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Parking bike at supermarket

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Parking bike at supermarket

Old 09-19-01, 10:09 AM
  #1  
RonH
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Parking bike at supermarket

I've looked at the bike rack at my local supermarket and don't feel my bike (or at least parts of the bike) would be there when I came out of the store.

How do you keep the rear rack, panniers, head lights, pump, etc. from being ripped off while shopping since these things can't be locked?
I don't want to have to ride a "stripped-down" bike to do 10 minutes worth of shopping.

Does anyone here feel the same way I do about riding to the store for a few items?
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Old 09-19-01, 10:18 AM
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My supermarket bike rack is pretty pathetic, but near the entrance and under cover.

I keep all my repair kit and pump inside my pannier bag, which has a quick-release fitting. Distributing it around the bike is a real pain when you need to secure the bike. My lights are permanantly bolted onto the bike, but I usually remove the battery (inside a old water bottle)
Ive never heard of anyone stripping a rack. I once had a rear mech taken, and Ive heard of clipless pedals and QR skewers being removed. Using a QR seatpost is just asking for it. For a utility bike, you have to make all those accessories an integral part of the bike, not at all easy to strip.

The supermarket has small trollies, ideal for taking a couple of panniers, helmet, jacket, water bottle battery etc. I just dump them in and cart them around.
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Old 09-19-01, 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by RonH
How do you keep the rear rack, panniers, head lights, pump, etc. from being ripped off while shopping since these things can't be locked? I don't want to have to ride a "stripped-down" bike to do 10 minutes worth of shopping.
While I usually lock my bike to the rack and take the easily removable items with me, there have been times when I don't have the lock with me to use!

What I'll usually do then is to park the bike just inside the front entrance. I remove the usual stuff, plus I remove the front wheel & flip open the QR on the back wheel. The idea here is to discourage the casual/impulse idea of just walking over & riding the bike off. The front wheel comes with me as I walk around the store.

It's worked so far (knock wood).
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Old 09-19-01, 10:53 AM
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I parked in the rack til my seat bag got ripped off. Now it's right in the front door and locked up next to the check-outs. The clerks all know me now, and wouldn't let anyone mess with it.
I love going to WalMart or the mall. I don't remove anything. I just park under the video camera and tempt anyone to touch it.
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Old 09-19-01, 12:23 PM
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I too park my bike inside the store, i usualy just ask if they mind or not, i have never been turned down. Last year i had my pump taken from my bike locked up infront of Kmart, I dont shop there any more.
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Old 09-19-01, 12:36 PM
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Ron,

I walk my bike right into the store and use it as a grocery cart. It takes up no more room than one of those big clunkers. It also lets me pack up right there at the check-out line and drive off as soon as I get out the door.

If confronted by a store employee, I usually do one of 2 things:

1. If I have them with me, I hand them a slip of paper that reads:
"I AM YOUR CUSTOMER AND A BICYCLIST" I'd like you to know that it's difficult to find a secure place to park bicycles near your business, or that your existing bike parking is inadequate. Accessible, secure bike parking would make your business more attractive to me and to many other customers.
More and more people are choosing the bicycle as transportation - for many different reasons. Some elect to bike for health, others prefer the freedom of biking, especially on short trips within their neighborhood. In fact, 70% of all current car traips are less than 3 miles, perfectly suited to bicycles. Riding a bike is not only good for cyclists' health: it's good for the health of our environment and relieves traffic congestion. Providing adequate bicycle parking will benefit your business and your community!"

I wrote this all out so you can use it if you wish. I am with the Oregon Bicycle Transportation Alliance , a non-profit advocacy organization promoting the bicycle as a fun, efficient and viable mode of transportation.
Using this message at one of the region's large "One stopping shopping centers" has resulted in that company not only installing better racks at most store locations, but they've embarked on providing "Art Racks" at many parks and trailheads in the area.

2. Personally, I live near a Safeway and, although I've left numerous slips of paper (we've typed it up so 3 messages fit on one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper), they haven't installed anything more than the wheel bender rack around the dark side of the building. I walked my bike in one day and was told by an employee that I couldn't bring it in. I said that I'd park it outside IF there was secure parking and not before and continued to shop. I went to the manager's office and explained the situation and he said he'd pass it along, but it would have to be decided at the corporate level. "We don't want to lose car parking spaces." is what he said would be the response, but I could use my bike. That was 3 years ago. I shop with my "bike cart" at least twice a week there. No problem

Twirl them ankles, kid
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Old 09-19-01, 04:05 PM
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Hmm.... Well, I think that all that bike gear is a lot more important to you than it is to theives. You probably don't need to worry that much.

Theft of bike pumps and saddle bags is usually the act of vandalism rather than theft from need/want.

