Sunday, October 22, 2006

Note to Self: Don't Bike to the Airport

I saw this story in today's Star Trib about a man who parked his bike at the airport, only to return and find it destroyed. I won't post the entire article here, but please read it here:

Leave your bike at the airport? Not a good idea, rider says

I am first going to start out with the unpopular position that the cyclist had a small part of the blame here. I say this because he locked his bike up inside the terminal. Not including the underground parking garage at my work and Jim's shop, I can't think of a single place where I can lock my bike up indoors. Locking your bike inside of a building is asking for trouble. But, this is a very small part of the story. If I had done this, I wouldn't be entirely surprised to come back after four days and find my bike had been removed. I would be incredibly surprised to find that my bike had been cut in half. It's a bit like parking in the handicap spot, only to find that instead of being impounded your car has been sent to the crusher.

The saddest part is that no matter the outcome, this man has lost a bicycle he's owned since 1957. Nearly 50 years. Each scratch on the frame had a story that is now gone. Every small modification made by the owner to increase his satisfaction cannot be duplicated. Another Raleigh 3-speed, while the same bike in theory, can't come close to replacing what has been lost. Every time Paul rode this bike, he was likely reminded of a lifetime of biking and adventure. He will never build this type of connection again, and that is the true crime here.

Date: October 10
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 130
Year to date mileage: 2730

Date: October 12
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 150
Year to date mileage: 2750

Date: October 16
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 170
Year to date mileage: 2770

Date: October 17
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 190
Year to date mileage: 2790

Date: October 20
Mileage: 10
Ride type/Bike: Fun Ride/Jamis
October mileage: 200
Year to date mileage: 2800

Date: October 21
Mileage: 31
Ride type/Bike: Hiawatha Ride/Raleigh
October mileage: 231
Year to date mileage: 2831


KM said...

I wonder what route he took. I know many ways to get near it but absent riding in rt 5 and taking the main road into the airport, I am not sure how he got to the terminal.

Unless of course he went via the post office off Post Road.


Pete said...

It said he took the light rail. The train goes to both terminals.

Gilby said...

That is incredibly sad, and the bike parking situation at the airport is definitely aggravating.

It might not seem to make sense why he locked his bike indoors, but I've found myself in a similar predicament. When meeting someone at the airport, I fully intended to lock my bike at the termimal's light rail stop. But I discovered that there were no bike racks there--and nothing else suitable for locking to. So I had to haul my bike up the stairs/escalator with me, onto the tram, and right into the terminal.

In order to lock your bike outside, you would have to find some place to actually get outside (once you step off the light rail, it's all indoors to the terminal). And the outdoor bike parking options aren't great, either. In fact, I've never seen designated bike-parking. If you locked to a sign in the drop-off/pick-up area, I'm sure your bike would be removed.

Tim said...

Sad story about the bike, and I was disappointed by the reporter's description of the "American classic," considering it was an English bicycle.

It would be nice if the publicity from this bad situation led to the installation of bike racks at the airport.