silly,....
Sometimes I wonder what goes through the mind of most banking facility hierarchy.

I'd look around to see if other banking facilities allow bicycles through their drive-up.
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