C’mon Seriously? What are you Thinking?


“Dear PoPville,

Thought I would send this in for your terrible/interesting parking job series. This person parks his/her bike like this every single day. Taking up a lot of the limited bike rack space near the office. Near Fed.Center SW Metro. I’d politely say something to her/him if we were there at the same time, but we’ve yet to cross paths! “

48 Comment

  • did you try to leave a note?

  • That’s what passive agressive notes are for.

  • Surprised they still have their wheels if they park like that everyday.

  • This happened in my office parking garage once. I put a note on the bike–for all to see–telling them what an asshole they were for taking up so many slots. It never happened again.

  • try repositioning their bike?

  • I would be SO tempted to flip it up so it was balanced above the rack.

  • Didn’t mean to reply to Anon, but remove the front wheel and lock it to the rack

  • That is the worst type of bicycle parking rack in existence. It’s almost impossible to lock your frame to it with a standard u-lock.

    • Hard, sure. But not impossible. Check out the other bike in the picture…

      • If you have a typical road bike frame, there is not enough clearance between the wheel and the frame to accommodate the rack. I hate these racks. That said, this biker clearly could have locked the bike to the end of the rack.

    • I’ll lift my bike so the front wheel is on the other side of the rack and then run the U through the front tire and the frame, where it cannot be lifted over the rack due to the lock and the bar. That, or if the end of the rack is empty (like here), I’ll lock to the end.

    • The owner of the other bike in the picture didn’t seem to have much of a problem with it.

      • True, but the owner of the other bike in the picture risks coming back to a bike with a bent wheel. There’s nothing to support the weight of the bike, it could tip over but the wheel would not be able to tip over with it, damaging it and requiring you to buy a new front wheel.

        • Look closely. Yes, I realize this type of bike rack is derisively referred to as a wheel-bender; however, the owner of the other bike in the picture has managed to defeat both the weak-ass security features and the wheel-bending features of this lame bike rack by locking his bike in a way that the designer never even intended. That wheel is no more likely to get bent than is a wheel locked along with the frame to a standard inverted U rack. Yes, I realize that with some bikes, doing this may be geometrically impossible, but the owner of the other bike in the picture made the best of a bad situation and is no worse off than he would be with an inverted U.

      • maxwell smart

        That method only works if you have the larger U-Lock as shown; if however you have the smaller, lighter and less awkward U-lock, at best, with some work, you can lock the frame only – provided you offset the tire and the frame and really work at it.

        • It sounds like this guy is a regular at this bike rack. Sure, if you’re out and about and find a brand new destination that, alas, has a substandard bike rack, and both ends are occupied, then this is somewhat understandable, but come on, if a place you park your bike every day has this [email protected] rack and you can’t persuade them to get a better one, then come on man, just get a bigger U lock and do what the other guy did.

    • You put the front tire over the top horizontal bar and then use your u lock through front tire, vertical bar, and frame. Maybe your bike’s front tire clearance is the problem?

      • This was how the bicycle-store people told me to lock my bike when I bought a bike in college. I used it for only a semester and haven’t bicycled since; I’m always surprised when I see people who are apparently regular cyclists NOT locking their bikes in this way.

      • Well, you can’t change the clearance on the frame! That’s the problem with my bike as well. Smaller frame bikes have tight clearances, so that method doesn’t work.

        In this case, though, you could lock it to the end of the rack.

      • That breaks my fenders.

  • Really not sure how my knife went through BOTH of your tires?!

  • Those bike racks are not suitable for locking a bike in an urban area. Depending on the bike, it’s nearly impossible to lock anything other than the front wheel when positioning a bicycle the “correct” way, which is not safe because wheels can be easily removed. I would do the exact same thing. If there is not enough bike parking in the area you should talk to your building about getting proper racks installed.

  • I hate these types of racks, since they don’t easily allow for the sheldon brown method (among other reasons). I will usually lock to the outside edge of the rack, or just tie up to something else (parking meter or street sign), if i encounter one of these. But I’ve definitely done what this guy does before, if there doesn’t appear to be any other bikes nearby, and there are no other lock-up alternatives

  • going into a rage spiral just looking at this photo

  • I’d put my U lock on it. FOREVER

  • This is idiotic. I’d steel his wheels for being such a jerk. I mean, if you’re going to go all out and use two locks, at least lock your tires to the rack, dumb face. A knife to the tires might more easily go unnoticed though. I for one hate these kind of racks, since you can really only lock your wheel and not the frame, at least with my bike. It would actually be way more secure if this idiot used the side of the rack to lock his frame and wheels.

  • If this is in an office building, this rack is against code. But good luck getting mgmt to fix it.

    • Really? Damn I will look into this. The reason I (against the rules) sneak my bike into my office is that I will not lock it to a signpost outside & the bike rack in my office garage is this style. This means my bike only fits on an end because there isn’t enough clearance to put the wheel over the top as many have suggested. Those spots are generally taken by 8 am. If management would install the racks in the style like those outside red rocks/meridian pint, more bikes would fit without people taking up the whole rack like this idiot.

  • PoP should do a series on terrible bike racks that make people park like this. I’d nominate the PoS rack at the Safeway in Hill East.

  • I would lobby management for a better bike rack. These are known as wheelbender racks and they are horrible and encourage impolite locking. If you lock your bike the “intended” way, you risk bending your wheel and not being able to ride your bike home. It’s common to see people locking bikes sidewalks to this sort of rack in order to protect the bike from damage. Inverted U bike racks instead of wheelbender racks are the solution here.

  • I don’t understand why OP would want to use this crappy bike rack in the first place. I’d lock to a street sign before using this.

  • Yeah, I don’t defend this asshat, but these racks are old and useless. There are a bunch of them outside of Washington Sports Club in dupont and they are basically useless. I have suggested an upgrade several times, but no one seems to care.

  • cut the gear wires or steal it!!


  • PDleftMtP

    U-lock the frame and cable lock the wheels. It’s not that hard. Yes, cable locks are easier to cut, but they’re unlikely to bother for just a regular wheel.

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