Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bike Rack Characteristics & Photos

Bike parking, one of the most basic, most important parts of biking. Need to catch your breath, get a drink, run a quick errand, check a text or use the loo? Having bike parking nearby will make the task that much easier.

There are so many different kinds of bike racks! I feel like there's almost one out there for every kind of personality. However, there are 3 characteristics that go into having a good bike rack. 
Inverted "U" rack in a group.

1.  Racks should support a bike in two areas. Remember those old school comb racks in the elementary school yard? Maybe you can still see them at your children's school. Bikes parked in these kind of racks are commonly seen twisted or fallen over. Racks should support a bike at one point on the frame and at another point like on the wheel. Two points of rack contact equals ideal bike parking.

2.  Racks should be bolted into the ground. Bike thieves are much less likely to take off with your bike if the rack is bolted into the ground. If the rack can be lifted, then there's a chance that someone with some not-so-hard-to-find tools might make off with your ride.

3.  Racks should be in well-lit, visible areas.Visibility is good for promoting a feeling of safety and it helps to deter theft. Folks prefer moving around in well-lit areas, and putting a bike rack near lighting is like parking your car in a lighted parking lot. It just feels safer.

I've gathered a sampling of bike rack photos. It's interesting to consider these different designs. Most of the racks in the photographs have the 3 listed features of good bike parking. See the photos below for racks that range from run of the mill to to the outrageous. 

Bike Racks. Palo Alta, CA
Covered bike parking. These lift up to fit bikes underneath.
Great for sheltering from the weather.

Covered bike rack. Palo Alta, CA.

Bike racks at Google, CA. (Note the colors.)

Bike Rack. Los Angles, CA. The hitching post
rack can be retrofitted to parking meters.

Bike Racks. Palo Alta, CA.
Note the lights and public location.

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