The Chainlink

Can we agree that it's bad etiquette to take up both posts of the typical upside down U racks that we have here in Chicago? I always park my bike at a 45 degree angle, which keeps the other post completely free without the bike going to far out onto the sidewalk. But I see a lot of people with their bikes flush against both posts, making it difficult if not impossible for 2 bikes to occupy one rack.

I get that if you have two u locks you have a modicum of additional security by locking a lock on each post- but I think it's still bad etiquette- you could lock one to the rack (front wheel and frame perhaps), and the other could lock the other wheel to the frame. Slightly less secure but still pretty dang secure, without using up more than your share of rack space.

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So grumpy. Maybe put a pic of Bernie as your profile pic? ;-) 

I want to thank you VW for being thoughtful and considerate of others in your attempt to share what is often limited or scarce bike parking space. I for one (and apparently the only one) appreciate your effort. I'm sorry your well-intentioned efforts to educate others met with so much abuse. 

I appreciate it too VW.  While folks may not agree on something or vary in tone, this was a pretty informative thread in all.  Among other things, we learned that: 

-Parallel to the rack with two lockable contact points, was intended in the design, and makes it simpler to lock the front and back wheels too,

-although a simple instructive sticker on the top of rack was a missed opportunity. 

-Parallel to the rack, while intended, forecloses the opportunity for 4 bikes to be locked, with two perpendicular on the ends, and two set across the top. 

-Parallel works best with standard skinnier road bikes and similar, not so much for cargo bikes or those with wider panniers still on, and/or those with larger cage side racks or baskets.

-When locking parallel, the bikes may not stick out so much into the sidewalk if it's narrower. 

-Rack placement on the sidewalk or elsewhere too influences effects things a bit.  Racks placed parallel to each other and close together more or less drive the bike locking parallel too.

-Whoever gets there first sort of sets the convention for that rack, and it can carry over until it is completely vacated. 

-Parallel with the rack comes with the greater risk of having someone else locking your bike with their lock when they come along later, and, there are varied anxieties about folks not wanting their bike touched, likewise differing sensibilities about not wanting to mess with someone else's bike.

-Tough room with lots of sensitivities, yet many sincerely do want to help.

-I like Patricia's post.


And thanks ketoguy. I think some people don't realize that just being they can park their skinny roadbike or fixie on a U rack with both posts occupied, for others (particularly with other types of bike, think mountain bikes, hybrids and cruisers with baskets, cargobikes, tricycles, recumbents, etc etc etc) not everyone else can (at least not without a lot of hassle). 

They also seem to get quickly offended when their roadbike-centric worldview is called into question.

* too late to edit but meant to say "just because they can park" [their skinny bike parallel to a U rack where another bike is straddling both posts] ... "not everyone else can"

And even if they could, they might just avoid trying because of the added difficulty and/or necessity of having to forgo their preferred parking method (such as being unable to have the room to thread the U lock through the wheel and frame, and being relegated to having the U lock merely go through the frame only).

I am one of the least road bike-centric people ever and I hardly ever have and issue locking up to an occupied bike rack in the correct manner.

And if I do I just walk down the street to find a suitable place to lock because I am aware that my choice to ride a bike with a weird shape means I cannot always use traditional locking locations.

Thanks Patricia, it's interesting how comfortable people are with quickly resorting to name calling on this forum. 

No one *quickly* resorted to it. It came after comment after comment explaining why your belief isn't all that enlightened, and yet, you continually dismiss other's valid points. It's insulting.

Again, I've seen all the bikes you mentioned (save the recumbent and trike, which are fairly unique) locked in parallel without issues, but for whatever reason, you can't fathom it.

But you don't understand.


I don't think his point was that he couldn't "fathom it." It was that there are clumsy and inept people like myself who find it hard to lock our bike to a post where another bike is locked flush up against both posts. And he recognizes that those of us who have a lower skill level would like to park our bikes too so he tries to leave room for us. Just like I recognize that there are others on the LFT who ride a lot faster than I do, so I try to keep to the right to leave them room to safely pass rather than making them maneuver around me into oncoming traffic. 

+1. There's three U racks where I park everyday, lined up parallel to the street. One guy has started double tethering his bike to both posts. I can confirm that no one ever parks next to him (at least I have yet to see it). The other 2 are typically occupied by 2 bikes (including mine), each tethered to one post. 

Now could someone park next to the double tether-er?  Yes, as you said, I could fathom it. But they'd rather not deal with the hassle. I am speaking on their behalf but it doesn't seem like a huge leap in logic using the power of observation.

Speaking for myself, I'd rather be able to loop my U lock through my frame and front wheel, which I will not be able to do on most of my bikes (which have somewhat wider tires, and fenders- which therefore are quite a bit harder to loop a U lock through) if the bike were arranged parallel to the U rack- but which is fully possible and much easier to do if you give me a free post to get as close to as possible.

Point being- if double tethering to both posts had a negligible effect on the average biker's ability to lock their bike up, if it was only me and you that are the rare outliers, I think we'd see a lot more bikes locked to racks as the second bike in those scenarios. But, speaking from experience, I don't.

It's like someone sprawling out on a couch leaving yourself just a tiny bit of space to sit your butt on, and acting like they're oblivious to the fact that no one wants to perch their butt on the tiny bit of space leftover.

"It's like someone sprawling out on a couch leaving yourself just a tiny bit of space to sit your butt on, and acting like they're oblivious to the fact that no one wants to perch their butt on the tiny bit of space leftover."

No.  It's more like sitting on the couch in a commonly-accepted, traditional way, and then having to deal with someone that shows up, sits down, and then lectures you regarding how they think you're sitting too close to them.  


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