I’ve just got back in the (bike) saddle. I no longer live at the top of one of the steeper streets in San Francisco, I got a used hybrid bike for doing errands, and I’m not as much of a scaredy-cat about riding in flatland suburbia versus hilly SF. Also, I’ve lived in this area before and used to ride (a road bike) a lot.
Now I have a kick stand and bike lock, which brings me to bike racks. I’m surprised I don’t see more, even in such a seemingly bike-friendly area. (Palo Alto is officially a “Bicycle Friendly Community”.) Regular cyclists know this, of course, but I’m a newbie, and I can see how the bike rack situation can affect people’s motivation to ride their bikes.
There were two bike racks when I went to the farmer’s market in Menlo Park over the weekend; fortunately they were open. But this morning I rode over to get my hair cut and locked my bike to the arm of a bench in front of the store.
That got me wondering about the best way to lock. The San Francisco Bike Coalition has lots of information. And I found a bike parking guideline from the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals.
The guideline document recommends the “inverted-U”, “A” and “post and loop” style racks. On the other hand, they say the “wave“, “comb“, “toast” and “other wheelbending racks that provide no support for the bicycle frame are NOT recommended.”
The key learning is to use, when possible, something that will “support the bicycle upright by its frame in two places.”
I like the winner of New York’s bike rack design competition. Just the way I like most things: beautiful + functional. Most importantly, it’s useful and usable, key components of sustainable design. I wonder if they are expensive to manufacture, install and maintain?