Shopping With A Dutch Bike – Easy and Stylish

I’ve now had Oma for almost a month – and I am very very happy with this bike.  I’ sure I’ll be just as happy in two years with her as Dottie is with her Oma on her two-year Oma-Anniversary this week! Oma is a great bike and every day I look for errands that will require me to carry as much as possible on this awesome cargo-carrying city bike. I appreciate those retailers that have U-Rack or U-wavy bike racks or one of the recommended bike rack styles near their establishments even more.  I really dislike those useless old fashioned ‘grill-style’ bike racks since Oma – like my mountain bike-  is far too big too fit into a grill rack, and Oma -unlike my mountain bike – is too heavy to lift over the top.

Bike un-friendly "grill-style" bike rack

Bike un-friendly “grill-style” bike rack. Note the only bikes locked up here are on the ends since they cannot fit inside the bars.

Contrast that to this photo that I took at the Dominick’s store on Chicago Avenue just west of Damen. They have three of these city-provided U-Racks out in front of their store, on Chicago Avenue, and a fourth one on the west side of the store past the side entrance. Three bikes, including Oma, all securely locked up and happy.

Bikes locked up in front of the Dominick's store on Chicago Avenue

Bikes locked up in front of the Dominick’s store on Chicago Avenue

Here’s Oma looking for a spot on the west side – that rack was full too.

More Bike Parking at Domick's on Chicago Avenue

Note to Chicago-area businesses: The City of Chicago has a wonderful bike program and guidelines for bike parking for businesses. You can start with their useful booklet  Bike Parking for Your Business. Or simply contact the city bike program manager Christopher Gagnon, cgagnon@cityofchicago.org OR (312) 744-4600.

I couldn’t relegate Oma to only daytime rides to the grocery store though, so last week I met a friend downtown for some important winter boot shopping.  Oma was lucky enough to land a secure parking space inside a parking garage.  Before we headed home I took this picture of  my Dutch bike fully loaded with purchases front and back, which also shows off the reflective sidewalls on her 28-inch Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires.  Those tires along with the front and back dynamo lights and reflectors made Oma safe for riding at night throughout the city.

Oma downtown at night

And this picture of my Lucchese cowboy boots – which are great for riding a bike – proved that I can even be stylish when navigating the evening traffic in the Loop and River North on a weekday night. Giddy-up Omafiets!

Cowboy boots for bike riding

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