Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hurray for Bike Parking!

The Planner Guy and I had a Friday night date to usher in the July 4 holiday weekend. We met up after work at Pay n' Take and shared beer with Martin and Jeff for an hour or so . . .

This past Friday being the night of the First Friday Art Walk, downtown Flagstaff was a hustle and bustle with activity and not many parking spaces were to be had. As you and I already know though, parking spaces aren't much of a worry when you ride a bike.

My favorite "no parking" sign was open across the street at the Orpheum . . .

and Bob was able to find a place to lock up just a few steps from the bar, even with all the other bikes on the sidewalk . . .

and this one hanging out on a fence.

After leaving Pay n' Take, we tooled around downtown for a while and took in some street music and general urban ambiance.

Eventually we were ready to dine and decided to bike up San Francisco to Brix and enjoy a wine and cheese plate. We've been to Brix a couple of times, including for our anniverary this past April. The food is great, the service impecible and the interior of the restaurant is stylish and charming at the same time. Unhappily, once again I have failed to capture this on camera due to the excitement created when the cheese arrived at the table. I didn't even think about even taking a picture of the cheese plate until after I had already destroyed the artistic presentation. Damn! It really was delicious, too. I'll try to do better next time in the photog department but remember, this is a bike blog, not a foodie blog. So in keeping with bikes and the overall parking theme of this post, I did take pics of the exterior bike parking area!

Very nice. A bike rack in a well lit area, close to entrance rather than hidden in the shadows. One could probably fit more bikes at the bike rack than one could cars in the parking lot. Thank you Brix! How nice it is to be able to enjoy a date with my husband without it being marred by the unpleasantness of the lack of parking spaces or an ugly altercation over who saw said parking space first. Parking is never a crisis on a bike.


Bliss Chick said...

I love all of the creatively parked bikes! We see a lot of that here, too!

Laura PARING DOWN said...

I love the bike parking. As I become more and more interested in riding around town, I realize how little thought there is here in planning for cyclists.

:( Laura

Traci said...

I totally agree - not worrying about parking is soooo nice :) My husband and I were just saying recently how much better it is to ride our bikes into the area that we most frequently go to dinner. It's an area without much parking in general, and if you do find a spot, it's often not very close to where you're going. So much simpler to just ride right up to the restaurant and lock up! With that being said though, I wish this particular area would make more effort to provide actual bike racks. We can usually find a small tree, a signpost or railing, etc., but racks would be even better :)

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

The bike parked on top of the fence is very imaginative yet easy to steal. Just snip that one piece of chain link and she's gone. Hopefully the owner will read this and wrap his cable around the top tube of the fence next time. And get a bigger cable too. I say this for I am always cruising the bike section of Craigslist in the San Francisco area here, and the number of "my bike was stolen" posts are appalling. You just cannot be too careful these days.

She Rides a Bike said...

Traci - parking is a favorite subject of mine since people love to complain about it but, like the weather, never do anything about it - other than reject the best solutions. I am a big fan of lack of parking since it is a sign of a vibrant downtown. A downtown with a lot of parking is a downtown without business. Even in a car, I've never let having to walk a few blocks prevent me from shopping or doing whatever else I needed to do if I was serious about getting to where I needed to go. I lived for years in an old neighborhood close to a busy shopping district and often found cars parked on the publically owned street in front of my house. The price you pay for living in a charming old neighborhood with a Starbucks or a Wick's Pizza around the corner is that you often can't park right in front of your house between 5 - 10 p.m. on a weekend. Quel dommage. I also sold said house in a week at a profit. Anyway, I spend much more time downtown when I go by bike and find myself making more spontaneous visits to places I never intended to go all because stopping and locking the bike is more convenient than searching out a parking spot. Plus being on a bike downtown is so much more romantic than being in a car.

She Rides a Bike said...

Sinbad and I:

I lock my bike up each and everytime as well. Learned that when I was at UGA in the 80's. Bike theft was rampent and very out in the open. I biked to the art department most of the time and kept my bike locked up in my studio space. It was a sexy Giant Iguana, bright yellow with mat black hardware. I was sure anyone would want to take it.

Traci said...

I hear you about living in a nice old neighborhood and having people park on your street! We specifically avoided one area due to that since it's very much a nightlife area with bars, etc. Now our issue is during the day since we live very close to a university and a high school, with students at each parking on our street. I can understand the college students since they have to pay for parking otherwise, but the ridiculous thing is that it's a PRIVATE, very expensive university - go figure :) Luckily during the day isn't quite as bad, but we've had a lot of problems with students blocking our driveway before we leave and one even hit a neighbor's car once.

She Rides a Bike said...

Traci - check with the public works department of your city and see if you are allowed to paint the curb around your driveway apron to better designate "no parking". This does help. Also call your City Councilmember and see if he or she can ask the police or parking enforcement to ticket your area. Enforcement parking violations is the best deterant. If your neighbors are also experiencing similar problems they should also call, as well as your neighborhood org if you have one. I was a legislative aide in Louisville and calling the Council or Alderman's office can make a difference.

Loving the Bike said...

Yeah, the parking Gods are pretty much always with you when on a bike aren't they? Thanks for sharing your date and love for the bike.


Omen shara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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