The Chainlink

Sometimes I am making a quick stop at a small store and don't want to spend the time locking up my bike outside. I have a U-lock and two cables, and sometimes it takes longer to lock/unlock my bike than I am spending in the store itself! For bike shops, I don't have a problem bringing my bike in; I feel like this is expected there. My question is more regarding other stores (e.g. stopping in Half Acre to pick up a couple of beers). What are everyone's thoughts on this? 

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I've done this with mixed results. I shop at skeezy Aldi at Broadway and Granville, and sometimes walk the bike with me as I grab a few things.

 

Most people don't care, though - if the store is small enough where the bike will bump other patrons or merchandise, you won't be able to bring it in. I usually take a peek inside to see what I'm up against. But yeah, I've been in Aldi, Target, 7-11..and probably a few more.

I do this also, seems most merchants will let you as long as your quick

Quick helps, so does looking like you're obviously going to buy something.  I just did this on Monday in the Staples on Wilson and Clark, actually, and no one looked at me twice.

Personally I feel that anywhere beyond a bike shop it is rude to bring your bike in.

If you are going to be in the shop less time than it takes you to lock up you are going to be fine with a quick lock up with a u-lock; it takes some time to defeat one and is pretty obvious so if you are running in for a couple of minutes you should be fine.

If it is taking you more time to lock up than it does to get a slurpee you need to seriously rethink your locking methods...

To make sure, asking is always a good idea.

Wiener's Circle let me bring my bike in once when I forgot my lock. It was during the day and they were empty. There's a liquor store right around the corner from my apartment that let's me bring my bike in. But I'm usually quick and a regular there anyway. I would never bring my bike in if the weather was sloppy though. 

This thread discusses some businesses that have been good about allowing bicycles to be brought inside (sometimes as a normal part of doing business, sometimes to help out a cyclist who forgot a lock or key):

http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/lets-highlight-bike-friend...

IMHO, I'm with Dug in that it is sort of on the rude side -especially if there are other patrons in the store and the aisles are tight -or your bike is going to track in crap onto nice floors (especially carpet.)  It's just as rude to other patrons as it is to the proprietor as most bikes are much bigger/longer than the area was ever designed to handle as far as floor-plan is concerned unless you have a minivelo, BMX, or 20" folder/compact.

It also can be rude to the proprietor because if other patrons are inconvenienced by your 6-foot plus long bike in everyone's way it might drive away other paying customers who will go someplace else next time where the manager or employees speak up (for them) and tell you to leave your large/bulky transportation device outside to save room for others and their personal spaces. 


All the above is relative though.  I've been in some places were the store layout is WIDE open or there is a place to leave your bike inside. 

For example, I often go to the Staples on Elston to drop off UPS packages and buy office supplies and the manager has told me on more than one occasion as he saw me ride up while outside watching his parking lot that it is fine for me to bring my bike right in the big sliding doors and either leave it right there leaned up against the wall just inside the door where the service desk can watch it, or if I'm dropping off a package for UPS to just wheel it back to the print-shop area where the UPS drop-off is and do my business with it next to me and then wheel it right back out with me as I leave.

Everyone in that store is very friendly to me when I come and go with my bike (which is every couple of weeks) so I feel comfortable doing this and not imposing on anyone.  I still lock up outside if it is wet or yucky outside and there is any chance that I might drag in mud, water, salt, dirt whatever on my tires.    That would be rude.  But usually it's not a problem (especially in the summer) and I can come and go with my bike without having to lock up.    This is very convienient for me and I make a point of going to THAT Staples when I need to do UPS, make copies or print jobs my little B&W laser-printer can't handle, or get supplies.   I won't go anywhere else.  The bike thing seals the deal for me as a loyal customer.

But on the whole, I leave my bike locked outside most places.  It's sometimes rude to bring outside things inside into other people's private property where they might not be welcome.  If in doubt, ask -or don't do it at all.  

