http://mv-voice.com/square/print/index.php?i=3&d=1&t=5684


Town Square

Gear Up Your Ride: The Grocery Getter

Original post made by Janet Lafleur, Rex Manor, on Jul 25, 2013

When people think of bicycling for practical reasons, bike commuting usually comes to mind first. But since work commutes are often the longest trips we make all week, it may make more sense to bike around town for short errands at the pharmacy, post office, bank, coffee shop or grocery store instead. While it's easy enough to slip a bottle of pills into your pocket or a small package to mail into a backpack, for errands like groceries you'll want a bike that's set up to carry a load. You need what my friend Katie calls her grocery getter.

This story contains 913 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Remember that bike theft is rampant at supermarkets since thieves assume you will be in the store for more than a few minutes. If your local store does not already have secure bike racks, ask them to install them, preferably not hidden in a back alley where thieves can work out-of-sight. Use a good hardened steel lock, never a cable lock which is easily clipped with hand tools. Leave room in your grocery bag to take the lock home with you. Fortunately, you're not traveling very far, so the weight of the lock is not important.


Like this comment
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:51 am

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

Yes, bike theft is always an issue so it's important to lock up securely. It is really annoying when there's not a proper rack to lock up to which is why I avoid shopping at stores that don't have good racks.

The good news is that here in Mountain View, most stores have good racks, like Trader Joe's and Safeway at San Antonio Center, Safeway on Shoreline and Whole Foods on El Camino. I'm sure there are many more. These are the ones I use most.

If your favorite shop doesn't have a good rack, it does help to ask. My friend Jeri asked Sprouts to improve their rack (it was too close to the wall) and they did.


Like this comment
Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 29, 2013 at 12:08 am

Ava's back door faces a public parking garage on Bryant. That garage has the newer upside-down U style bike racks that work well for securing my road bike's frame and front wheel with a U-lock.

The Fresh & Easy and the Safeway on Shoreline each have that kind of parking on both sides of their entrances. (In the F&E's case, one in that little walkway, the other by the Starbucks.)

Piazza's and the new Sprouts on Rengstorff are not as good. They have the older style long rack with a top bar that is too low to get my wheel under. (I use the ends instead when I can, or put my whole wheel over the top bar otherwise.) And Sprouts had a "Boar's Head" dining table blocking the bike rack yesterday. I moved it out of the way. I should have complained but was a bit confused at the time. (I thought "Boar's Head" was a restaurant next door or something. It's actually Sprouts's own deli.)


Like this comment
Posted by Shapely Legs
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Can we all ask the manager of Nob Hill to improve their bike rack, or at least move it so that bikes don't block the sidewalk when using the rack?
I usually lock my bike to the gas main behind the rack to keep the walk way clear.


Like this comment
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@Shapely Legs Ah, you're hit on one of my pet peeves. Putting the racks where the bikes will block people walking makes the bicyclists look rude when it's an issue with the rack. If you haven't made a formal request with the manager, I would. I've seen it work before.


Like this comment
Posted by Shapely Legs
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 30, 2013 at 7:13 am

Janet: I know, right? I see people sneer at the bikes perpendicular to the sidewalk as they try to step around. I want to say "Its not the bike rider's fault, complain to the store who put the rack there."
I've also seen people "push through", bending the bike over or out of the way with their shopping carts, so avoiding using that rack helps pedestrians and saves my bike from damage.