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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
or did Lance's sponsor try to push me into the ditch? :)

I bought a Timbuk2 Messenger bag to take envelopes and packages to the US Post Office for mailing. I decided to deliver my packages via bike instead of car. I've done this a few times in the past. Today, I rode up to the building. The place was deserted, and instead of dismounting, I straddled my bike up to the counter. The lady told me I couldn't bring my bike inside. I told her I didn't want my bike to be stolen (there are no bike racks and no way to secure my bike outside or even in the lobby). Her comment was basically,"Tough luck." I've had a little dispute with this lady a few months ago (haven't seen her since), and I'm not sure if she was giving me a hard time. Instead of pushing the issue, I left without mailing my stuff.

I'm not a renegade who comes flying into the place aiming for little children and dragging mud all over the floors. I just want to come inside, mail my packages, and leave.

My plan is to visit the Postmaster General tomorrow and ask permission to escort my bicycle into the building. I will argue the lack of bike racks or any means to secure my bicycles should give me some leeway. Leaving the bike in the lobby, as the lady suggested, is absolutely not an option, because it's a prime target for theft.

So what did I do wrong? What would you do?

Thanks much,
Jürgen
 

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The web is a MUT
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Same with some banks

Some banks will allow bicycles in the lobby, some won't.

Some banks will allow bicycles in the drive-up window lanes, some won't.

Let us know what you find out, but I suspect you'll be told to leave the bicycle outside.

But, here's a thought, everytime you want to mail something, bring the bicycle inside and say you just want to get a quote on shipping it and want to know what it will cost. If they say you were in there the week before asking the same thing just say you forgot what they said and lost the info on the way home. ;)

ps, same deal goes with grocery stores and department stores: many without bike racks and most won't allow you to walk your bike inside. Same with many shopping malls, plus they really hate the sound of cleats on their tile floors. heh heh heh. :)
 

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In Blue America
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Were you out of line? No

Sounds like this clerk is angry about some history between the two of you, if I read your post correctly.
Maybe you should walk alongside the bike, not straddle it or ride it into the place. I think your actions were fine, so long as you weren't inconveniencing any other customers.
 

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Going Postal

TypeOne said:
Sounds like this clerk is angry about some history between the two of you, if I read your post correctly.
Maybe you should walk alongside the bike, not straddle it or ride it into the place. I think your actions were fine, so long as you weren't inconveniencing any other customers.
I agree that your walking alongside the bike probably would be a better idea. The one time that I took my bike into a post office, I walked it into the place and stood it next to the wall where the line for service started -- I could see the bike and was close enough if someone tried to touch it, but I did not really catch the attention of the desk clerk.

One thing to remember: In the days before Lance Armstrong and his associates were winning bike races, "going postal" had a very different meaning. You are taking your life into your hands (literally) when you get postal workers angry. The fact that the US Postal Service sponsors the boys in blue may not be a plus when you speak to the postmaster -- once when I mentioned Lance Armstrong to a post office desk clerk who was standing in front of a postal service-Armstrong poster, she erupted into a diatribe about how the postal service was wasting its money on its sponsoring the team and not paying the postal workers enough. I would be deferential -- or use UPS, FedEx or DHL (I don't know about the others, but the local FedEx office never has had a problem with my bringing my bike inside).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy...

Didn't think about the USPS - cycling connection being resented. I was going to make a point of mentioning this to the Postmaster. Maybe not.

I get along with the other clerks at the post office very well. I got in a spat with this particular clerk about their Priority Mail box policy (cannot recycle their boxes), and I guess she took my criticism personally.

I may defer the Postmaster and just lay the bike on the back wall. If they give me slack, I'll just ignore them. I definitely will not use the same clerk in the future.

I was excited to be bike messenger dude only to be deflated by postal "employee" of the month. Oh well. :)

A majority of my shipping is with FEDEX, but I happen to ship a lot of paperwork in #1 envelopes, and USPS First Class is the cheapest route. The gals at FEDEX love to see me, so maybe it's time to go FEDEX for 100% of my mailing needs.

Jürgen
 

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You talking to me?
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Good point

If you were to walk the bike in and find a wall out of the way from any traffic to lean it against, I think you would find little resistance. Of course things have already progressed a bit further now and the cats out of the bag so to speak so YMMV.

At any rate, the less visible and noticable you are the less likely you'll run into problems. I think that if you do talk to the Postmaster that you'll get the best results by stressing cooperation and emphasizing how little impact you'll have due to where the bike is placed out of the way and the short amount of time you will be there.