I usually lock my bike up, take off the easily removed stuff like the light, cyclometer, and air pump. I've never had any problem with theft.
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Old 09-19-01, 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by mike
...I usually lock my bike up, take off the easily removed stuff like the light, cyclometer, and air pump. I've never had any problem with theft.
I do that too--remove things that comes off easily, and go. But I guess there is always a risk.

I love bikeadvocate's ingenuity. Who ever heard of using your bike as a shopping cart? Way cool.

("This is who we are..." --Rainman)
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Old 09-20-01, 12:40 AM
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Get yourself an old cruiser, 3-speed, or a "trashmo" at Goodwill , St. Vinnies etc. to ride to the market and othe r errands and quit worryin'.
Ride the bike that works for the job
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Old 09-20-01, 05:42 AM
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I must be lucky, never really worried about this and never had a problem. Usually I take the front wheel with me and make sure that the cable for the lock goes through the seat rails.

I normally do not take my rack bag off the rack.
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Old 09-20-01, 06:13 AM
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I ride through all kinds of stuff on my wheels, a lot of it I would not want on my hands when shopping for food.
Personally I think removing wheels every time you stop is real inconvenience. Is that balanced by the convenience of saving a few seconds with QR skewers during a puncture repair? I lock my bike up at least twice a day, but fix punctures on the road maybe twice a year.
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Old 09-20-01, 06:16 AM
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Same here.

I use a U lock with a cable to secure the front wheel. Everything else is allen keyed on other than pump and front light and computer which I carry with me.

in the village I live in people leave bikes in the garden overnight, cars unlocked and i often go for a walk with the dog and leave the garage door open or the hous e unlocked.

My neighbours couldn't beleive it when we set our alarm on the car when parking in the drive.

One road in, one out and everyone looks out for everyone else.
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Old 09-20-01, 08:33 AM
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I don't live in a high-theft area and I am surprised that removable items (lights, pump) don't get stolen when left (but I usually take them).

All public building have bike racks but most of them are very insecure. I therefore lock my bike on a solid tampering proof pole but I have been told to remove my bike a few times. At the university I was warned they would remove my bike (I was curious to see them work through my NYcity Kryptonite lock but I did not let them try ) REcently I have had some note left saying I was parking my vehicle in a no-parking zone. To add to the offense, they described my vehicle as a 10Speed bike. Ignorant! How dare they call my Bianchi 27 speed touring bike a 10 speed!



At any rate, I find that while usually we don't face the parking problem that motorist do, it is a drag to have to always lock the bike, take out the front wheel, remove the bag, the lights etc. It add a minute to taking off and it is a shame. But that is the way it is.
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Old 09-20-01, 10:41 AM
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My local college groundsman showed me the tool he used for removing shackle locks. They were bolt-cutters with 1 m long handles. They make short work of ANY solid lock, but have a bit of a problem with heavily armoured cable locks and hardened chain.
Your average opertunistic bike thief wont be tooled up like that, but the professional ones will be.
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Old 09-20-01, 12:09 PM
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When at work, I park it in my office in front of my desk.

On trips to the grocery or hardware store, etc. I lock it to something in a highly visible area that won't move. I take off anything that I think might get stolen, and put it in the panniers. The bike gets a Ulock and cable lock, and I usually run my cable lock thru the helmet. I put the panniers in the shopping basket and strap it back on when I return.

Yeah, it's a pain, but that's the world we live in!
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Old 09-20-01, 12:26 PM
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I have stopped removing my front wheel when I lock up my bike. Instead, I use two locks. This allows me to secure both wheels without having to remove one of them.

I doubt a thief would want my roadsite repair kit/first aid kit, but I always take it with me anyway, because it would be inconvenient if a vandal ripped it off, and then I actually needed to use it.

If I know for sure that I will not be riding after dark, I will sometimes leave my front light at home. It's one less thing to worry about.
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Old 09-20-01, 06:18 PM
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The bike I commute with and ride to the store is a 6 speed, made in China, 50 pound monster that has no QR. In fact most of the bolts are welded from rust! If it was vandalized I am not sure I would notice. Pushing it's pedals is like working a Nautilus weight lifting machine, and makes me appreciate my other bikes. But I appreciate this bike too.
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Old 09-20-01, 10:26 PM
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Isimply ride mine up to the area right inside the store at the entrance, and lean it against the wall - especially if it is my road bike. No complaints from anyone in the store, and since it is the road bike, I usually am only going to get a loaf of bread or something fast and quick. I can see the bike from the bakery section and keep an eye on it. If I am getting more stuff, I will take my mtn bike, which is now 3 years ols, and was an entry level to start with (just hit 6,500 miles on that baby). I will lock that in the rack nearest the entrance and where the store employees go for a break. No problem so far. I get back and fill my panniers and backpack with groceries and am on my way.
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Old 09-21-01, 08:59 AM
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If I'm going to the store from home, I leave my rack trunk at home. I have a pair of Nashbar Townies - grocery bags that fit on the rack. I put those on. None of the grocery stores around here have a rack that my tires would even fit in, much less would I trust my bike sitting in one of them. I lock up to the outside of one of the mounted cart racks.

