The Indignity of Bike Parking: A gordian knot

As you surely know from my recent post, I broke my collarbone riding on the flattest, smoothest section of the East Bay Bike Path. My left arm will be in a sling for the next 4-6 weeks which means that i can only type with my right hand. While some people may enjoy one handed typing, i find that it dents my productivity like a poorly designed bike rack dents an aluminum frame (not that i’m bitter, MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT CO-OP IN EDMONTON!) It also means that i’m going to have a more casual relationship with capitalization, punctuation andd typos. In fact, i’ve updated my email signature thusly:

Due to a broken collarbone, I am typing with one hand. Please excuse the brevity, typos and apparent rudeness in my emails until late April. At that time, I’ll go back to being a jerk just for the hell of it.

But will this temporary handicap keep me from writing in this blog? HELL NO! (the caps lock key seems to work fine, hey?) I’ve got plenty of things to write about, lik my favorite topic: bike parking! Here’s the rack at my office several months ago on an usually busy day:

The big yellow arrow is pointing to a black Raleigh road bike (ca. ’84?) that has been sitting in the rack for over a year. When I returned to work on tuesday, i was greeted with this sight:

Only two abandoned bikes plus the p-far. Well, I can’t really call the green felt curbside abandoned, because i’m sure it will be ridden again. i’ve even seen its owner riding down the street once. The old p-far does look rather lonely down there on the end without my cannondale to keep it company.

To be filed under “bike parking dignity” – these pictures sent to me by a reader from her recent trip to Berkeley:

This was evidently part of someone’s “yarnbombing” project. I almost want to take up knitting just so I could improve some of the racks around here. However, I think that my time would be better spent installing some racks in the neighborhoods that lack them completely. By the way berkeleyites, portland did it first:

One last bike parking item to file in the “we do it to ourselves” folder. One of the rules of locking up your bike is to never lock it to a sapling. An enterprising bike thief could just cut it down and take your bike. As you can see in the image below, the bike in the background is securely locked to a handrail (in fact, i suspect it is abandoned), while the bike in the foreground avoided locking to the sapling and instead locked to one of the sapling’s supports:

And the top of that support is blocked only by a knot:

the owner of this bike better hope there aren’t any boy scout-trained bicycle thieves in the area. or someone with a knife. or someone who can pull the support out of the ground.

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