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Today my wife and I took our bikes out and decided to go a certain direction. We had no plans on stopping for lunch somewhere so we did not take out locks. We ended up having lunch at a Chick-fil-a and brought our bikes inside with us. As we were leaving the manager invited us to use the bike rack next time. Now we saw no bike rack as we came to the place. I asked him where it was out curiosity and he told me. I went out and found it. You cannot see it at all from inside and there was hardly anyone there traffic wise. I told him I would never park it there. I said you have no camera and cannot see it from inside any part of the building. They put it in a spot where no windows are located. I said it is really easy to have a bike stolen from that spot even with a lock. He then says you do not need a lock. This area has honest people. BULLSHIT!!! I said we plan on doing this again and will gladly use the rack if it was visible from inside. Meaning they would have to move it. I told him if you were to go ask any bike enthusiast about its current location, they would all tell you to take a hike. But I said if they signed a legal form stating they will cover any theft from that rack, I will lock it there. I told him its a $1,400 dollar bike. He backed off at that point. He was not about to accept that responsibility.
 

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T.W.O.
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Sadly even if you sit next to the bike rack and put 2 locks on the bike and something happen to your bike, I doubt that they will be responsible anyways.

I would not go back there again. It would have been nice if they tell you when you went in with the bike, it's just a noob move to tell you on the way out.


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Like someone else said, "If you can find a place to lock the bike and still see it from the inside" go with that option. At least CFA did have a bike rack which is more than what most places have where I live.

Now about Chick-fil-a ; I'm completely surprised that the manager let you bring the bikes inside! Most other fast food joints would likely boot you out in a moment. Kudo's to CFA for being polite and understanding. Not the managers fault that the bike rack is in an odd place.

Where I live ( Columbia, Md. ) the community has an entire network of hiker/biker paved trails for commuting around town. Ironically most of the stores/restaurants in the area have no bike racks. I've got every amenity near me you can think of and yet almost none of these places have bike racks!

Give your local Chick-fil-A place a break. The people working there didn't plan the building site, they just work there.

Here's a story that will make you think; Many years ago I was doing a ride along a the C&O canal trail. I stopped off at a little ( Mom and Pop ) convenience store in the quaint little town of Point of Rocks to get myself some eats. I parked my bike just along the railing of the front steps that went into the entrance to the store ( so I could see my bike ). I was only in the store for a minute and was ready to pay for my goods ( no other customers in the store at the time ) when the man at the register "very rudely" told me I had to move my bike. I told him I'd be out as soon as I paid for the drink/snack but that wasn't good enough for him. He told me if I didn't move my bike NOW he wasn't going to serve me and if I didn't like it I could go somewhere else. I almost couldn't believe what I was hearing. I never said a word in response. I sat the goods down on the counter and left the store and vowed I would never go back again.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I pull the same move with business owners who give me that same "you can't bring your bike in here" bit. usually it's because they have no rack at all, but I also would not use a rack at a place like that where I could not see my bike in the rack.

I haven't had that kind of comment from a store manager in many years, though. I did get it from a convenience store clerk once....I think that was the last time anyone said anything to me. If that clerk had threatened not to provide me service, I'd have dropped the merchandise on the floor and left. Thankfully, the "will you pay for my (exaggerated price) bike if it gets stolen because you have no bike rack?" comment got him to back off.

If I am with friends, one person typically stands outside by the front window and watches the bikes if there's no rack. But never would I park behind the building even with a watcher. That screams second class citizen.
 

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Content from my avatar
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When I need to stop somewhere while I'm out on a ride, I just bring my bike in with me. Nobody has ever said a word to me. They may look at me strangely, but never any words.
 

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I haven't had that kind of comment from a store manager in many years, though. I did get it from a convenience store clerk once....I think that was the last time anyone said anything to me. If that clerk had threatened not to provide me service, I'd have dropped the merchandise on the floor and left.
Fair enough, but throwing a tantrum like that does nothing but punish a minimum wage employee who is likely only following company policy and could risk getting fired if they didn't. If you really want to enact change you have to go to upper management. I'd just go somewhere else, or use a mini-u to lock the front wheel to the frame and keep one eyeball on it.
 
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While I'm not unsympathetic to the situation, I will offer the following advise. It is always better to ask for permission first. That gives the manager or host a chance to consider where your bike might best be stored. Businesses (like it or not) are not obligated to protect your property (bike, car, pet...) If there is no bike rack, lean you bike against the building where it's visible. Carry a lock (I use handcuffs). Remember the purpose of a lock is to "slow down" not stop a thief. I don't eat lots of places because there is no place to secure my bike, I will mention it to the manager if it's important to me, but that's the breaks. Most diners drive and most restaurants cater to cars more than bikes. Nothing personal, just numbers.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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Highly doubtful most places that complain have a policy one way or another.

My policy is that if a business doesn't provide parking that I will find my own. If there are zero options that allow a semi secure locking location then it comes inside with me. If an employee starts being unreasonable then I drop what I was about to spend money on and leave.

...punish a minimum wage employee who is likely only following company policy...
 
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