Monday, May 24, 2010

Bikes Outside: Handrails to Trails

This morning finds the roving Bikes Outside eye between the State Armory and the Legislative office building. While these structures are best known for their vital proximity to and support of the Capitol Ave. Dunkin Donuts, they have other important functions. The armory is a beautiful stone structure, and the LOB helps keeps legislators off the street.

The adjacent compounds also form the all-important gateway to the path to the southeast corner of Bushnell Park. It was on my way to this always handy, often sandy bit of the East Coast Greenway that I spotted this clean Trek hybrid tethered to a railing. I say tethered rather than locked because this is one of the more halfhearted locking jobs I have seen. Bike theft is a drag on many levels, and I cringe when I see such an easy target.

This style of handrail is probably the best of the non-bike-rack-bike-racks out there. A longish one like this can accommodate many bikes and any sort of lock, from a heavy-duty chain to a compact U-lock to a glorified bungee cord of the sort we see here. Actual bike racks would be even better, of course but barring that, a decent railing at your destination is a nice find. If the powers that be won't see fit to dot the cityscape with bike racks, someone can lobby for a bunch of small, short handrails to be installed on every sidewalk for pedestrian safety. I'm sure the lawmakers will get right on that.

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