Two bike parking lots

In January, I was back in my home town of Overland Park, KS. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to ride a bike like I had on a previous occasion. However, I was able to drive by my old elementary school – which appears to have the same bike racks that it had in the early 80′s.

That’s a pretty extensive bike parking facility. I don’t think it was completely full when I was young, but there were certainly dozens of bikes there. I frequently rode my bike to school, back in the day. I guess you could say it was my first bike commute – about 3/4 of a mile. Not bad since there was a period of time as and adult when I drove a car for a commute with the same distance. The picture above was taken on a Sunday – so unfortunately, I have no idea how many kids are riding to this particular elementary school these days. I couldn’t tell you the years in which I biked vs. the years in which I walked to school. My guess is that I didn’t start biking until I got my Schwinn Thrasher BMX bike – I believe that was 3rd grade. Why do kids bike to school? It’s a little bit faster than walking, it’s better than the bus because you are completely independent (and it’s better than riding with parents for the same reason), and it’s fun to ride your bike! Why do adults bike to work? Pretty much the same reasons – although sometimes we like to wrap it up in a little bit of economics or environmentalism.

Here’s another bike rack:

(I let Spouse have the only decent spot)

That’s taken a few days after the one (1!) real snow fall we had this winter. The local grocery store took all the snow off of their parking lot and dumped it on the bike rack. If I was a better blogger, I would have written about this when I was feeling more righteous anger. But if I was a better blogger, I’d also have a snappy ending for this post!

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6 responses to “Two bike parking lots

  1. this is why i don’t use a u-lock. i use a reasonable cable lock, trying to balance theft-risk with convenience. i’ve found locking to the signs for handicap acces parking spots (not blocking the space or walking path) to be handy at stores. i realize this may be foolish depending on where you need to lock your bike and for how long – or a two lock solution may be required (how boring).

    • The cable lock is certainly sufficient in low-risk areas, but I seem to park in more high-risk places every once in a while. The Pinhead locking skewers I have are really the killer app. I can lock just the frame, or lock just a wheel to the rack and it’s all good. I use the handicap signs in some places, but I’ve noticed a recent trend where the bottom half of the sign post is encased in a concrete tube, making it impossible to lock a U-lock around it.

      I think to protest the crappy rack at WF, I’m going to start locking to their shopping cart corral.

  2. Brutal. That’s why I ride a folding bike – most places I can take it inside with me, no need to lock outside at all. Even the grocery store – sometimes I just put it on the bottom rack of the cart.

    • Folders certainly have their advantages. I’m at 3 bikes right now, which is pretty much my limit for the next couple of years. But I do have my google reader set to send me an alert whenever a folding bike comes up on the local craigslist. So far, it’s just been 20+ year old Dahons which I’m not really interested in.

  3. I used to ride my bike 1.9 miles to school in 5th grade. <–SMUG :)

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