Monday, June 14, 2010

Bikes Outside: Pratt Lacks Racks

This Monday's bike outside was spotted downtown on Pratt Street. I was enjoying a Sunday morning coffee at Jojo's when someone in our city's government (who is neither Brendan nor Ben) rode up, locked up, and came in. This cheers me up for at least two reasons:

First, to paraphrase H.G. Wells, when I see a city official on a bicycle I do not despair for the future of Hartford.

Second, the fact that this city official had to lock his bike to a trash can means that one more of the powers that be is personally aware of Hartford's sorry lack of public bike racks.

My own bike was locked to a better suited (U-lock compatible) railing in the alley next to Jojo's at the time these pictures were taken, but that's no bike rack. Proper bike parking areas are few and far between in Hartford, but their absence on a downtown "showcase" street like Pratt is more glaring.

Like Pratt Street, this early 90's Trek 8500 could use a bit of sprucing up to recapture its former glory. At a distance, they both look nice, but the eye begins to get drawn to Pratt's cracked granite and loose bricks and the Trek's balding tires at close range. They're both solid and worthy of the attention, though. Other dings and scratches suggest that this mountain bike has been used for its intended purpose, which is cool.

I'm optimistic that we could see more bicycles carrying our city officials around. It could save the city gas money and parking woes. They don't require a license. One or two have shown promise, and could be convinced to ride more with a bit of encouragement on the citizens' part. I think it would put them in a better frame of mind.


Schleppi Longstocking said...

Are you suggesting that a certain official get a tandem so that he can still be chauffeured around without worrying about whether or not his driver has a license?

Interstatement said...

I think a mayoral pedicab would be more like it.

sparky said...

I WISH city officials in L.A. would ride on their bikes. Sadly, bike theft is the highest rising crime in our city - that official's bike would have gotten stolen in a few minutes. Quick cut to the lock cord, buh bye