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Bike Racks, Bike Locks and Bicycle Security

Submitted by on May 1, 2010 – 11:37 pm4 Comments

Here are a few images of bicycle racks from both here in Big D and in the Big  Apple. The photos from Gotham are courtesy of our friend in Manhattan, Mr. Welch., one of our bicycle-reporters-at-large.  These reflections upon bike racks, bicycle locks and bicycle security generally are also an opportunity to show off some of the pics of nice bikes in NYC that Mr. Welch provides courtesy of his iphone.

Some of my earliest bicycling memories are centered around finally being old enough to ride my bike to my elementary school (Dan D. Rogers Elementary @ Lovers Ln. and Abrams Rd. in Dallas). I was probably nine or ten years old, and my destination was the very large, metal bicycle racks at my school. There were three or four such racks at my school, and lots of kids rode their bikes to school. I wonder how many kids ride their bikes to that school now? I’ll bet not many.

I have always liked the feeling of knowing that my bike is securely locked up. My older brothers always got their bikes stolen, and so my parents told us all that if we let our bike get stolen, we wouldn’t get another one.

I have never had a bicycle stolen. I love bike racks, and bike locks, and bicycle security.

The photo below is a very simple, mass-produced rack that you could see in any city in the world. This one happens to be in Manhattan, and is wonderfully offset by this colorful gem of a bike:

The next rack, below, is the one that really got me thinking about bike rack design. For obvious reasons. This one was designed by David Byrne, musician/artist and now designer. Remember “The Talking Heads”? I saw their “Stop Making Sense” tour and have seen David Byrne perform several times since then…the guy is a musical genius. I love this bike rack.

Another Manhattan fixie:

Sturdy urban infrastructure:


Back to Big D. This vintage bike rack is outside of the building that I office in in the Lakewood Shopping Center. It is original to the building, a rather interesting 1967 bit of construction. I have never seen a bike parked there, despite its’ location at a very busy bus stop. I never use it. I take my bikes on the elevator up to my office. I’m kind of wary in that way. I don’t want anybody messing with my bike! Not now, not ever.

I know that the light isn’t very good in this photo, but the rack is under some really huge Live Oak trees that shade the side of my building:

Here is a guy that has used a little bitty cable to chain his bike up to some gardening edging on Main St. in downtown. Very easy to steal, if one were so inclined:

Here is a pretty snazzy looking rack outside of the relatively new Whole foods in Lakewood (the bike is a mid-80s Sears Free Spirit):

A downtown Dallas mixte. I like the utilitarian yellow racks that Dallas has put up all over downtown:

A serious working mans’ bike at the scary downtown Dallas public library:

And another wacky NYC fixie, courtesy of our friend Mr. Welch in the Big Apple:

Now, I know that this isn’t ground-breaking journalism here. It’s merely a reflection upon bicycle security. I’m wary…call it paranoid…and I want to keep my bikes. I use a huge Kryptonite U-Lock on my bikes. It might be heavy, but when I click it shut and walk away I can be pretty darn certain that my bike will be there when I get back. Which brings me to my final point. People won’t ride bikes if they can’t be fairly confident in where and what they lock them to. If we want our bikes to be safe in the big city, we need to encourage government and retail to provide a place to lock up. There are retail establishments that I have ridden to that literally had no place for me to lock my bike. When that happens, I wheel my bike inside. I inquire if there are any bike racks. I try to talk to the managment politely about the need for bike racks. Maybe they’ll do something about it, and maybe they won’t. A little niceness goes a long way.

Finally, a great video that shows some amazing bike rack designs from a design competition in New York:


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Michael W. Hubbard

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