Bike cage etiquette

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Bike cage etiquette

Postby nezumi » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:53 am

For those of you who ride to work, especially large office buildings, I have a question about bike cage etiquette.

When you take your bike in to the cage, do you leave your lock on "your" rack?

What do you do if someone else then puts their bike on your rack?

I have a rack at work, which was free when I started commuting (as in there was no lock left on it, unlike many other racks)

Recently, someone else has been arriving earlier than me and using the rack - but they don't actually lock their bike at all. (I could just leave the door to the bike cage open....)

The first time, I moved the bike to another rack. I left before them, so didn't feel any aftermath.

Now I'm not sure how to ask them nicely not to take a "claimed" space.

Suggestions? What would you do?
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by BNA » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:27 pm

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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:27 pm

Mine goes in the server/tucker/locker room 8)

AFAIK, they are first in facilities, this idea of hanging a lock on a hoop doesn't constitute a valid claim.
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby macca33 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:37 pm

Agree with Mulger Bill - your convenience doesn't outweigh the fact they arived earlier.

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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby queequeg » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:58 pm

I leave my lock attached to a rack because it is too darn heavy to take home every day. The tack is just a storage location, and if someone else parks there the I just use another rack. No big deal.
As I start/finish early, I get the same rack most of the time, but there is nothing special about. I have 232 other racks to choose from.
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby twizzle » Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:11 pm

In our cage, people have "claimed" spaces - frame protection (old tubes) and locks. The serious guys all treat them as "their" spots, but some of the BSO crowd just dump their bikes anywhere and upset the regulars. Not claiming to understand the psychology, but I suspect it's the same reason as with people who plaster their cars in stickers being more aggressive as they treat the car as their territory.

The need to place tubes on the bars to protect the frame moves the bar from "public" to "owned". If all the bars were fitted with frame protection as standard, I expect there would be less issues.

And about 20% of the parking spots are in use by "abandoned" bikes, most of them locked. Very annoying.


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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby nezumi » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:36 pm

twizzle wrote:And about 20% of the parking spots are in use by "abandoned" bikes, most of them locked. Very annoying.


We have this issue in my bike cage too.

And a number of abandoned locks it would seem, which would add to the confusion.
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby eeksll » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:58 pm

we have people who don't move their bikes either, going to get annoying in summer.

I would assume that its first in first serve like any other car parking space/shared space. Why would you assume any different unless you have been told?

I also wouldn't be moving someone elses bike unless I knew for sure that the space was mine.
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby DoogleDave » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:12 pm

Our bike cage at work lives on the 2nd level of an underground car park (underneath the building in the Melb CBD).
Entry is via a gate that requires a valid security swipe card and it is monitored by CCTV cameras 24/7....so security can tell who goes in and what they look like.

For a while riders were leaving their bikes in there for weeks at a time until the perfect riding weather came around and they decided to ride home....however this saw quite a number of racks being taken up with bikes that were, more or less, just being stored there.

So security decided that bikes that were left there for more than a few days would see their owners contacted and politely asked to take them home (unless there was a reasonable excuse for leaving it in the rack). This seems to work quite well.

No-one has "permanent" parking spots for their bikes, though many of the regular riders tend to leave their bikes in the same places. When I ride in I usually park my bike directly in front of my locker (but I usually get into work around 7am so there are only a few bikes in at that time of the morning).

Security also had an issue with locks being left behind (particularly by those that rode in infrequently) and after getting sick and tired of cutting the locks off some cages (after posting notices about removing all locks by a due date), they decided to install two rails on the wall where people can leave their locks - leaving the bike cages free of locks (unless they are actually securing a bike). This, I thought, was a great idea and works very well....particularly for those that don't have lockers.

I don't see a bike cage being any different to a train station car park. Many people tend to park their cars in the same spot(s), but this doesn't make those car parks "their spot". If your favourite spot is being used, pick another spot. As long as it allows you to safely secure your bike, does it really matter if it's three spaces across - or on the next row?

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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby DavidS » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:10 pm

I do use the same spot each day and I don't hang the bike up. Since I work at a uni the bike racks are in high demand. My way around this is that I ride down a few levels and park lower down than I have to. Only a couple of bikes in there so my spot is generally left alone. I don't leave anything there to claim the spot but my bike is there pretty much every day so I think most people don't go for my spot. It might be interesting to see what happens when I take leave for a few weeks.

It is first in first served but if the same people use the same spot every day and there are plenty of spaces then why take their spot?