Good Luck,
Bryan
 

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When control freaks attack

It is not out of line. The bicycle tires are easier on the floors than most of the shoes that people wear. It is another example of a controlling manager trying to keep the customers in line. I work for one. These people have an overwhelming desire to control the environment around them. It would be fun to put these control rats in an enclosed maze and ventilate it with the smell of cheese.

I am sure you will get a border line rational reason for the policy.
 

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You Have Touched on My Pet Bike Peeve...

You Have Touched on My Pet Bike Peeve...getting hassled when taking a high end bike into a store or other public place.

I have never owned a bike lock and have always taken mine inside (walking beside it slowly and careful not to get in the way etc.)

Most places are cool about it, especially when you tell them it's really expensive and can't be left outside.

Sometimes it can be a hassle and you get "run out". I usually counter with some "lip" even though I know they have a point. Pisses me off mostly.
 

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Forget Postal

I'd just go FedEx, especially if the chicks like to see you there

As for walking into stores with my bike, most places are cool, maybe because I live in a gay neighborhood.In some other places they simply tell me no bikes allowed. If they are courtious about it, I'll tell them that I have no lock and that it's an expensive bike, etc etc etc. Sometimes they are cool, others they just say it's store policy. If they are just plain richards about it, I say okay and walk out the store, and don't return to it.
 

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Kant phuckin sphell
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I dont drive my car into the post office!

Leave it outside in the parking lot!
All you cyclists are the same! You want to ride your bikes on the road but you dont have any licence and you dont pay taxes on your "expensive" bikes! Some people!
Get out of my way I am in a hurry to go home and sit on my couch.

Thats what most people that don't ride would think.
 

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Unrepentant Mountainbiker
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Like other posters here

I simply walk my bike into the store, etc. I have never had a problem when I have done this. I was quite a regular at a local grocery store in TN (not a bike friendly place) and after awhile the people that worked there began to recognize me and even say 'hi' to the bike guy , I am now living on an Air Force base, and suspect that I will not be able to bring the bike into the facilities here without encountering problems. I will make it a point to ASK before bringing the bike into any buildings. This has always worked for me in the past!
 

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Get me to In&Out
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Might be missing something here. Why should you be able to take your bike into the post office and go to the counter with it? If it is that nice of a bike that you can't lean it against a wall by the door or out of the way, maybe you shouldn't be riding it to the post office. Solve the problem and buy a beater for around town. You can pick up an old 130mm spaced mountain bike frame and build it up for under $200 for a single speed rig. People who insist on forcing their bike habit on others is what gives bikers the reputation of being pushy. And did I hear you say you got into a spat with the clerk previously about the fact the FREE priority boxes can't be recycled? Here is a thought on that...don't use them. If you are that opposed to the boxes, use your own. But I can assure you the clerk you were arguing with didn't personally design the non-recycleable boxes, and she doesn't have the power to make the US Post office change their evil greenhouse producing ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
"Why should you be able to take your bike into the post office and go to the counter with it?"

Why not? As long as I'm not being rude or offensive, what's the difference between a bicycle and a baby stroller. I don't view myself as forcing my bike upon other customers.

"Solve the problem and buy a beater for around town. You can pick up an old 130mm spaced mountain bike frame and build it up for under $200 for a single speed rig. "

Do I chain it to the tree out by the front door? I don't need any more bikes. 1 is enough.

"And did I hear you say you got into a spat with the clerk previously about the fact the FREE priority boxes can't be recycled? Here is a thought on that...don't use them. If you are that opposed to the boxes, use your own. "

Actually, the spat was over a plain brown box that was delivered to me. The sender had placed "Priority Mail" tape on the plain brown box. I decided to reuse the box and tape over their "Priority Mail" tape with my brown packing tape. The lady forbid me from using the box because it had their tape on the box. The discussion escalated from there, and then she said I could not ship using even a USED priority mail box... Never said anything about a NEW, FREE box. That isn't my style.

I like to avoid confrontation if the hassle isn't worth the reward, so I'll just phase out the post office a bit more. Got more important battles to fight, like hills and a few renegade cagers. :)

C'est la vie. Best regards,
Jürgen
 

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My retort:

BaadDawg said:
Like I said this is my pet peeve. The no bikes inside premises rule applies to beaters in my mind. My carbon fibre racing baby is exempt from these rules. At least in my mind anyways.
To the no bikes people is something to the effect: "Do YOU want to pay to replace my $4000 bicycle?" That usually shuts them up.

When bringing my bikes into places, I try and be a good neighbor: keeping it out of the way, leaving it by the front door where I can watch it, etc. Haven't had a problem yet.

Mike
 
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