Monday, August 8, 2011

Bike Friendliness at Target

The Flagstaff Target on Milton and University is one of my regular stopping places and easy to use if one wants to shop by bike since it is very accessible by multiuse trail and bike paths.  While it is located on the hopelessly dyfunctional, drag strip Milton Avenue, Flag cyclists are allowed to pedal on sidewalks (except for downtown) when a bike lane or multiuse trail is not available.  The best thing about biking to Target is that they have a quite good bike corral a few steps from the front door.  Despite being well-used (mostly by nearby NAU students), I can always find a space.  On Thursday, I was packing my pannier with my purchases when I noticed a cute couple exiting the store and stop behind me at two bikes.  I love to see biking couples and families so of course I introduced myself and asked if I could snap their pictures.

Katrina and Josh recently relocated for Flagstaff where Josh is now enrolled at NAU in the physical therapy program.  Katrina, who works at NAU, mentioned that she was finding it pretty tough to pedal hilly Flagstaff on her cruiser.  She had no problems with it pedaling around Tempe, which is quite flat, and was considering finding another bike more suitable to the terrain.  

Josh had just purchased a handsome new Specialized, which looked perfect for crossing almost anything Flagstaff might throw at him.  I told Katrina that I had a hard time with the wide cruiser handlebars, especially when I had to tackle a hill and stand up while pedaling.    I also said that I needed more gears at this elevation.

They noticed my Dahon and asked me if it was a folding bike.  I said that it was and that I had taken it to San Francisco this past spring and was pleased with how well it handled the extreme hills and long ride over the Bay Bridge into Sausalito.  Turns out they had also done the Sausalito ride to Tiburon and like, Bob and I, ridden the ferry back the city.   After a few more friendly words, I wished them well on their new life in Flagstaff and pedaled on my way.  I'm always a little shy about approaching strangers for a photo but I virtually never regret it.  Being on a bicycle makes me and them just a little bit more approachable.  I have not idea why other than the possible connection of having made the choice to travel someplace by bike.


SuperKat said...

Family rides and couple rides have no match! Nothing like bonding while on wheels!

G.E. said...

What an adorable couple! :o)

I'm wondering if Target makes a concentrated effort to build in spots convenient to cyclists across the US? It would be interesting to know. I'd never really thought about it until you mentioned it, but ours is right off a main area for riders too, and we have a ton of spots for bikes to park. There are usually a couple of bikes parked outside, but not as many as I'd like to see. In summer months, the numbers are a bit higher than when the weather cools though.

inspiredcyclist said...

Ohhhh, I loved her cruiser - with the sweet flowers it! I agree, being on a bike makes people more approachable in a good way!