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ReviewBikeRoad Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I was riding through a small town where I'm staying for a few days. It's a tiny town, probably only 300 people, a general store, a bait store, a bar, and a few other random businesses.

I stopped at the general store to get the newspaper on my way home, but needed change for the machine so I went inside and took my bike with me.

The store was empty save for one customer, who asked me why I brought my bike inside, and pointed out that it was taking up room. I just told him I didn't want it stolen.

Was it rude of me to bring the bike inside? It's not like I was wondering around, I went straight to the counter then left. I didn't have anyone with me to watch the bike while I went in.

I live in a city, and you never leave anything unlocked because it WILL be stolen. This isn't a walmart bike, it's a decent Felt that I worked very hard to be able to afford.

Any ways, the clerk didn't say anything, it was just some random old guy. Perhaps I was in the wrong?
 

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I don't in any way see how that is rude. Old people can be critical and grouchy about everything. When I retire I plan on doing that as well
 

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While you were definatley smart to take it in the store, saying you didn't want the bike stolen have been offensive to someone in a small town. This person all ready saw you as a stranger because he knew everyone in town, except you.

The more politically correct response would have been to of acted a little ignorant and/or naive and said, "I'm sorry, it's been a habit of mine to keep my bike by my side when I can; I'm from BIG CITY USA and I guess I am a little cautious. Probably should not have to worry about that too much here in lovely SMALLVILLE."
 

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I was in a Target some weeks back, the hipster brought his fixie in. The employees didn't say a thing. :nonod:
 

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slow rider
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You should have just said, shut and hold my bike while I pay for this.:wink5:
 

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ReviewBikeRoad Member
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
See that's the thing, I'd never go into a big box store or a grocery store with a bike, plus I do own a "beater" I can take on errands and actually lock up.
 

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Well, I'll say it. I think it's rude to bring a bike insde without asking permission. I keep a little cable lock in my seatbag for these situations. Though in this "tiny town" where I'm running in to get change I'd probably just lean it against the wall and take my "chances." You could probably keep it in sight the whole time.
 

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I do think it's rude but can not come up with a solid reason why I think that so the problem is probably people like me who get up tight for no reason sometimes.
I've done it though because I'm willing to be rude if given the choice of being rude and risking having my bike lifted.
 

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mcsqueak said:
See that's the thing, I'd never go into a big box store or a grocery store with a bike, plus I do own a "beater" I can take on errands and actually lock up.
You wouldn't take your bike into a big box store but you would take it into a tiny store with less space?

I think Tommy Walker hit the nail on the head in his post up above.
 

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In Blue America
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You should have acted offended, and told him it was your service vehicle, which provides relief to your chronic stress and anxiety. Keeping it with you is a reasonable accomodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and within your rights.

And why not? This is the same load of bull we got at my office when someone expressed alarm at the snake a woman wore around her neck.
 

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ReviewBikeRoad Member
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
dir-t said:
You wouldn't take your bike into a big box store but you would take it into a tiny store with less space?

I think Tommy Walker hit the nail on the head in his post up above.
I wouldn't ride to a store like that without planning in advance, but this was an unplanned stop while out on my ride.
 

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Lets keep baby carriages, strollers, and wheelchairs out of these crowded empty stores as well.

But I agree--- in a small town, does anyone even lock up their bikes?
 

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When I ride alone I do not hesitate to take my bike inside when I stop to buy some water at a convenience store. If the store is crowded I will wait until some people leave. I have never had anyone say anything to me other than to ask where I'm riding, be safe, etc. If the clerk is not busy I will ask if its ok just to be polite, but only after I'm inside with the bike. If the store is empty I will walk it with me to get what I need. Hey, it takes 2 seconds for someone to jump on your ride and be gone...even in a small town. Small towns have lots of people drive through every day who will never be back and I can't outrun a pickup in my cleats. Even if everyone who lives in the town is 100% honest and would never even concieve of such a thing...better safe than sorry.
 

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I'll sometimes stop at convenience stores, gas stations, etc. on the way home to grab a beer. I always bring my bike inside. Since I stop at the same 3-4 stores, I know all the folks by now and none of them have any problem at all. I'm careful to put it off to the side, not knock anything and I'm always in & out in a minute. Most of them usually ask me about my ride or bike.

One store, in the worst part of town, told me I couldn't bring it in. I told him he didn't have any racks to lock up. "No one wants your bike!" Yeah right, people will steal gum in that part of town. I told he we were spending more time debating than it would take me to grab my can o' beer. He wouldn't relent. I told him I wouldn't come back there and he was fine with that. Still haven't been back.

The funny thing about the forest-killing box stores...most of them never have a bike rack. If I ever have to go to one I usually have to lock my bike to a bench.

Oh, and the bar down the block from me - decided to stop one day after a long country ride, so didn't have a lock. I know the owner/tender from being in there and simply asked if I could bring my bike it. He said sure and he actually used to ride a lot. It's a relaxed place though, with dogs and plenty of space. Pretty cool of him...and I love it when my drinking buddy is one of my nice bikes:)
 

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I usually just ask if it's okay at a small store...I almost never get a negative response...Like the last time was 10+ years ago.

At big stores it just comes in with me, and I have never been challenged.

I have had employees even offer to store it in a safe place, especially when not a store, like the dentist, doctor, city halls, restaurants, etc.

I don't think you were rude, but perhaps the comment on getting stolen in a small town was borderline. I would just say, that I never let it out of my sight.
 

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youre fine

youre fine. the old man was grumpy. that's really all there is to that situation.

by the by, i dont like leaning my bike against products in the stores, regardless of their perishability / breakability factor, so i usually find a corner near the door of the store where nobody has any business really being and flip it upside down sitting on the lever hoods and saddle.
 

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I don't think it's rude. Customer's shoes are just as dirty if not more dirty than your bike tires which probably have a smaller contact patch.

Also, would you leave $500/$2000/$5000 on the sidewalk outside the store? If not, why leave the same value bike outside?
 

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JCavilia said:
Well, I'll say it. I think it's rude to bring a bike insde without asking permission. I keep a little cable lock in my seatbag for these situations. Though in this "tiny town" where I'm running in to get change I'd probably just lean it against the wall and take my "chances." You could probably keep it in sight the whole time.
+1

I don't think you were rude but perhaps taking some extra liberties most "store keeps" would frown on. If you argued with the guy then that's way off base and rude. Doesn't sound like you did that to me.

But....I do have to say I'm getting pretty tired of people thinking it's their right to bring bikes into stores or go through drive ups. It's not discriminatory under the law in any way for them to tell you you can't. We can debate about if they should be more accommodating but not that they must. Do your business with them or don't but never act as if it's a "right" of yours to do whatever the hell you want with your bike in their place of business. Better bike racks, allowing use of drive ups would be great but I kind of agree with general merchandise retailers that don't want the bikes inside.
 

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I think it's rude to expect to take your bike into a business establishment. It's not a stroller, mobility aid or a shopping aid like a cart. It's a vehicle. If I was the owner, manager, clerk, I'd politely ask you to leave it outside. Bike stores are one of the few exceptions.
 
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