I have run into this sort of situation more often than you Readers care to read about.
There are hardly any bike racks out there for us bikers to lock up our bike safely when we visit a place of business.
For example, Turin Bicycles off Broadway (in Denver, Colorado) is an excellent bike store as well as providing a bike rack to lock up your bike while you shop/browse inside their stop. I am very comfortable locking up my bike outside their store, even though the heart of central Denver is only a few blocks North of the store.
Now, I live on the south side of Denver – basically Centennial / Englewood suburbs. There is a bike shop up the road, well there are two bike shops, and the chain owned bike store couldn’t even accommodate a bike rack outside its store. I do from time to time visit and shop this store for bike patches and bike tubes and have to chain my bike to my bike rims so that no one can ride off with my bike. However, that does not stop any thief from just picking up my bike and carrying off my bike.
I do watch my bike when shopping, but sometimes I am out of view and often wonder is my bike outside.
The other bike store is basically an independently owned bike store and they have the courtesy to have a bike rack to chain up and lock up your bike while shopping in their store. Matter of fact that store is not in a visible area prone to crime, but at least the bike shop is able to provide a bike rack.
Kudos to independently owned bike shops.
Anyway, this blog post is about the time I had to go to the Wal-Mart up / down the road from where I live. I biked to the Wal-Mart and could not visibly see a bike rack to lock my bike up to. That being said I decided to lock up my bike to the shopping carts that are located in an area where all the shopping carts are.
Granted, I should have locked up my bike to a tree or a signpost, but damn it I was not going to bike / walk any further than I had to. I picked a row of shopping carts that was pretty full and I was in no danger of the carts being used due to the time of day and the day itself.
I did my shopping and about twenty minutes later I was walking out the front door and lo and behold there was a Wal-Mart employee moving shopping carts that were left from the parking lot to the area where the shopping carts are stored.
Readers, there are about 6 rows of shopping carts and my bike was chained up beyond the entrance of the shopping carts being stored. Meaning, I bet there was about 100 carts available before the cart I chained up to was available to be used. In addition to the row I had chained up to there were five other rows of shopping carts for the consumer to use.
In the short amount of time I knew that I was going to be in the Wal-Mart on a Saturday afternoon there was no Fucking way that I was going to cause an incident with my bike chained up to the last cart of the first row of shopping carts 100 carts deep on a Saturday afternoon.
No fucking way.
I saw the “shopping cart guy” and right away he said you couldn’t chain up here.
I did not acknowledge him from the distance I was at.
As I walked closer he re-iterated what he just said.
“You can not chain up your bike here” and then said “you are keeping my from doing my job.”
I did not say a thing nor argue with the guy taking care of the shopping carts.
I reached the shopping cart where I locked up my bike and proceeded to unlock my bike.
“Hey, you can’t lock up your bike like that”
I turned and acknowledged this guy for the first time.
“I heard you the first and second time,” I said.
Again he said you couldn’t lock up your bike there.
“So, where is the bike rack I can lock up my bike to?” I responded politely and monotone.
He again repeats, “You can not lock up your bike there.”
I replied, “I am not going to argue with you. I heard you the first time.”
“Thank you for coming” he then finishes up the conversation.
Readers, I have to give him and myself credit for this scenario that played out on a Saturday afternoon. I am sure that he was pissed off as much as I was pissed off. Yet, we both knew that we handled the situation as much as would could without cussing and confrontation – to a certain degree.
I said “Thank you” and then proceeded to ride out of the Wal-Mart parking lot.
I wanted there to be a confrontation, but yet I did not want to be the person to instigate the situation. I wanted him to get upset to the point he crosses lines of polite and not politically correct for a Wal-Mart employee.
In hindsight I am sure that he was waiting for me to curse him out as well as getting up in his face to him. I was not going to give him that nor was I going to be the one to lose my cool, in a manner of speaking. I do stick up for the “little people” from time to time and now was the time not to be condescending to a “little person.” After all, I do proud myself on sticking up for the “little people.” I know Readers; I do sometimes belittle the “little people” from time to time in my life. I am a hypocrite.
What it came down to was a showdown at high noon on a Saturday. Neither of us budged and as I left his presence that was the end of this incident. There was so much I wanted to add or to get into, but I did not want to make the first move Readers. Should have this incident got more in-depth then perhaps I would have acted like a “concerned” consumer and acted the way I should like any pissed off consumer at an employee.
But I did not. To me I was the bigger man. No argument and left Wal-Mart without so much an argument
Note - Patrick Swayze past away - a good actor I thought.
Until the next time
The Fallen Athlete