Well, we have jumped on the bandwagon, implementing a bike-only rule for ourselves in the neighborhood (a decision we should have made years ago, we know), only hopping in the car for big trips. We're lucky enough to live in a neighborhood where the movie theater, coffee shop, grocery store, bank, clothing store, and bike shop lie within an easily-rideable radius.
But where are all the bike racks?
We thought our city was especially bike-friendly until we started needing a place to park it.
Maybe it's because we live just outside of the epicenter and they haven't gotten around to outfitting the entire city to be completely bike-ready, but we don't think that's a good excuse.
At the movies on Friday night, we wrapped our chains around benches and then uncomfortably struggled with the locks (in the dark) while people sat inches away, ogling our clumsy attempts with the combination.
Neither of our favorite coffee shops in the area are helping, either: there's nowhere to stash our ride once we arrive.
Then we biked to the open-air mall just a couple of miles up the road. No bike rack in sight, we began to lock our bikes to an out-of-the-way handrail. Two tough security guards strolled up and informed us that we weren't allowed to do that--but the closest bike rack was a quarter-mile away. So we just chained our bikes together and hoped for the best.
The lack of racks is not going to keep us from biking everywhere around here, but we are going to look into why the city hasn't done more for those of us trying to save a little planet...not to mention gas.
Are any of you readers experiencing bike woes in your cities? What about some feel-good success stories?
Photo: Amber Byfield