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Bicycle ‘Aid Stations’ coming to Plaid Pantry stores

Posted by on April 14th, 2014 at 1:27 pm

New window decal coming to Plaid Pantry stores.

Convenience store chain Plaid Pantry has announced their latest effort to become more appealing to customers who arrive by bike: Bicycle aid stations.

According to Administrative Manager Laura Sadowski, the new aid stations will be available at all 104 Oregon stores and will consist of a flat repair kit, basic bike tools, and a floor pump. The aid kit will be kept behind the counter, so you’ll have to ask a store employee to use it. “As the weather is improving, I am seeing more bikes on the road,” said Sadowski via email. “Not everyone is prepared for a flat or adequate nutrition and fluids, so we want to be there on (mostly) every corner to ‘aid’ them!”

In addition to the aid kit, all stores will soon display a bright yellow “Aid Station” graphic at the main entrance.

Sadowski adds that this idea comes from Plaid Pantry Executive Vice President Jonathan Polonksy who’s “an avid biker himself”.

You might recall that in November 2012 we reported that new bike racks had been installed at 12 Plaid Pantry stores in the Portland area. Sadowski says that program is alive and well and they’ve continued to add more bike parking at stores throughout the state.

She also has a tip for bike riders in need: you can download the Plaid Pantry smartphone app (links here) to quickly find the location nearest you.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Rob Chapman April 14, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Great idea Plaid. I sure appreciate businesses that do things like this.

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  • captainkarma April 14, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    How about this: my son worked at 26 & Division and tried for a year to get bike *parking*, but there were always 10 reason s it couldn’t be done. I think they lost/are losing a lot of neighborhood business because of it. The only thing one could do is lock to a dumpster (ever try it?) or bring it inside, which is against their policy. 7-11 heat is finally getting to them.

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    • lavie.lama April 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      I usually just lock it to itself visibly next to the door since I’m not going to be inside longer than two minutes anyway.

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      • Granpa April 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm

        I’ve locked to the ice machine door handles. Only in there long enough to buy a 6-pack.

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    • Buzz Aldrin April 14, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      Yup, just providing a couple of staple racks at each store would be an even better way for Plaid Pantry to announce they were interested in cyclists’ business. With a few exceptions, most Plaid locations I can think of have absolutely zero bike parking on site.

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      • Laura Sadowski April 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm

        We are trying Buzz. Staple racks are our second choice. Wave racks are the first choice since they can accommodate multiple bikes a bit better. If you are saying you are in and out quickly, maybe staple racks are the better answer?

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        • Paul Cone April 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm

          Laura, the City of Portland puts wave racks into their “unacceptable” category… https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/58409

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          • Laura April 16, 2014 at 7:34 am

            Yes they do Paul, for those on City right-of-way. Ours, so far, are on private property. We are trying to keep them close to the door and maximize the number a rack can accommodate, which seems to be what most of our customers want. We may need to extend them further away from the front and into the City right-of-way. Thanks for the link.

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      • Laura February 2, 2015 at 3:54 pm

        We have staple or wave racks at 40% of our locations, with plans for additional installations.

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    • Laura Sadowski April 15, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      The outside space is limited by ADA restrictions. Somehow, no one thought of that when the building was built on the space in the early 80’s. I would love bike parking at this location. It is the most in demand location. Who would park their bikes vertical on the outside wall?

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      • Evan Manvel April 16, 2014 at 8:47 am

        I would park vertical! And thanks for being so present on this thread – and doing what you can to get us staple racks!

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    • Laura February 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      There are two (2) bike racks at that Plaid at 26 & Division now. Yes, lots of reasons it was not done before, mainly sidewalk space. This time, there is one up on the sidewalk close to 26th and the other one is in front of the store. The one in front of the store is close to the building because of the 36″ limit on the sidewalk, but it is something to attach a bike to instead of the dumpster!

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  • daisy April 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    This is great! I always appreciate knowing which stores are more likely to be friendly when I clomp in, gross and sweaty, in my silly cycling shoes. Thanks, Plaid Pantry!

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  • Charley April 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I’m a regular Plaid Pantry customer. This just sweetens the deal.

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  • Bjorn April 14, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Don’t forget that Plaid Pantry President Chris Girard also put his money and his time where his mouth was to fight the CRC. When I have a choice between Plaid Pantry and another mini mart I always hit the Plaid.

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    • GlowBoy April 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      I keep wondering when Girard is going to run for mayor.

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  • SilkySlim April 14, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Ha, I love their offer to provide “nutrition and hydration.” Chips and 6-pack for me!

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  • Brian April 14, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I love the Plaid. It will give me peace of mind knowing I can fix a flat or pump up anywhere. More than anything, though, I hope to see racks outside all their stores. That would make a much bigger difference to me– so often I don’t drop in to buy beer solely because there’s nothing I can lock my bike to.

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    • Laura Sadowski April 15, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      What Plaid stores do you normally visit? If they are not on the next round of installations, we need to check out your preferences.

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  • P-Funk April 14, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    they should have some loosie cigarettes in there too…

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  • TOM April 14, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Kudos to PP.

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  • Jim Lee April 14, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Let’s hear it for Chris G.!

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  • jim April 15, 2014 at 12:26 am

    great idea to sell a gatoraid and heath bar to every cyclist they can.

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  • BIKELEPTIC April 15, 2014 at 8:30 am

    It’s like this skipped a step. I would’ve just been happy with a couple bike staples. Usually when I go to Plaid I’ll pull my bike in and park it next to the coffee station and either tuck it behind that walk-behind (if it’s that layout) or in front of the coffee station.

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    • Laura Sadowski April 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      That also works depending on the store manager. What Plaid do you visit so I can see if a bike rack could be added?

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      • BIKELEPTIC April 15, 2014 at 11:10 pm

        82nd & Tillamook – no rack and I visit on my commute from leaving home for work. Then I also visit 20th & E Burnside a lot which I’m pretty sure has ’em but when I visit there’s always piles of kids lurking around right there (I assume LEP) smoking cigs and sitting on the benches that I don’t trust my bike out there. And then the one down on E Burn & Grand is right around eyeshot from the building by the dumpsters where the urine smell and they deal drugs. Not really where I want to have to hang out for several minutes dealing with panniers and u-locks.

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  • Chris O'Neill April 15, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I also bring my bike inside Plaid many times each week. It’s a great convenience and the clerks have never objected (I’m fortunate to live near a very friendly Plaid).

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    • Laura Sadowski April 15, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      In case there is not enough space to bring the bike inside, where is the Plaid you would like to see an outside bike rack, even if it is a staple?

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  • Paul Cone April 15, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Gotta give them credit for helping to kill the CRC, too.

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  • Joe Adamski April 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    If only Plaid and Chris were more ‘enlightened’ when it comes to selling fortified alcohol targeting poor urban men.

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  • Russ Roca April 15, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Thanks Plaid Pantry! This is awesome!

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  • Kenny May 6, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I have wanted to go into the one near Foster on SE 52nd several time, no bike rack, no stop.

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  • Gregory Cosmo Haun May 24, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I am thrilled about this bike aid station idea! I’d like a place to park at the 26th & Division store, and the 21st and Powell store.

    I notice a lot of Plaid Pantries now have crash posts near the doors. These could be modified with a little welding to double as bike racks. Something like this:

    Or possibly this device which converts a post to a rack:

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  • Emily October 8, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Still no racks @ N Denver and N Killingsworth. Very bike friendly neighborhood… seems logical that they would have one.

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