Have you discovered a new shop, and on a fine day you decide to visit it by bike … only to find there are no bike racks nearby, despite an abundance of parking for vehicles? Do you have places you visit regularly by bike, but have to lock up a block away or further because no facilities are closer to your destination? Here’s a tip: Ask for it!
We’re not Vancouver, and the needs of non-motorized vehicles aren’t always considered in designs and plans for shopping and businesses. It can be frustrating to arrive at a business by bike only to see that there are no good bike parking facilities to lock up to.
A recent success story inspired me to consider asking for bike parking. I’d been patronizing a local business for years, often each week. Their location at the time was off a major arterial but their store was set considerably back from the street, so I felt safe enough locking my bike to itself and parking it in front of a window where I could see it from inside. Then they moved to a new location on a busy corner of the same arterial. I was excited to visit this new location but did not find a good place to lock my bike. There was fencing nearby, but my U-lock could not reach around a post far enough to include my frame. So I brought my bike into the store on visits. I’d sometimes ask if there was bike parking nearby that I simply hadn’t seen. One day a manager approached me about bringing the bike inside, as this is understandably a potential nuisance. We talked and she inquired if I’d use a bike rack if one were installed; I replied with an enthusiastic yes. Not long afterwards I was pleasantly surprised to see a new bike rack added at the side of the building.
Now when I visit a business where bike parking is missing, I try to make a point of asking for it. The message I like to share is: I’m a customer of yours and I get around by bike. I’d really appreciate it if I had a safe, convenient place to lock my bike when I shop here.
Have you had a success in getting bike facilities added at a favourite business of yours? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.