Monday, March 30, 2009

Something good this way comes...again

It's that time of the semester when, one by one, the eggs I've been juggling start to drop. Even so, I'm trying to focus on the bright side of things to keep my spirits up.

Like this little item of interest: my favorite grocery store, MarketStreet, long a shining light in an otherwise vast sea of mediocrity, has always had these super bike racks, which are used more and more every year (LBB is not known for its commuter-cycling community). However, during a recent renovation the racks were removed, and when they were bolted back in place, they were too close to the outside wall to be usuable. You see, it has to be far enough away to allow the cyclist to put the front wheel all the way through--otherwise, you can't thread a lock through the frame of the bike. This is a sure-fire invitation to theft.

So...I complained, gently, to a store manager. I took him outside and pointed out why they were now unusable, and he listened with great patience and interest, and even asked intelligent questions. While we were standing there, a cyclist wheeled up, looked at us quizzically, and started to lock his bike.

"We're talking about the racks," I said.

The cyclist nodded in understanding and then said, "Oh yeah; they're too close to the wall. I have to park my bike sideways now and it takes up the whole rack that way. The ones on the other side of the store are just as bad."

The manager said he'd bring it up at the next store meeting, and I thanked him for his time. And truthfully? I thought that would be the end of it.

But no. A week later I returned to the store and what did I find? A bike in the rack--which had been moved farther from the wall to allow the bike to be locked through the frame! They'd moved it another foot out and bolted it back to the concrete--just like I'd recommended.

By the way, this excellent rig (not mine) was also pulling a cute little red wagon. Wish I'd had my glasses on when I was taking the picture--I might have noticed it wasn't in the frame...

Of course, I would have lifted the front wheel over the down loop and pulled the bike even farther through to catch the back wheel with the lock, too...but I quibble.

Oh my. I love MarketStreet. I really do. (And I am not a paid shill.)

Imagine a world where you are listened staggers the mind.


  1. Good work making the world a more civilized place!

  2. Good for you! Sad that you have to be so concerned about theft. I have an oldish women's bike, and I do lock it but just to prevent someone from taking it for a joy ride.

  3. Susan and TM--Thanks, but I didn't really do much. The manager was very nice, and eager to listen to what I had to say.

    TM--yes, it is sad to worry about theft, but that's the way the world rolls. If I lock my bike up tightly, it is certainly less likely to happen, but even that is no guarantee. Still if it gets stolen, cest la vie! It is only stuff.

  4. I'm sure it helped that you were gentle and constructive in making your complaint.

  5. Hey, good for you for raising this issue in a considerate and calm way, so that you were listened to. Great that they made the change so the biking grocery-getters can fit more to the rack!

  6. Aw shucks, Michelle--I didn't do anything you wouldn't have done, too!

  7. It was worth speaking up - and you got a result! Good for you and the reasonable manager you spoke to.If only everyone was so helpful.

  8. YOU were responsible! How great! I wish I would have had a little faith that management might have listened. I commuted there for a few items and I witnessed the bike rack for myself. Thanks Dr.T, we really appreciate it. What a great improvement.

  9. EG--yes, it would be nice if everyone were as helpful as he. Yet another reason I love my favorite store.

    Daisy--good for you commuting there! The more the merrier, I say! Come summer, we should see more and more--I can't wait.

  10. Excellent! And good for the store manager for listening and getting it fixed.

  11. How wonderful to hear a story with a happy ending! Let's hope April continues in the same fashion.


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