Tuesday, April 28, 2015

REI Spokane bike rack

the bike rack critic returns…

Don't know how many times I've locked my bike to this rack out front of the Spokane REI store.  I've watched the security video of a guy stealing my wife's bike from this rack, so I prefer to use a u-lock here.  Sure, it can still be cut through, but I'm hoping it'd take too long and a bike thief would go for easier prey than mine. 

But the rack, as you can see, is that despicable style that holds a bike upright by the rear or god forbid front tire, and is not meant for u-locks.  I usually park on the outside next to the end of the rack - the only place where I can pass a u-lock through the top tube or  chain or seat stays and the rack.  Sometimes I just lock it to that railing behind it instead.  

Then I finally noticed last week the end of the bike rack at the top is connected to the back top rail with… a bolt. I don't think anybody could loosen the bolt and slide my bike and u-lock off, but I was surprised to see it.

The advantage of this style of rack is they can hold lots of bikes.  I'm not sure what vintage this rack is, but it seems like an older style, much like the ones at Deaconess Medical Building I've mentioned.  Perhaps these were built before U-Locks were invented?  I don't expect Deaconess to replace their racks since I'm not sure how often they're used, but I did leave a suggestion for REI - they should have a decent bike rack.

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