Monday, March 21

Smart Business

These Guys are SMART - Maybe They Noticed Cyclists Coming in to the Store for Snacks
Last weekend, I saw something I've not noticed anywhere else. I saw a GAS STATION with bike racks. Specifically; the QUICKTRIP in Bedford, Texas at the intersection of Industrial and Harwood. They added these racks AFTER the station had been operating for some time. One might wonder WHY in the world a gas station would want to put in bike racks? Well, these guys seem to have a knack for making a buck. Cyclists stop by their store to get snacks. Snacks, as in something that is MUCH higher mark up than gas. I'll occasionally take advantage of their "two for $2" hot dogs. These guys have free air, too. As long as one has a Presta-to-Schrader adapter, what more could a cyclist want for a refreshment stop? Why would I go to "Racetrac" when "QuickTrip" has locking facilities? More to the point, even if I were to buy gas, guess which place would be MY gas station of choice?

QuikTrip Would be MY First Choice About Where to Get Gas for the Lawnmower
One wonders why MORE businesses don't find a way to sneak in a bike rack around their premises. Bike racks don't cost much, or take up much space, and cyclists may well have more disposable money since they don't have to spend as much feeding their motoring habit.

Buttermilk Cafe in Bedford May Not Have Good Facilities, But a Good Attitude Helped in the Predawn Friday
Even without proper cycling locking facilities, some businesses still get gold (or at least brass) stars for having a positive attitude about cyclists. One such is Buttermilk Cafe, where they told me they'd be thrilled to have me lock up my bike right next to their front door and would even seat me near the window so it'd be easy to keep an eye on things.

7 comments:

PM Summer said...

Several years ago, 7-Eleven installed racks at all their locations. Lack of use (due in part to poor dish-rack design) ended in their removal after a few years.

You might point out to QT that by moving the racks out 3' from the wall, they could A) Double capacity (2 to 4), or cut 50% from installation costs by only installing one rack without loss of capacity. However, their landscape architect probably thinks that's parking for 4-8 bikes, instead of the 2 bike the installation will accommodate.

What they have done, while far better than nothing, is analogous to doubling their surface parking by striping in 4' parking spaces.

Steve A said...

PM is, of course, completely correct in his criticism of the bike rack. HOWEVER, this is a poorly designed bike facility that endangers nobody and which is immensely superior to that at any other local gas station. My communication with QT will be to give positive statements each and every time I or any of my family visit. There will be opportunity to criticize if any of their competion does better. In other words, "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."

Rat Trap Press said...

QT seems to be a pretty good company. I'm kind of surprised to see bike racks there as their stores are located in busy high traffic areas where you don't normally see many riders. At one time when I was fed up with my job I noticed that QT pays their managers pretty well.

acline said...

You bet one should ride a bicycle to QT -- best c-store coffee on the planet ;-) So props to them for the racks. Yes, placement is a (small) problem, but I'd default to praise -- plenty of positive reinforcement every time I buy coffee. I make a point of patronizing businesses that offer racks. And, through our Bicycle Friendly Springfield FB page (run by a local bicycle shop), we have a summer business promotion program here -- ride to the business, get a perk.

Ed W said...

We have a QT on one of the local training routes for Freewheel. I'll bet it's mobbed on those group rides, so I'll try to get some photos.

On another tack, there was a blogger here in Tulsa doing weekly food reviews of QT products. Some sounded so good I wanted to try them.

Chandra said...

Steve,
Good post! Having a bike rack is better than having nothing. So, I am with you!
Peace :)

Anonymous said...

I never miss an opportunity teach businesses the correct manor of installing bike racks. Yes, a bike rack even placed incorrectly is a nice gesture, but that's all it is....a gesture. That said, these things are easily moved so a gentle nudge to the business owner might help.

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