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NYC vs Chicago vs. Your City

Old 07-30-09, 09:50 PM
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Inertianinja
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NYC vs Chicago vs. Your City

I moved to NYC about 7 months ago, and i've been kind of bummed to see that bike theft is so out of control that nobody locks nice/clean bikes up outside. ..this is to say nothing of the fact that there's virtually nowhere to lock them up in the first place. i'm guessing that the rate of bike theft seems to be fueled by the restaurants, who buy stolen bikes from people who stole them for drug money. the restaurants throw their delivery guys on the bikes, ride them till they fall apart, then replace them.

this might be an over-generalization. but i can't remember seeing a nice bike locked up anywhere, and the ones that are locked up have 10lb Kryptonite New Yorks, etc.

contrast this with: i've been in chicago for the past week - the area west and north of grant park. there are bike racks EVERYWHERE, and plenty have nice bikes locked up *all day* with relatively tiny locks. i wish NYC was like this.

so, is your city bike friendly? if so, what do you attribute it to?
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Old 07-30-09, 10:03 PM
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My town is trying to be bike-friendly, as the mayor is a cyclist; there are plans for in-street bike lanes in three areas of town, but it's all behind schedule.

Racks? The city gov't building has one, a few schools have them, and the leading bike shop in town has one. Other than that, it's commando. Fortunately, there's nothing on the books (that I've found) that restricts how/where you lock up a bike.

Nice bikes? Less than 10 on any given day -- a couple @ the gov't building, and @ the LBS. Other than that, it's a BIG-BOX BONANZA!!

Mine goes into work w/ me, and hangs about 10 feet from my work station, where I build those miserable big-box bikes for the biggest box of them all..... It's funny to ride a bike to work that costs as much as 1/4 of the entire store's displayed bikes.

You have my sympathy re: NYC......
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Old 07-30-09, 11:00 PM
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I am in Reno, a much smaller urban area than either of the above with good bike parking in the downtown areas along the river walk. Even some businesses and shopping centers have bike racks though at least one I tried was too small for 700C wheel bikes.

Bikes I see vary from big box store to decent quality level stuff. Rare to see high end bikes other than at the LBS, certainly not parked away from the rider. I have not seen any stripped locked up bikes yet so the theft problem is apparently not too bad. We do have both a bike coop and a Kiwanis bike recycling program locally and just recently an article was in the paper regarding the city wanting to encouraging biking and increasing marked bike lanes.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:21 PM
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I live in the Ottawa/Gatineau area, I believe that this is a bicycle mecca in North America. The entire city is connected by dedicated bicycle paths, where vehicles are not allowed on them. The scenery is absolutely outstanding. Most of the roads have a bicycle lane. There is even a city project where you can take city bicycles (which are very nice) and ride them and simply return them to another station across the city. If it is under 30 minutes it is absolutely free. I have been to many cities around the world including many in Europe and I have not seen anything close to the bicycle Infrastructure that is present in the Gatineau/ Ottawa area. It is a must see. Bicycle racks are plentiful!
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Old 07-30-09, 11:28 PM
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I don’t know if my city is better or worse than any other city. We are relatively bike friendly and there are several painted bike lanes connecting several of the surrounding cities. Still my road bike is not going to run errands with me unless I am going to be in sight of it every minute. The errand bike is a 2000 Trek 800 and it gets locked whenever I am inside a store. However the crime rate is lower in my area than either Chicago or NY.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:50 PM
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nobody locks nice/clean bikes up outside

1) If you commute with a bicycle it is going to get dirty and banged up. Parts will fall off. That is the way it is. Also in NYC people do not have driveways with hoses, washing a bike is more of a chore.

2) When I travel outside of NYC I do not see many people on expensive bikes compared to prospect park Brooklyn or Central park, I do not see expensive bikes chained up.

3) It's NY style. Hipster cool is a 60 year old frame.

4) Maybe NYC thieves are just better than Chicago thieves. I have had 2 stolen and one attempt.
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Old 07-31-09, 12:38 PM
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I love my city and would not trade it for the world.

You kind of get jaded to these kind of things if you're from here. There are expensive bikes around, you just don't see them locked up because people are smarter than that and take them inside or do not use them as bikes to lock up for a long time.

I know a lot of people who commute into the city on banged up, crappy bikes. But have real nice gems at home.

Same goes for people with cars and $ around here. People drive their old toyotas, civics, etc...but have very nice cars at home they take out after work, night on the town, weekend drives etc.

::shrug:: It is what it is.
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Old 07-31-09, 02:01 PM
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I’ll tell you where I have seen a difference. The Beach Cities of Orange county California and the some of the cities in Utah we visited on vacation. Salt Lake City had plenty of good looking bikes on the road. I took my Masi on vacation and felt very middle of the road. And I am talking daily riders not weekend racers. When we ride down to the Beach in Orange County I also see a lot of clean looking bikes parked in front of the many restaurants and shops in New Port, Laguna and Huntington. Portland has a lot of Boutique bikes as well as many of the name brand but far more fender equipped commuters than I am used to in my area. I saw a lot of nice bikes in Denver and Colorado Springs but I didn’t notice them being locked up anywhere. Now if we are talking weekend mornings at Starbucks, yep there are plenty of Felts, Specialized, Trek, Lapierre and Look bikes sitting outside. The only guys I see commuting on these kids of bikes are the ones working at LBS.
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