Why we don’t want wheelbenders

Today I drove 4km to the local shopping centre… It was perfect weather, the route is flat, and the distance quick and easy (when bicycle activists talk about the most appropriate distance for utility cycling, they’re talking 4-8km…)
But the problem is bicycle parking…
Very few South African shopping centres or malls allow bicycles past their automatic doors. And while there are a few enlightened malls that offer bicycle parking, they’re sadly setting themselves up for failure (and inadvertently proving to naysayers that there’s no ‘market’ for bicycle parking at all).
Bicycle racks such as these were designed for bicycles that have a kick-stand, and no quick-release wheels. There’s little point to locking only one wheel to a stand; if the frame hasn’t been stolen by the time you return with your groceries, the bike is likely to have fallen over and its wheel buckled…
Perhaps I’ll buy a long chain and lock, and lug this to the shopping centre next time, but without better bicycle facilities that make cycling the most obvious transport choice, it’s unlikely that our bicycle parking will look like this Oxford example for quite some time…



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