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Lack of Bike Parking!

Old 06-26-21, 07:25 PM
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MacMorrighan
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Lack of Bike Parking!

Hey guys, I plan to return to college to pursue my master's degree in vocal pedagogy and give singing lessons. Anyhow, I'll be moving from Iowa to southern Illinois, and the college I plan to start at has absolutely no bike parking infrastructure since I plan to commute back and forth from my apartment to the college and performing other errands, etc. I asked the Registrar's Office and Administration about this, and the only work around they could think of would be to strap my bike to a light post in the parking lot. But...that seems like it's asking someone to screw with it, because many college students still behave like children rather than adults! Also, I'd have to get special permission from the Security Department before doing so; and they could always reject the offer. What should I do, then? Honestly, I'm shocked that colleges don't simply buy a bike rack for potential students to use. I swear the last community college I attended had a bike rack! (A student from the dorm biked everywhere he went, and be had a booty to prove it!). What I found upsetting is that the college I'll be attending kept telling me over and over again that the school is not responsible for damaged or stollen property on campus property!

Another question is, what should I do when I need to park at a big box store for groceries (like Wal-Mart), or I want to see a movie at a movie theatre without any discernible bike racks of any kind and my bike might be out of sight for an hour or more?
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Old 06-26-21, 07:58 PM
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Sounds like people there wouldn't know what to do with a bike if they had one; theft isn't exactly going to be like in bike towns.

Get a beater bike for transportation, no QR wheels or seatpost, lock it up, and get on with your life.
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Old 06-26-21, 09:46 PM
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If you want to advocate, work help the university earn a Bicycle Friendly University award from the Leadue of American Bicyclists. You can find the information you need at the LAB website. I expect they can provide support. Good luck, you’re fighting a good fight.
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Old 06-26-21, 11:16 PM
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Thanks, I have never heard of the LAB before. The irony is, they actually have a Path open on their campus for runners, walkers and cyclists. Just no parking for any cycles. I've also run into something very odd when I try and contact this college (it's a community college located outside of town at the end of a highway!): Everytime I try and contact them via e-mail I receiving a Mailer daimon that they hadn't received my e-mail; or....on the rare occasion that they do receive my e-mail and respond, I never receive their reply. This has occurred with several colleges!

As a vocal major, part of my reason to get back into riding a bike regularly is to improve my breath-support as a singer since I cannot hold notes as long as I used to!
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Old 06-26-21, 11:34 PM
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I must admit, it's a ***** getting any action on bicycle friendliness in towns! (I live in Iowa) For example, the large town I grew up in used to have bike racks outside the school and the public library, but since both school and library were torn down and relocated, neither has any bike racks nearby at all! I think if they did, considering the book in cycling, it'd cause more folks to commute! Although....to get to the new High School I think you'd have to take a bunch of meandering paved roads through town since they built it right next to the major High Way that goes through town! Nevertheless, when I was attending HS it was centrally located so I could at least walk there if I wanted!

Something else I'm having difficulty getting any traction on is extending the raccoon valley bicycle trails network down into west-central Iowa! Granted, I know they just repurposed old railroad tracks, and we still use ours; but couldn't one put in special paths in my town that can connect into the trail network? So, I tried contacting the raccoon River Valley Trail Association about this, you know, because they seem to be "in charge" of the network! But, they just passed the book and told me that I had to contact my County conservation board over my desire to extend the trail network. I contacted them over 3 months ago and never received a reply. Having a trail in my farming town would make traveling to the area towns much safer than using the highway that cuts through the town, because often folks (and semi trucks) will dart out onto the highway without even looking.
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Old 06-26-21, 11:52 PM
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Tell them you want one at the top of your lungs?

If you have that world tourist from your last post, itís most likely youíd have to pay someone to take it. Donít park it near a dumpster.

Stuff you leave on the bike is in more danger than the locked bike itself, so donít.

Walmarts around here have bike racks that get used, and so do movie theaters.
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Old 06-27-21, 12:47 AM
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Do you have a Teaching Assistant position and a mentor? Talk to that person. It is possible he or she would be able to help you find a secure indoor place to park a bike.

Something like the Bike Friday PakiT is quick to fold and fits in a backpack.


Or, perhaps a Brompton.
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Old 06-27-21, 06:29 AM
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I started riding because of the scarcity of car parking spaces, so it is hard for me to imagine it f=hard to find bike parking. Light pole, bench, fence, whatever -- just lock it and be satisfied. For me, that's the point of bikes -- almost anything can be a parking spot.
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Old 06-28-21, 08:52 AM
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If you decide to try to get bike infrastructure, you may want to go as high up as possible in the school system with your request for better bike infrastructure. You need to find an advocate, and that probably won't happen at the college due to funding. LAB is a good idea.... another is the IOWA Bicycle Coalition (https://iowabicyclecoalition.org), which is the route I would use. They should know how to best find a solution.
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Old 06-28-21, 10:18 AM
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At shopping centers try the stalls for shopping carts. Signs usually work better with U-locks than light posts which require longer but easily cut cables. At some convenience stores here I often lock my bike to the handicapped ramp rail. On the outside not on the ramp itself.