That's my $.02 and other people may have different opinions.  I won't force my view of what is rude or not rude on other people -or impose my own ideas of what is right and wrong regarding good maners on others.  I'm better than that (although I might snicker and laugh to myself at the crude people with no sense of decorum.)

Yes - I'm with the general consensus I think. Not being rude is more important than saving the minute it takes to lock up one's bike. It isn't just about you, but also your reflection on the biking community in general.

But sure, in lots of situations it is entirely fine. And yes, when in doubt, ask. In general I follow it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, but this case is an exception to that rule. I've never had a merchant say no when I've asked, but I've also only asked when it seemed like a reasonable thing to ask.

While I love to bring my bike into places where it's welcome and will seek out businesses that don't mind or encourage it, my thoughts about when it's appropriate to do so very much echo this.  I assumed this was all just common sense, but realize that unfortunately it might not be for all folks.  Not asking if it's ok or rolling a wet bike around a shop is indeed terrible.  Thanks for the considerate post.

edited for clarification/grammar


James BlackHeron said:

IMHO, I'm with Dug in that it is sort of on the rude side -especially if there are other patrons in the store and the aisles are tight -or your bike is going to track in crap onto nice floors (especially carpet.)  It's just as rude to other patrons as it is to the proprietor as most bikes are much bigger/longer than the area was ever designed to handle as far as floor-plan is concerned unless you have a minivelo, BMX, or 20" folder/compact.

It also can be rude to the proprietor because if other patrons are inconvenienced by your 6-foot plus long bike in everyone's way it might drive away other paying customers who will go someplace else next time where the manager or employees speak up (for them) and tell you to leave your large/bulky transportation device outside to save room for others and their personal spaces. 


All the above is relative though.  I've been in some places were the store layout is WIDE open or there is a place to leave your bike inside. 

For example, I often go to the Staples on Elston to drop off UPS packages and buy office supplies and the manager has told me on more than one occasion as he saw me ride up while outside watching his parking lot that it is fine for me to bring my bike right in the big sliding doors and either leave it right there leaned up against the wall just inside the door where the service desk can watch it, or if I'm dropping off a package for UPS to just wheel it back to the print-shop area where the UPS drop-off is and do my business with it next to me and then wheel it right back out with me as I leave.

Everyone in that store is very friendly to me when I come and go with my bike (which is every couple of weeks) so I feel comfortable doing this and not imposing on anyone.  I still lock up outside if it is wet or yucky outside and there is any chance that I might drag in mud, water, salt, dirt whatever on my tires.    That would be rude.  But usually it's not a problem (especially in the summer) and I can come and go with my bike without having to lock up.    This is very convienient for me and I make a point of going to THAT Staples when I need to do UPS, make copies or print jobs my little B&W laser-printer can't handle, or get supplies.   I won't go anywhere else.  The bike thing seals the deal for me as a loyal customer.

But on the whole, I leave my bike locked outside most places.  It's sometimes rude to bring outside things inside into other people's private property where they might not be welcome.  If in doubt, ask -or don't do it at all.  

That's my $.02 and other people may have different opinions.  I won't force my view of what is rude or not rude on other people -or impose my own ideas of what is right and wrong regarding good maners on others.  I'm better than that (although I might snicker and laugh to myself at the crude people with no sense of decorum.)

I can see a folding bikes, folded and rolled by the seat, not being an issue so much. Moreso in a Walgreens, CVS, Target, or grocery store. As this is about the same impact as a shopping cart. Though I have a lock and use it. But a full size bike rolling through the aisles, is too much in my mind.

 

I did not have my lock and popped into the Formost Liquor by the California Blue Line. They let me fold it up and park it by the front. Which was especially cool. The Walgreens near Armitage and Kedzie is always very accommodating. As well is the Formost at Spaulding and North. They both have large area where you can park your full size bike. I am often not the only one in the store with my full size bike up there.

Just like your bike up!

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