Aug 13 2012
Walmart don’t get a whole lot of respect from serious cyclists, who seldom miss a chance to denigrate its low-cost bikes (“bike-shaped objects” to these cycling cognoscenti). Perhaps they think the best way to get Americans to saddle up is to make sure they’ll have to pay at least a grand for the privilege. Or maybe it’s something else. But credit where credit is due, fellas. While few of the ostentatiously “green” businesses in the little college town near my home make any provision for bicycle parking—and the handful that do mostly go through the motions, tossing a rusty rack haphazardly out in some remote corner of waste ground—Walmart makes an effort. Their rack may be a wheel-bender, but at least it’s bolted down, and there’s a security camera right overhead.
Of course, there’s still plenty of room for improvement, as the owners of these bikes will discover when they have to thread the obstacle course of shopping carts in order to retrieve their wheels. Then again, they had a place to lock up while they did their shopping, even if one rider chose not to exercise the option (and the other made a pretty poor job of it). By American standards, that’s pretty good.
We love our bikes, right? And we never tire of looking at them. At least I don’t, and if I’m to judge from what others tell me, I’m not alone. So each Monday I’ll publish a bike-related picture. Most of the time it will be a photo, but don’t be surprised if a few drawings and paintings get added to the mix from time to time. I might even include a sculpture or two. (OK. A photo of a sculpture.) Anything, in short, that evokes the world on two wheels. And don’t be shy. If you have a picture you’d like to share, just email it to me. I’ll do the rest.
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