Bike Parking Hall of Shame: Redmond’s Ale House in Lakeview

Happy Friday! While I’m still gathering photos for the next post on neighborhood taverns, I rode by this establishment the other afternoon and couldn’t help but snap a few pictures for the weekly Bike Parking Hall of Shame. You’ll find this odd bike rack set up along  3358 N. Sheffield Avenue in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, out in front of Redmond’s Ale House.

bike rack in front of Redmond's Ale House in Lakeview

You’ll note that there are 2 city-installed U-racks out in front of this bar, but for some unfathomable reason, they’ve decided to block the racks with their own grill rack.

bike rack in front of Redmond's Ale House in Lakeview

Where do I begin? Let’s start with those grill racks. With Oma there serving as an excellent example, you can see one reason why these grill-style bike racks are considered poor’ quality bike racks and don’t make any list of recommended bike racks. Oma’s front wheel barely fits into the rack. If I wanted to try to lock here to that rack, there is no way I’d get a U-lock or even a heavy chain lock through the bike frame, wheel, and rack because I can’t get the wheel in close enough. Oma is also far to big, heavy, and unwieldy to lift up over the top of the rack like some people do with their bikes when confronted with one of these racks.  That is of course, if you are someone who is capable of lifting your bike up over the rack.  Next, take a look at that bar in front of the rack – that adds more difficultly in getting your bike into the rack.  And, if you were able to get your bike into the rack, would you want you wheel sticking out into Sheffield Avenue where some car could come along and smash into your bike? Note also that they’ve positioned the grill racks between two signs in such a way as to make the ends of the bike racks practically unusable as well – and the ends are the only places you can really lock your bike to on these types of racks. Finally, though you can’t really tell by these pictures,  if I did try to lock Oma up to this rack in this fashion, she would be blocking more than half the sidewalk! Frankly, for the money they spent on these two grill racks and the chains to secure them to the signposts, they could have purchased one more U-rack, installed it sideways like the existing racks and had space for at least 6 bikes. Those grill racks may be ‘designed’ for 6 bikes each, but there is no way they could ever get than many bikes jammed onto one.

If you’re out and about in the city of Chicago and come across a less-than-stellar example of bike parking, send me and email with a picture and location to ddlr at dingdingdingletsride dot com, and I’ll get it up on the site.  If you’re a business and you’re looking for more information on how to provide stellar bike parking for your patrons, check out the links on my Bike Parking Hall of Shame landing page. The city of Chicago has a lot of great resources, and I’ve got a link to a best practices guide as well.

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