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Bringing Bike in Stores

Old 05-31-05, 12:44 PM
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Bringing Bike in Stores

As I get closer to day that I sell my car and souly depend on my bike for my personal transportation, I am understandably using my bike more often then ever before to prepare myself for that glorious day

But I have a question . . . would it be unethical to bring my bike into a store? I do have a U-lock and a long wire lock, which I use when needed. But, sometimes I wonder if it would be so wrong to bring my bike into a store (having it at my side) to just pick up something really quick without the hassle of locking up my bike outside (& carrying a lock). Like for example at a home improvement store or maybe even a grocery store What do you think? Like I mentioned earlier, this would only be for quick one or two item kinda shopping trips.
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Old 05-31-05, 12:50 PM
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I've done it before at stores and businesses that don't provide bike parking (like the local supermarket and Staples Office Supply). No one has said anything yet. If they ever do, I'll just head for the door and take my business (and my $$$) elsewhere.
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Old 05-31-05, 12:55 PM
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I see it all the time. Even though there are bike racks outside of the local supermarket many people leave their bike in between the sliding glass doors. From time to time I bring my bike into a store slung over my shoulder. If it's not messing up their floor what can they say?
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Old 05-31-05, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH
I've done it before at stores and businesses that don't provide bike parking (like the local supermarket and Staples Office Supply). No one has said anything yet. If they ever do, I'll just head for the door and take my business (and my $$$) elsewhere.

I like your way of thinking
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Old 05-31-05, 01:03 PM
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Unethical? Hell no. I consider it rude to leave my bicycle outside. Stores that don't appreciate my priorities obviously don't want my business.
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Old 05-31-05, 01:32 PM
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Do it, but be prepared to have grocers and storekeepers try to kick you out. I have been kicked out of stores wearing rollerblades. About 80% of the shops around here would give me the boot.

Honestly I find it kind of annoying if I'm shopping and there's a guy with a bicycle in the aisle. Of course I live in the city and things are very congested here and a guy with a bike at his side is way too big to fit down the aisles with all the carts and people milling about, it might not be that way where you live.
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Old 05-31-05, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Monument Man
Do it, but be prepared to have grocers and storekeepers try to kick you out. I have been kicked out of stores wearing rollerblades. About 80% of the shops around here would give me the boot.

Honestly I find it kind of annoying if I'm shopping and there's a guy with a bicycle in the aisle. Of course I live in the city and things are very congested here and a guy with a bike at his side is way too big to fit down the aisles with all the carts and people milling about, it might not be that way where you live.
I live in Los Angeles BTW . . . and although L.A. is known for its fast pace lifestyle I imagine that people wouldn't take to much offense to it. Just after starting this thread I went to Home-Depot (Home Improvement Store) to test the waters. I figured it would be a good place to start since, large carts full of lumber are common throughout the store. I did get a few looks from both employees and fellow customers, but none of them seemed mean (more along the lines of curious) Even as I walked out the store, I was told "Have a nice day" by a employee

Oh, I forgot to mention this about grocery stores . . . since a bike is not much different in size than a shopping cart, I figure it shouldn't cause much chaos in the aisles



So, I figure Bringing a Bike into a store is "Ethical"
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Old 05-31-05, 02:00 PM
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My perscriptions are at a store that I ride to usually at lunch. I don't carry a lock and so I take my bike in with me. Never have they said a word. They know me as a regular customer and don't interfere. Besides if anybody says anything to me in a store, I just explain that I don't carry a lock and need to keep the bike with me. I also agree that it isn't any worse than a shopping cart.
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Old 05-31-05, 02:01 PM
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I needed to pick up some things at the supermarket this weekend, but I had forgotten my lock. I just wheeled my bike around and picked up what I needed. i got a few stares, but really, what's the difference between a bike a shopping cart? I don't think bringing your bike into Home Depot would be an issue either.

