Bicycle ‘Aid Stations’ coming to Plaid Pantry stores

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.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Rob Chapman
Rob Chapman
10 years ago

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

captainkarma
captainkarma
10 years ago

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.

lavie.lama
lavie.lama
10 years ago
Reply to  captainkarma

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.

Granpa
Granpa
10 years ago
Reply to  lavie.lama

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

Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin
10 years ago
Reply to  captainkarma

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.

Laura Sadowski
Laura Sadowski
10 years ago
Reply to  Buzz Aldrin

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?

Paul Cone
Paul Cone
10 years ago
Reply to  Laura Sadowski

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

Laura
Laura
10 years ago
Reply to  Paul Cone

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.

Laura
Laura
9 years ago
Reply to  Buzz Aldrin

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

Laura Sadowski
Laura Sadowski
10 years ago
Reply to  captainkarma

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?

Evan Manvel
Evan Manvel
10 years ago
Reply to  Laura Sadowski

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

Laura
Laura
9 years ago
Reply to  captainkarma

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!

daisy
daisy
10 years ago

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!

Charley
Charley
10 years ago

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

Bjorn
Bjorn
10 years ago

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.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
10 years ago
Reply to  Bjorn

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

SilkySlim
10 years ago

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

Brian
Brian
10 years ago

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.

Laura Sadowski
Laura Sadowski
10 years ago
Reply to  Brian

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

P-Funk
P-Funk
10 years ago

they should have some loosie cigarettes in there too…

TOM
TOM
10 years ago

Kudos to PP.

Jim Lee
Jim Lee
10 years ago

Let’s hear it for Chris G.!

jim
jim
10 years ago

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

BIKELEPTIC
10 years ago

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.

Laura Sadowski
Laura Sadowski
10 years ago
Reply to  BIKELEPTIC

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

BIKELEPTIC
10 years ago
Reply to  Laura Sadowski

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.

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill
10 years ago

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).

Laura Sadowski
Laura Sadowski
10 years ago
Reply to  Chris O'Neill

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?

Paul Cone
Paul Cone
10 years ago

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

Joe Adamski
Joe Adamski
10 years ago

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

Russ Roca
10 years ago

Thanks Plaid Pantry! This is awesome!

Kenny
Kenny
10 years ago

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

Gregory Cosmo Haun
10 years ago

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:
http://sacpedart.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/img_0795.jpg

Or possibly this device which converts a post to a rack:
http://www.cyclehoop.com/product/cyclehoops/cyclehoop-for-signposts-heavy-duty/

Emily
Emily
9 years ago

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