Strip-Mall Parking

Yes, on occasion I venture to a big box store...I don't like them (more specifically, I don't like how they make me feel) but they usually have what I need at the time. At any rate, I went to a strip mall on the outskirts of our city today and was appalled at the virtual lack of bicycle parking. If you're reading this from outside the U.S or Canada the phrase strip mall may not make sense to's basically an enormous parking lot (for autos) surrounded on the parameter by a series of generic stores, often anchored by a big box. These things dot our (mostly suburban) landscape, and they couldn't be more uninviting to a bicyclist.

I went to one particular store because they have had a bike rack in the past...but alas, today it was gone...filled in by merchandise. I asked one guy (who worked there) if it had been relocated...he just said, "no, I think it's just gone." After cruising around the parking lot in search of somewhere safe to lock up the Yuba I ended locking it to a post in the handicapped parking area...people gave me odd looks but there was virtually nowhere to lock my bike in this sea of parking spaces for cars.

Now I'm not saying everyone should ride a bike (but it would be nice) because I know that's not possible for all (and I don't ride one all the time myself)...but if it were made more conducive...more inviting...maybe we would see more bikes in the parking lot (mine was one of two bikes in a sea of hundreds of cars).

On my way home I took a shortcut through Delaware was a beautiful, albeit windy day. I stopped to admire Hoyt Lake, and then I rode over to (and walked through) the Elmwood Festival of the Arts.

The only thing I purchased at the strip mall was dog food...the parking was way more of a hassle than the actual ride. But when you ride a bike it's not always so much about the destination as it is the least that's how I feel.


2whls3spds said…
Standard parking spot for me in my part of the world. They need to REQUIRE cycle parking and spell out where it goes. One locale I was working it got the requiring part right(it is part of the local codes), but they property owners/store management stuck the rack in the back of the store by the dumpsters, talk about feeling like a third class citizen!