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Ridiculous! And it must have cost a lot to design it and put it together.

Everyone does realize Whole Foods is run by an arch conservative only too happy to steal hippies' money. He's a huckster. This bike rack is exactly like all the products in the store: overpriced, fancy packaging, and not as good as advertised. Suckers.

@Washcycle - You mean the Wholefoods on River Rd? That's the only one I know of in Bethesda. They have plenty of room around that little strip mall and parking lot so its surprising that this would be the chosen setup.

They also do semi annual used-bike drives at that location (obviously 3rd party doing the drive, but has to be approved by store manager) - I would be surprised if they didn't listen to direct feedback to have it changed.

@Brendan - I agree that J. Mackey looks like an out-of-touch libertarian with some backwards views, but that's not what this post is about. Perhaps you can try again with a more useful contribution.

There is a new Whole Foods in North Bethesda, a/k/a Rockville. Perhaps this is there, because it certainly does not look like the one on River Road.

I think the rack was donated by Honest Tea. There was a big hullaballoo a few months ago about Honest Tea donating "100 bike racks" to downtown Bethesda, but they turned out to be these very useless ones. (I guess by "100 racks" they actually meant 10 racks with room for 10 bikes each.)

These same useless racks were used in BTWD, and criticized at the time.

Of course, the reason these racks have sponsors is that they think its good PR: look, recycled plastic bike racks outside wholefoods!

The appropriate response is to find out the sponsors, and write them that you think the racks are terrible, and show that you have no clue about bikes----kinda lets the air out of their PR campaign.

Can anyone get a list of the sponsors.

@SJE--Here's a post on GGW from May about the racks:

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/14881/bethesda-gets-new-but-terrible-bike-racks/

Dan from Honest Tea responds in the comments section:
"We regret that the new bike racks don’t meet everyone’s needs. The donation was made with the intent of expanding a bike-friendly culture in Bethesda. Reorienting the community away from automobiles is a process, and it won’t happen overnight, even if we install perfect bike racks. Hopefully, these new racks represent a step in the right direction, and we’ll be able to improve upon them as demand for bike parking spaces continues to expand throughout our community."

What is Honest Teas' goal here? To provide bike racks or gain corporate cred, advertising to well heeled eyeballs and increased product sales? If it's the former they are acting as a cycling NPO and their corporate board should be canned ( or bottled as the case may be ). If it's the latter then they are likely amenable to suggestion on how their bike rack billboards can be made more effective as both. This is what their press flack speak response would seem to indicate. Staying on it would seem worth the effort.

BTW the Whole Foods in Silver Spring has bog standard staples in the sidewalk outside the store that are often full on evenings and weekends so there Bethesda ;')>

Haha provide bike racks to represent a step in the right direction. It's like building a bike lane that no one can use to symbolize the importance of biking.

I've gotten to the point where I appreciate all of DC's ridiculous parking signs as they allow something else to lock my bike on.

I think that to the extent Honest Tea even thinks about it, they dismiss these complaints as a couple of cranks. The bike advocacy groups need to reach out to these well-intentioned sponsors to let them know there are alternative that work (and that these quite simply do not). These verge into the rare category of something actually being worse than nothing.

And seriously, the rack manufacturers have just got to stop making useless racks. It's not exactly rocket science. Perhaps a national group needs to issue something akin to a seal of approval for racks.

It seems really easy to cut a plastic bike rack, or maybe even just kick it until it breaks when it's below freezing.

Looks like this is one retailer (possibly mfr as well): http://www.theparkcatalog.com/recycled-plastic-bike-racks/6-ft-recycled-plastic-bike-rack/289-1079

If you look at the secondary image, (the one with the bike wheel in the rack), the thought that comes to mind is that these racks **weren't designed to have bikes locked up.**

As crazy as that sounds, its certainly conceivable that there are people who need racks that don't need to have bikes locked to them. (And that aren't worried about the racks themselves being broken or cut, so plastic is an acceptable material).

Bike rental places with frequent turnover, racing teams with security, etc. There probably is a market for racks that don't need to be designed to be locked to.

It just so happens that, in this case, this location requires locking and they clearly went with the wrong rack.

That park catalog site is a joke. The one U-Style bike rack they have shows a bike parked through the U, not locked to it, and held up by a kick stand.

To Honest Tea: If you were just trying to promote biking, then you do not need to put your logo on the rack.

Sponsoring a bike rack this bad says that you have only a superficial understanding of your consumers.

Why lock up to it anyway (even if it was functional)? It's PLASTIC. Seriously, if ever there was an application where plastic is inappropriate, it's as a material for bike stands.

The WF at Clarendon has a metal one, but there, too, they chose an inconvenient placement.

http://katana.hsrc.unc.edu/cms/downloads/BikePark_Guidelines.pdf

all jurisdictions should have to have bike parking rack guidelines be compliant with these recommendations from the Assn. of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals

Think of this rack as a bicycle donation center.

We should just send this thread to Honest Tea and Whole Foods....

Alexandria has standards for bike parking, but no one seems to look at them unless someone on city staff makes them do so.

At MOMs in Arlandria, they recently replaced a substandard wheel-bender bike rack with a newer, also substandard, snake bike rack. At least it's an improvement in terms of ease of use. An apartment near where I live recently added a large, new, shiny wheel-bender bike rack. Frustrating, but it is being used and less bikes are locked to trees. Bicycle advocacy takes astounding amounts of patience.

I tried to contact Whole Foods,but their e-mail form doesn't seem to work right. Maybe someone else can get it to work:http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/customer-service

Ludicrous! Maybe someone should forward this thread to Whole Foods and Honest Tea so they can see the bad publicity they are receiving!

@Fred and all: [email protected]

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