The Etiquette of Using Bike Racks
With an increasing number of cyclists out on our roads bike racks are often in short supply. Wherever cyclists seek to park their bikes without racks in place, it can lead to conflict with other cyclists and members of the local community. This is a shame; cycling is a great way to promote health and reduce traffic congestion in our urban areas. However, this is also an opportunity for business owners that want to foster great relations with cyclists and gather some new customers. Let’s look at the etiquette of parking up a cycle and using a bike rack, so you know what to expect.
1. Don’t Ever Lock a Bike to a Strangers
This is the number one rule if you’re interested in how cyclists lock up their bikes. Obviously, if you lock your bike to a strangers bike, they cannot unlock their own bike and ride away. Not only is this selfish, but it’s also a great way to get your bike damaged. A frustrated rider waiting for the other cyclist’s return could resort to drastic measures to get their bike free. This can result in damage that could range from a simple scratch to something far worse and more expensive to fix or replace. Always lock bikes to a bike rack and not someone else’s bike.
2. The Annoyance of Fly Parking
When there are not enough bike racks available, cyclists tend to get incredibly creative in where they park their bikes. Some may opt for the traditional railings or lamp posts, and other may lock their bikes to walls, cars and other private property. Obviously, this is unacceptable, and it’s a great way to annoy locals where the bike is parked. Parking a bike by locking it to fixtures and materials that are not designed for the purpose can lead to other problems. The bike can easily be scratched or damaged, and this can lead to corrosion problems later. The best way to park a bike is to use an appropriate bike rack and if that’s not possible be polite in where the bike is parked and locked.
3. Blocking Communal Areas
In an ideal world, there would be more bike racks available in key public spaces to meet the considerable demand. Sadly, this is not the case, and it’s not unusual to see parked and locked bikes crowding into public spaces and communal areas. The bikes may spill out onto a road or path causing an obstruction for drivers and pedestrians alike. This is dangerous for other people using the area, and it can lead to an expensive bike being damaged. In extreme cases, this can cause an obstruction that could limit access for Police and other emergency services. This could lead to legal or insurance related problems that no-one wants to deal with. The best option is to park at a designated bike rack or take the bike into your home or workplace.