Like an earlier poster, when I lived in Redmond, WA I would often walk my bike into any store that didn't have bike parking - such as the Office Depot nearby my apartment. Some places, however, are too nice. Like any place with carpet - I feel weird about that...
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Old 05-31-05, 02:20 PM
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"Some places, however, are too nice. Like any place with carpet - I feel weird about that..." ---DerekU2

I know what you mean about it seeming wierd, but if you think about it... the bottom of your shoe should be just as dirty/messy as your bike's tires

But, I still hope that I don't have to walk into a store with carpet
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Old 05-31-05, 02:35 PM
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I would try asking first.

Some places may not want you too because of Insurance lssues, that is the reason they do not allow skateboars and rollerblades in most places.

If you explain why you want to bring it in, they may be cool and allow it or provide for a spot inside you can leave it while you shop.
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Old 05-31-05, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Mehow
"Some places, however, are too nice. Like any place with carpet - I feel weird about that..." ---DerekU2

I know what you mean about it seeming wierd, but if you think about it... the bottom of your shoe should be just as dirty/messy as your bike's tires

But, I still hope that I don't have to walk into a store with carpet
Well yes and no... you can wipe your feet on a mat if so required, and if not, the foot print left behind is not a double track continuous line... which is strange.

Really, if it comes down to it, I carry the bike.
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Old 05-31-05, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb
I would try asking first.

Some places may not want you too because of Insurance lssues, that is the reason they do not allow skateboars and rollerblades in most places.

If you explain why you want to bring it in, they may be cool and allow it or provide for a spot inside you can leave it while you shop.
I should take my shoes off as well the especially if they just waxed, cleats have less traction then my scocks.
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Old 05-31-05, 03:38 PM
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I worked in a liquor store once that had rows of wine bottles on display at the front of the store. We insisted that customers leave bikes outside, and remove roller blades while in the store. We did it to protect them from the hundreds of dollars worth of damage that could result should they or their bike fall into a display (you break it you buy it signs were also posted around the store). To be honest I don't see what is that rude about a store asking you to leave your bike outside (provided there is reasonable access to parking meters or bike racks).
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Old 05-31-05, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bike2math
I worked in a liquor store once that had rows of wine bottles on display at the front of the store. We insisted that customers leave bikes outside, and remove roller blades while in the store. We did it to protect them from the hundreds of dollars worth of damage that could result should they or their bike fall into a display (you break it you buy it signs were also posted around the store).
The policy was designed just to protect people against themselves? To be consistent, this liquor store would also prohibit shoppers with casted arms or legs, or using crutches, canes, walkers and wheelchairs (if the displays are so close and aisles so narrow that a bike would cause stability problems, then a wheelchair or walker--leaving only a limited ability to avoid bottle displays, while moving between shelves so high that those shoppers would have to lean out of the chair or walker to pick up merchandise--would also be more likely to cause hundreds of dollars worth of damage)?

Not to overlook other mobility-enabling vehicles, such as Segway (increasingly used by seniors and formerly wheelchair-bound persons).

And doubtless parents with strollers (and the grasping arms of the toddlers inside) and youngsters not on short tether need to be protected against the hundreds of dollars worth of damage that could result?

I remain unconvinced that bike commuters--out of all shoppers with limited maneouverability--are uniquely unable to responsibly handle their mobility choices.
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Old 05-31-05, 07:21 PM
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Unethical? nope. Improper? I think so. Bikes, dogs and horses should all stay outside. A person with a bike or a dog(that's not a guide-service dog) in a store shows a type of self-centered indifference I find disgusting.

Better for the Urban cyclist to be prepared to lock their bike up anywhere, anytime. They make lightweight locks for these quick type of trips, light enough for a jersey pocket. You can even get a lock that attaches to your bike frame!
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Old 05-31-05, 07:37 PM
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I would consider it rude to bring a bike into a store without first asking permission. Not everyone shares your love of cycling. Most employees probably don't see the similarities between a bicycle and a shopping cart but probably don't know whether to say anything to a cyclist who wheels his bike around the store.

Do you also plan to take your bike into restaurants? Into movie theaters? Into the doctor's office?

Be considerate and lock up the bike outside. It's OK. The bike doesn't mind.
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Old 05-31-05, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
Unethical? nope. Improper? I think so. Bikes, dogs and horses should all stay outside. A person with a bike or a dog(that's not a guide-service dog) in a store shows a type of self-centered indifference I find disgusting.

