Bike Racks

I was in Toronto this past weekend, and as usual was impressed with the city for many reasons: its multiculturalism, it's friendliness, it's vibrancy and cleanliness, but mostly it's robust bike culture. Toronto is a mere 100 miles from Buffalo and the climate is pretty much the same...snowy and bitterly cold much of the winter. And it is also a city where many of the cyclist bike year round...and the city seems to encourage it. The most obvious example of this are the prevalence of bike racks...there seems to be a bike rack every 50 feet. Most of them look like this, simple yet functional.

I've started to notice these, too. They're attached to lamp posts.

But the best ones I saw were outside the racks as artwork. Here's a few examples (click the pictures for larger views).

A lot of cities are (thankfully) installing bike racks these days. Buffalo is one of them...well, at least they've started to. This past year many of the parking meters were removed to replace an automated parking ticket hub. In the process the city is peppered with 3-foot metal poles sticking out of the ground. In this cities defense, they have, as promised, begun to convert some into bike racks. But as is more-often-than-not with the Queen City, things take time...a lot of time...a really long time. Sometimes the project never gets completed. I do, though, feel optimistic about this one. I feel confident that by this time next year we'll have plenty of new bike racks in and around our city (how's that for optimism). Anyhow, I did a quick search for pictures of Buffalo Bike Racks because I didn't have any. It's somewhat odd, I think, that I have pictures of all-things-bikes from many other cities, some that I visited and some that I haven't, but I don't have a picture of a bike rack in my own city and there is one less than a half-mile from my house. Anyhow, most of the bike racks are circles attached to the poles (similar to those in Toronto), but a few I've seen are shaped like Buffalo heads. Here's a picture and story about them on Buffalo Rising.

Interestingly, another story I found about Buffalo bike racks was on the website of Environment News Service. The article is good. but the photo on the site frustrated me. Here it is:

Huh? Who are these people. Of all the cyclists in this city in the summertime the photographer had to take a photo of a group of spandex-clad-aerodynamic-helmet-wearing-super speed-weekend cyclists (sorry, no offense to you if you're in the photo and come across this post). But I mean, come on...these people won't be using those bike racks. Everyday commuters and cargo bikers use bike racks. Couldn't they have used someone like this:

Just kidding, this photo is not of a Buffalonian (though he did spend time in Buffalo in the 1970's), it's a picture of Heinze Stucke, the inspiring German cyclist who hopped on his bike decades ago, started riding and has yet to stop. You can read more about him by clicking the link in the bike sections of this blog or simply click here.

Or they could at least have used a photo of this guy:

Again I'm joking, of course. Einstein was said to be an avid (recreational) cyclist, and was also born in Ulm, Germany, which incidentally I hope to visit eventually to see the Museum Der Brotkultur (Museum of Bread Culture).

Anyhow, at the very least the photographer, if they wanted to represent an everyday biker, one who rides as a mode of transport and as a lifestyle, could have taken a photo of these two guys. OK, I'm (somewhat) joking again, and patting myself on the back a little. This is a photo that was originally published in Buffalo Spree Magazine about a year ago. It's a photo of my son and I on our tandem; the photo accompanies an article I wrote about biking. An archived link to the article can be found here.

He could have also used a cargo cyclist, and I use this term loosely because you see people hauling everything from laundry to television sets on bicycles in the city. You can see a few examples of me hauling stuff by bike (and trike) by clicking here, here, and here.

But I would have been really happy if they used a photo of a bike like this one. I don't remember where this photo is from or where I got it, but they are literally carrying everything and the kitchen sink...and I doubt if the rider wore spandex.


Tom Willer said…
That's a street bike racks. That holds bikes when the owner is away. That kind of bike racks is unique good for urban society. I've seen many bike racks on the top of some autos. They use it for many purposes.
Unknown said…
This is a great post !