Red Cross in North Portland. It reads, “If you
need a lock, please contact security inside the lobby.”
(Photo © J. Maus)
You know the feeling… Just as you roll up to your destination, you realize you forgot to bring a lock for your bike. If you’re with friends, no problem; but if you’re by yourself, you’ve either got to make a change in plans or take a risk and leave your bike unlocked (not advisable).
“I wanted to make it easier for people to pull into APEX on a whim when they were out for a ride.”
— Jesse McCann, Apex Beer Bar
North Portland resident Olivia Rebanal forgot her lock on her way to an acupuncture appointment at North Portland Wellness Center, so they offered her a cable and padlock. “It wasn’t a u-lock.. But still, better than nothing.”
At the American Red Cross on N. Vancouver Avenue, a sign near the bike racks says to inquire at the lobby if you need a lock. I spoke with a woman behind the front desk who said people utilize the loaner frequently. “We just call security and they have locks to loan out. Just give us an ID and the lock is yours to use.”
At Apex Brewpub, a popular bike hang-out at SE 12th and Division, owner Jesse McCann says it’s matter of convenience.
“I wanted to make it easier for people to pull into Apex on a whim when they were out for a ride. If I can lessen the obstacles that keep the casual cyclist from going out for a ride, then we both win. You shouldn’t have to choose between carrying a lock or having a good beer.”
Being a brewpub, McCann has a lot of customers who stop in after a long road ride for a beer (he also shows major races on his big screen, so serious roadies are a big part of his clientele). And, unlike folks commuting to work or running errands on their bike, no serious roadie who heads out for a long ride carries a u-lock.
“Nobody wants to carry a lock capable of protecting a road bike when they’re out riding on one,” says McCann.
Loaner bike locks are just one way Portland businesses cater to bike-riding customers. Do you know of other local businesses that offer this service? Let us know in the comments.