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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby rdp_au » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:30 am

Pretty similar experiences at my work. The rack spaces are shared, and have a collection of locks attached to most of them. Most regulars have preferred spots, but only a couple are very particular – one actually attaches his lock across ‘his’ rack, preventing anyone else using it. Generally if your usual space is occupied, use another. I would certainly take a dim view of anyone moving my bike. Interestingly, management did experiment with allocated spaces, but that generated more complaints. We also have bikes and locks that are pretty much permanent residents – flat tyres, covered in dust – tell-tale signs that they very rarely see the sight of day. Every six months or so, the building management emails all holders of access to the bike cage asking for unused bikes and locks to be removed. That shifts a few, and over the Christmas break, the area is cleaned out completely, any bikes and locks are removed. I think last year more than 20 bikes were given to charity.
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby slau73 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:05 pm

I assuming that you haven't actually been allocated the spot? In which case, I would say its just "first in, best dress". Feel lucky you even have cages. Our work place just has wall hanging racks!
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby nezumi » Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:39 pm

slau73 wrote:I assuming that you haven't actually been allocated the spot? In which case, I would say its just "first in, best dress". Feel lucky you even have cages. Our work place just has wall hanging racks!


Given how poorly the door locks, they might as well be bikes on wall racks - which does make me question the number of people who don't lock their bikes.
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby michael_w » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:58 pm

nezumi wrote:
slau73 wrote:I assuming that you haven't actually been allocated the spot? In which case, I would say its just "first in, best dress". Feel lucky you even have cages. Our work place just has wall hanging racks!


Given how poorly the door locks, they might as well be bikes on wall racks - which does make me question the number of people who don't lock their bikes.

Maybe the thieves are more discerning than you give them credit for
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby Rxticle » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:02 pm

We have the same thing at work. It bugs me if someone parks in my spot when there are a heap of other parks around without locks on them. To me that says they don't give a poo about a little friendly etiquette. First world problem I guess!
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby rjk » Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:54 pm

there is no such thing as an owned space unless your company pays for and allocates a space for you, you might like a spot because it is convenient, but it also could be convenient for someone else.

First in best dressed, and i am of the type if you use your lock to claim a space, i will cut it off, I am a crusty ol man.

If you want a particular bike parking spot get in earlier than everyone else
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby skull » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:31 pm

rjk wrote:
First in best dressed, and i am of the type if you use your lock to claim a space, i will cut it off, I am a crusty ol man.



What if they are just lazy (like me) and don't want to carry the chain and lock around. I leave my chain locked up on the post. Not as a sign of reservation but convenience.

If you were to cut my chain it would end up with me possibly giving you a tap and making you buy me a new one.

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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby Xplora » Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:44 pm

Bike locks don't reserve anything, and I would question the wisdom of someone trying to reserve the est spot. I did, but I also didn't get in a tizzy about it unless they were using my spot and no others. People tend to acknowledge your constant presence in the cage.

The only real etiquette is don't touch my bike, and only damage it if you want to be neutered. LOL
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby queequeg » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:45 pm

I leave my lock in the bike cage attached to the rack, not as a reservation but because it is a kryponite New York lock and cable lock, and it weighs as much as my bike!

I couldn't care less if someone parked their bike in the rack where my lock is, as long as it doesn't prevent me from unlocking it when I arrive.
That said, I am usually the first person in and never have an issue. Also, we have about 200 racks so it is not exactly an issue having to use a different spot.
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby RobertFrith » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:27 pm

I photographed the Central Park bike cage last year. The design incorporated lock rails, where you're expected to hang your lock when it's not in use
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Re: Bike cage etiquette

Postby Lurkin » Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:57 pm

the bike cage at my work has more spaces to hang bikes than there are cyclists (less than half are used, probably capacity for 15 - 20 bikes?). locks have always been used to mark people's parks. same goes for lockers, if you hang your clothes in it, its yours. No one interferes with anyone elses stuff.

Due to the weird shape of the cage (columns which protrude into the space) some spaces are more out of the way/ less visible and consequently more desirable.

I waited until a bloke resigned and organised to take his spot, which is the most desirable of all in the cage. Now my bike is out of sight from the outside of the cage and has not been scratched by other users since.

Given there are available spots for new cyclists and the fact that I waited patiently to take the spot:
- if they just used it despite my lock marking it, I would leave a polite note asking them to use a different, unused spot.
- if anyone cut my lock off and used the spot, I would be requesting payment of the vandalized lock. Fail to pay, I repo your bike, and yes, I have boltcutters too. (yes, they could also steal mine.. but it's likely theirs would be worth more/ I have other places to park, other than the cage if required).

However, in 2 years, nothing like this has ever happened. As stated, very few people use the cage and most of us know each other - all seem to get on pretty well. No one messes with others gear.

If there was a shortage of parks, my attitude would probably differ. Guess it would be fair for it to just be first in first served on the day.
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