O Me of Little Faith

So glad to be proved wrong in my scorn of the private bike corral that appeared a while ago at new La Boulange near my home!

When they first opened the building, I noted that there was extensive bicycle parking in the broad walkway between the new building and the rest of the block…but that it consisted entirely of those hideous old wheel-bender racks, which you see in the photo below:

I didn’t even bother to complain to the management, figuring that we’d better take what we can get these days, with LA, and in particular its business community, still mired in muddy old ways of thinking. I expected that they’d just brush off my concerns. I know, I usually charge right in and start flapping my lips, but I must have been tired that day….

I did see that although the establishment saw a good number of customers arrive by bicycle, few of them chose to lock up to the fairly useless racks the company had provided. Most secured their wheels to the various street signs around the place.

Well, either someone on staff was sharp enough to notice, or some other cyclist did take the time to gripe, because a night or two ago I walked past and noticed…real bike racks, lots of them, beautiful, shiny, and new. The sort that don’t bend your wheel. The sort with which you can actually use a U-lock.

Here they are:

La Boulange started in San Francisco, where people think a little more effectively about transportation, and maybe that helped. Or maybe it didn’t. All I can say is that La Boulange stumbled on their first attempt, but recovered nicely, and is now a model for other LA businesses.

On Fourth and La Brea, in the Miracle Mile. Ride on buy and leave them some of your money. They got it right!

Though I do wonder how they arranged for the singing cowboy….

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  1. James
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    You’re lucky. I almost always have to use these shitty wheel bender racks in OC and LB. The morons at the LB whole foods just repalced their staple racks with a wheel bender that blocks the sidewalk if bicycles are locked up to it which is usually not the case because it is hidden from view on the side of the building.

    Weren’t wheel benders where designed for children’s bikes or beaachcruisers, which really are the same thing. A short bicycle with a lower center of gravity and balloon tires. I was under the impresssion that the designers of these racks made the false assumption that you will use a kickstand when locking your bicycle to these racks to make up for lack of support, but this is usually not possible. These racks usually prevent you from using a kickstand because the bicycle can’t lean far enough to bring the kickstand in contact with the ground.

  2. meli
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    very cool, i keep forgetting they got bought out but here in SF they have retained their local vibe. place looks pretty neat! cant wait to visit LA sometime soon šŸ™‚

  3. CC
    Posted March 26, 2015 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    hey Meli,

    You should come visit LA when there’s a Ciclavia going on. Next one’s in Pasadena.

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  1. By Today’s Headlines | Streetsblog Los Angeles on March 25, 2015 at 8:58 am

    […] Restaurant UpgradesĀ Bike Parking: Wheel-Benders to Inverted-U Racks (Flying Pigeon) […]

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