A note to business owners everywhere if I can't park my bike in a visible, safe place I'm looking elsewhere. Bike riders may make up a small segment of the buyers. OTOH: Car owners go a lot further between stops. We tend to stop for a snack/drink break more often. Give us better places to stop and we'll stop by more often.
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Old 06-28-21, 11:19 AM
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Thank you timdow but the college I will be attending is out of state in Illinois. I wonder if they have something equitable to the IA. Bike Coalition?
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Old 07-03-21, 04:34 PM
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Yep... https://www.bicycleindiana.org/


Originally Posted by MacMorrighan View Post
Thank you timdow but the college I will be attending is out of state in Illinois. I wonder if they have something equitable to the IA. Bike Coalition?
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Old 07-04-21, 06:58 PM
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Chicago has an active NGO. You might want to see if your school is a Bicycle Friendly University per LAB. You can investigate online
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Old 07-05-21, 08:26 PM
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"NGO"? And no, this college is certainly not bicycle-friendly as per the LAB!
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Old 07-07-21, 04:13 AM
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If it's not too late, have you tried a bicycle friendly school? CU here in Boulder is sold on bicycling. maybe it's not to late to change.
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Old 07-10-21, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMorrighan View Post
Hey guys, I plan to return to college to pursue my master's degree in vocal pedagogy and give singing lessons. Anyhow, I'll be moving from Iowa to southern Illinois, and the college I plan to start at has absolutely no bike parking infrastructure since I plan to commute back and forth from my apartment to the college and performing other errands, etc. I asked the Registrar's Office and Administration about this, and the only work around they could think of would be to strap my bike to a light post in the parking lot. But...that seems like it's asking someone to screw with it, And this can't happen with a bike rack or other facility? because many college students still behave like children rather than adults! Also, I'd have to get special permission from the Security Department before doing so; and they could always reject the offer. What should I do, then? Honestly, I'm shocked that colleges don't simply buy a bike rack for potential students to use. I swear the last community college I attended had a bike rack! (A student from the dorm biked everywhere he went, and be had a booty to prove it!). What I found upsetting is that the college I'll be attending kept telling me over and over again that the school is not responsible for damaged or stolen property Is there any private entity that would take responsibility? Anywhere? on campus property!

Another question is, what should I do when I need to park at a big box store for groceries (like Wal-Mart), or I want to see a movie at a movie theatre without any discernible bike racks of any kind and my bike might be out of sight for an hour or more?

Beater bike, visually unappealing, but mechanically functional, carry a lock, find spots to lock it (fences, poles, trees, etc), go about your business.
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Old 07-10-21, 07:06 AM
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Boggles my mind that in this day and age, colleges like this exist.
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Old 07-10-21, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Something like the Bike Friday PakiT is quick to fold and fits in a backpack.
Or, perhaps a Brompton.
I was going to say "folding bike". I've been commuting to my university job on a folding bike for over 19 years. The bike comes inside with me... at work, at coffee shops... wherever I go with it.
Decent folding bikes can be had for a few hundred bucks. Dahon, Origami, Downtube, Tern are some names that come to mind.
Good luck!
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Old 07-10-21, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by donoharm View Post
Boggles my mind that in this day and age, colleges like this exist.
I have no idea if the subject college is one, but commuter colleges usually are long on car parking and short of bike parking. Seems like most of Indiana would be a great place to ride a bike to school though.
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Old 07-13-21, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
I started riding because of the scarcity of car parking spaces, so it is hard for me to imagine it f=hard to find bike parking. Light pole, bench, fence, whatever -- just lock it and be satisfied. For me, that's the point of bikes -- almost anything can be a parking spot.
Check with the campus police before trying this. Where I went to grad school, locking to anything other than a bike rack would result in the bicycle being impounded and $75 fine.
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Old 07-13-21, 04:43 PM
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My new workplace has no bicycle racks. My manager said that I can lock it up against the fence?
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Old 08-16-21, 03:22 PM
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No bike parking at my local bicycle shop

So very true. I recently went to this store to buy new tires , about 5 km both way and when I get there No place to lock my bike! I had to lock it
Without a support. Lets just say I was out the store asap.

As I was leaving I noticed a few SUV s parked and they all had bicycle racks. I then realised the shop caters to high end road cyclists who donít cycle to the shop. So much for commutersÖ
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Old 08-16-21, 04:52 PM
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reminds me of the movie Roadhouse w/ Patrick Swazy where he buys a clunker car w/ extra spare wheels, because he knows it will be vandalized. he keeps his good personal car garaged & out of sight
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Old 08-24-21, 02:41 PM
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If the college has a student's union/student council, that might be a good place to bug as well. They might have a bit more power to pressure administration.
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Old 08-25-21, 04:38 AM
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I can't believe a college does not have bicycle parking! Most colleges are semi-pro bicycle parking. What is the name of the college? Maybe we all could write them and ask for parking for you. Do they still live in the past? Get with it.
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