Friday, April 26, 2013

Racks and Hard Places: The Archer Road Tour, Part 3

So far on the Tour de Rack along the south side of Archer Road a few places offer adequate, if not exceptional, security and access for your bike. An equal number are inadequate by any standards. The standards for comparison are quite subjective but include: visibility while in the establishment and to customers entering or leaving the facility; substantial rack; accessibility.

Willy's, Wendy's and Chick-fil-a offer the best security using the above standards. Willy's rack is the least visible and Chick-fil-a's the least sturdy. Rack size is the only knock on Wendy's.

Papa John's Pizza
Not known for it's dining-in facilities also offers no provision for a rider wanting to use take-out. There's not even practical flyparking nearby. Better ingredients? Better Pizza? Not so good parking for bikes.

Papa John's lacks any place to secure a bike
The Century Shoppes
It was surprising to find that the location of Five Guys Burgers and Fries was totally lacking in bike security, but since it also lacks adequate accessibility not having a bike rack is a minor matter. If you're going to visit the battery place, chinese take-out or smoothie place you have to trust in your fellow man, use the not so nearby chain link fence or avail yourself of the assorted flyparking places at Five Guys.

Flyparking on the fence

Five Guys lacks a rack but has some flyparking
There are several places to secure a bike while in Five Guys and it could be visible, so things are not quite so dismal there. To Five Guys' credit, they also have provided accessibility.

The only accessibility at Century Shoppes?
Dine outside and watch your bike

Across the street from Five Guys (and The Century Shoppes) is KFC. No discussion is necessary. No rack. No nothing.

No bikes allowed?
Pizza Hut
Recent renovations to the Hut included many accessibility changes such as lowering portions of counters. Along with these and other modifications a wave rack was placed at the edge of the parking lot. Visibility will be difficult from within, but at least there is something.

The Hut's new rack

Panera Bread, Moe's, Cold Stone and Starbuck's
All four establishments are served by a multi-bike rack. Seldom is this rack empty and it is quite visible for patrons seated outside at Starbuck's. Everyone else takes his or her chances.

Always in use but not very accessible except to Starbuck's
Both Walgreens and it's competitor CVS provide sturdy racks, but placement is well outside the secure comfort zone. Maybe the feeling is that anyone coming to a "drug store" is too ill to contemplate theft. (One recently complete CVS, Archer at Tower, has a rack installed within ready view of its entrance, so it meets customer visibility standards.)

Sturdy but not visible

Pita's Republic had a good arrangement
Dunkin' Donuts and formerly Pita's Republic
Pita's Republic will eventually become something else at which time its bike parking will be very good; sturdy and highly visible. Sharing the same building with Pita's Republic is Dunkin' Donuts which provides no other secure parking and limited flyparking. America may run on Dunkin', but unless you're seated outside someone might run with your bike. 
Nothing but flyparking here

Two asides:
1.If you want more caffeine to start your day amnd you are driving east of Archer, Starbuck's is the better choice according to Twelve ounces of Starbuck's will give you 260 mg while Dunkin' provides a paltry 178 mg in its fourteen 14 ounces serving.

2. For one of those examinations of a question you never thought about asking, in this case, "What's the difference between Starbuck's and Dunkin Donuts coffee drinkers?" visit this blog; No, really, go look at it!

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