I always like shopping at businesses that make an effort to accommodate bicyclists. I even love bragging about them here on the blog. Conversely, I’m always disappointed in businesses that treat me like a second-class citizen if I don’t arrive by car.
I’ve been a customer at Value Liquors at Klatt Road and the Old Seward Highway since the place opened. The place is clean, has good prices, and is locally owned. Most of the time, I’ve arrived there by car, because it’s close enough to my house that I drive by regularly—and who really wants to carry a 12-pack home on the bike if they’re driving by anyway?
Unfortunately, the place has never installed a bike rack. A few times, I’ve rolled a bike just inside the door while picking up whatever I needed for a weekend, or a party just up the hill at the MacHuber manse. It was never a problem.
But last Wednesday, after I carefully leaned my Pugsley out of the way just inside—taking care to keep the tires on a rug so my tires wouldn’t drip on the floor—a surly employee launched into me and demanded that I never bring a bike inside again. She ranted about it being inappropriate and unsafe. (It’s just a bike, lady, not a bomb.)
The manager backed her up the next day. Just can’t have bikes inside the stores, he said. As a reason, he cited a recent incident in which when a drunk guy tried to ride down an aisle inside another Value Liquor store.
Sorry, but as far as I’m concerned, that was an inebriation problem, not a bicycle problem.
I’m sure drunks stagger in trying to buy booze all the time, but I doubt the manager’s ever tried to ban walking. If you don’t want obnoxious drunks in your business, you throw them out. You don’t blame the inanimate object that got them there.
I’ll miss the convenience of shopping at the “corner store.” But Costco, Fred Meyer, and Brown Jug stores all have bike racks.
They aren’t locally owned, but they don’t treat me like a bum.