Better for the Urban cyclist to be prepared to lock their bike up anywhere, anytime. They make lightweight locks for these quick type of trips, light enough for a jersey pocket. You can even get a lock that attaches to your bike frame!
I don't mean to start an argument, but a dog (that's not a guide-service dog) or a horse is simply unsanitary . . . I don't understand why someone would put a bike (A non-living object) into the same group . . . a bike is far more similar to a grocery cart than a self-minded dog or horse. IMHO
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Old 05-31-05, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by supcom

Do you also plan to take your bike into restaurants? Into movie theaters? Into the doctor's office?

As I stated in the first post, I would only use this method for quick "one or two item" shopping trips. If I was to do the weeks grocery shopping, I would of coarse lock my bike outside. I hope that clears up my intentions.
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Old 05-31-05, 07:53 PM
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I'd be okay with the idea, but I cringed when you typed home improvement store. No matter how careful people are, I still get a mental image of a 2X4 accidentally colliding with my spokes. I've almost been run over by hand carts in those stores.
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Old 05-31-05, 07:55 PM
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Bike in doctor's office???
You bet! Have a friend who is a heart specialist that rides his bike to his fancy office and parks it inside in full view. He tells people to exercise and points to his bike sitting in the office . . .
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Old 05-31-05, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mehow
I don't mean to start an argument, but a dog (that's not a guide-service dog) or a horse is simply unsanitary . . . I don't understand why someone would put a bike (A non-living object) into the same group . . . a bike is far more similar to a grocery cart than a self-minded dog or horse. IMHO
A bike is also similar to a motorcycle. Look at it from the store owners perspective. although we all know that your bike is kept immaculately clean, the store owner probably remembers his childhood when he rode a bike with oil dripping off the chain and mud clinging to the tires and frame. He knows that his grocery carts aren't ridden through the muck and mire and even if they were, they have tiny little wheels that don't bang into the merchandise leaving a tire imprint on the Oranges. He has to be concerned about the (nonexistant) grease getting on the floor and causing Mrs. Hornesby to slip and break her hip.

We know that you treat your bike like the Crown Jewels and would never allow anything to touch it. But the store owner is concerned that you will set it aside while you are squeezing the Charmin and it will fall over on Mrs. Hornesby getting grease on her dress and maybe causing her to fall into those Oranges with the tire imprints.

Even if non of these calamities occur, the chances are pretty good that eventually Mrs. Hornesby will complain to the store owner and put him in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between your business and hers.

Even if it weren't a problem, tending to the bike while shopping is a pain in the rear. You have to hold onto it leaving only one hand to manage your items and checkout. Why bother when you can simply Ulock the bike to a pole.
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Old 05-31-05, 08:09 PM
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Ultimately, it's the store's property, and they can decide if they want to allow you to bring a bike inside or not... and you can decide if you want to frequent (or not frequent) their business based on their bike-friendly (or unfriendly) policies. Personally, I rarely bring my bike into stores, and carry a lock most of the time. There have been exceptions, so this is not a hard and fast rule.

I do bring my bicycle trailer into the grocery store and use it as a cart. The employees seem to get a real kick out of it. If they refused access to the trailer, I would not use the store. But everyone likes it.
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Old 05-31-05, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
Unethical? nope. Improper? I think so. Bikes, dogs and horses should all stay outside. A person with a bike or a dog(that's not a guide-service dog) in a store shows a type of self-centered indifference I find disgusting.
--- I am still testing the waters here. I will bring my bike indoors IF there is not safer outside parking and IF there is room to park it inside that is out of the way of employees and other customers and IF it is a short visit.
And I make an effort to park my bike unobtrusively.
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Old 05-31-05, 08:52 PM
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i'm relatively new to this forum so from an outsiders point of view i find this discussion hilarious. i can't believe its even being debated, i would never dream of taking my bike into a store, and if i ever saw someone wheeling their bike around looking for a jar of mayo i would think to myself, what the hell is that guy on, he forgot to leave his bike outside.
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