Why Bicyclists Are Better Customers Than Drivers for Local Business

Bike Friendly Burger King

When you drive your bike to a local business and there’s no bike rack, what do you do?  I usually find the manager and explain to her/him that I’m a good customer, I would appreciate a bike rack, and there are lots more like me that feel the same way.  Unfortunately I sometimes get confused stares and the manager mumbles something about talking to his/her boss.  Sometimes the bike rack gets installed, sometimes I have to keep asking.

Many business owners don’t realize the potential of being bike friendly.  This article (link below) from DC.streetsblog.org points out the benefits available to businesses who decide to become bike friendly.  Encouraging businesses to become bike friendly benefits not only the businesses but us in the biking community, and it provides a better biking environment which encourages more people to use their bikes.  A win for all.

Here’s the link.


10 replies
    • JAT in Seattle
      JAT in Seattle says:

      Bicyclists are different in that the parking spaces for their vehicles are much cheaper to build and take up much less space and nobody’s ever been killed in a bicycle parking facility. Other than that, they’re about the same.

    • NE2
      NE2 says:

      Good point. Though I suppose it’s also true that [bicyclists] are better on average than [bicyclists plus other drivers], if you accept the arguments given.

  1. Bill
    Bill says:

    The yellow stripes in the picture are non-functional and were there before the racks were installed. So in this case yes. If they’re in the middle of a four lane road, I’d advise against it. 🙂

  2. Scott
    Scott says:

    “When you drive your bike to a local business and there’s no bike rack, what do you do?”

    I suppose a more passive-aggressive approach would be to act like a motorcyclist — put your kickstand down and park in the middle of a regular parking space.

    • Keri
      Keri says:

      I sometimes do that with the Big Dummy, and when I’m pulling a trailer. Bike racks often don’t have enough space around them for a utility bike/trailer without blocking a walkway.

      Another issue is making sure racks are chosen and installed correctly. They are often purchased and installed by people who don’t know how they are supposed to function. (Not unlike other common bike facilities.) I encounter a lot of wave racks installed up against a wall.

      • MikeOnBike
        MikeOnBike says:

        Do the people who install wave racks even know that they’re for bike parking? Or do they assume it’s just some sort of decoration?

        A new Target was just built near us with actual bike lockers near the front door. Unfortunately, the lockers aren’t part of http://www.bikelink.org/ , and the padlock hole is too small to fit my U-lock.

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