I usually take my light battery with me. It does, however, require a twist to remove, so a casual thief will probably give up before figuring it out. I carry my Townies in, and get a nickel each for bringing my own bags. Until recently, I didn't know any of the stores were still giving that discount, since they don't post it anymore. They hold quite a bit, even more with paper bags fit snugly inside.

If I stop at the grocer on my way home from work, I remove my rack trunk and put the strap on it to carry over my shoulder. If I have too much stuff, I can expand the side pockets to hold about a paper sack's worth of groceries.

I ride an old Trek, that I try not to keep too clean looking. I don't worry about the QR front wheel, or the QR seatpost. I may buy a cable to lock the seatpost someday, or just replace the QR with a nut and bold.

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Old 09-21-01, 11:14 AM
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Like bikeadvocate I take my bike with me when I go in the market. Other than a few funny looks the only hassle I have is trying to keep my cup of coffee from spilling while trying to pay for it. Well actually I get a lot of funny looks, 6'-1" 270 in full regalia with 'goldenrod' (read ugly yellow, or so my family says) colored bike.
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Old 09-21-01, 10:58 PM
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Originally posted by bikeadvocate
...Personally, I live near a Safeway and, although I've left numerous slips of paper (we've typed it up so 3 messages fit on one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper), they haven't installed anything more than the wheel bender rack around the dark side of the building. I walked my bike in one day and was told by an employee that I couldn't bring it in. I said that I'd park it outside IF there was secure parking and not before and continued to shop. I went to the manager's office and explained the situation and he said he'd pass it along, but it would have to be decided at the corporate level. "We don't want to lose car parking spaces." is what he said would be the response, but I could use my bike. That was 3 years ago. I shop with my "bike cart" at least twice a week there. No problem
Keep it up man. I work at a Safeway and I also ride there everyday and roll my bike in the front door and to the back of the store to my department. I love the sound of my bike "tick tick tick tick'ing" in the store. Nobody's said a word to me yet.

I do notice though that many businesses are absolutely dumb to bike rack placement. The bike racks are usually "out of the way" which usually equates to out of sight, which aint good. Parking made for bicycles should be up front and in full view of customers and employees whenever possible.
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Old 04-08-02, 12:48 PM
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I live now in an area that doesn't even think about bicycles enough to be hostile to them. There are no racks at all at the supermarket. It's also many miles to the supermarket. I get two hours' ride in going shopping.

One advantage of this is that there is little theft. A cycling club will ride to a coffee shop in the area, and just leave their bicycles out of sight outside in the rack. No locks. x> $4k bikes. They say that if they were driving tractors, then they would worry. I see their point. So, I don't worry about leaving a frame pump on my rig. I haven't had any problem.

I have lived in worse areas, though. When I went to the grocery store, I would bring the bike inside with me. Always.

I would shop at odd hours. The evening, or even late at night, was best. The management was all gone home. No one cared if I brought the bike inside. I could also stash the bike out of sight in one of the specialty departments: floral, meat, or deli.

When visiting places I couldn't bring the bike into, a book store or a video store, I'd lock to a pole, pipes outside the building, stair railings, shopping cart cages, etc. Two locks. And my accessories into a pannier.
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Old 04-08-02, 01:03 PM
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A university groundskeeper told me how he removes abandoned bikes from the racks. He takes his bolt cutters and cuts the frame, leaving the locks on the rack. It's easier than cutting the lock, he says. I didn't feel right for days after that conversation.
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Old 04-08-02, 02:19 PM
  #24  
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Someone should design lights that are not quick release except for the battery. Same with panniers--actually somone does do locking panniers. Its funny though, I live in a college town where people will cut the locks off $50 bikes to steal them. But if you park in the middle of down town there are always tons of people and no one will touch anything. I see lights on bikes all the time, as well as panniers and baskets. I always leave my Jannd fabric basket on my bike without any problems. I am, however, thinking of getting a small lock or maybe zip ties to secure it to the frame. At least then it would be inconvenient to take. The problem here is drunk students stomping on bikes. They will do this anytime, in front of anyone. Who's going to challenge a group of 6' 5" jocks?

I too bring my bike into the checkout area of large stores. It is much less in the way than those giant carts. It would be nice to have a junker that rode nice that I could use (wait, that's what I ride now)--I just can't afford to lose it or its parts quite yet.
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Old 04-08-02, 04:09 PM
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<sarcasm>

I gave up biking completely and now drive a car everywhere - it totally solved this little problem with bike parking. And it's cheaper too because I don't have to worry about my bike stuff getting stolen :=)

</sacrascm>
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