Last night, our local cycling advocacy organizations operated a bicycle valet parking area for the Downtown Okemos Celebration. This was the first time bicycle valet parking had been offered at this four-year old event, so it was unclear how many cyclists would show up. In addition, while I have volunteered for valet bike parking at many similar events in Greater Lansing, this was the first one where I was the actual coordinator.
In a nutshell, we got swamped. To steal an adage from Field of Dreams, “we provided it and they came.” At one point we had approximately 65 bicycles in the parking area. They came in all shapes and sizes from street, to hybrid, to cross-country, to children’s, to recumbent, to tandem, to semi-racing, to classic, to one’s with trailers in tow, to you name it. We also had at least one stroller and two Razer scooters. Though hectic, it was also great fun. So, the next time a business owner tells you they do not need to provide bike parking or it costs too much to put in bike racks (which it does not), show them the photos accompanying this blog post and ask they a simple question:
Can they really afford to miss out on this potential business bonanza?
If they are smart, they will say, no.