The Chainlink

Can we agree that it's bad etiquette to take up both posts of the typical upside down U racks that we have here in Chicago? I always park my bike at a 45 degree angle, which keeps the other post completely free without the bike going to far out onto the sidewalk. But I see a lot of people with their bikes flush against both posts, making it difficult if not impossible for 2 bikes to occupy one rack.

I get that if you have two u locks you have a modicum of additional security by locking a lock on each post- but I think it's still bad etiquette- you could lock one to the rack (front wheel and frame perhaps), and the other could lock the other wheel to the frame. Slightly less secure but still pretty dang secure, without using up more than your share of rack space.

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No. You're doing it wrong. 

They are designed to be used in the way you say is "bad etiquette".  

I wasnt aware of what the designers had in mind. I'm asking why it's better to occupy an entire rack with one bike as opposed to the method I'm doing which much more easily accommodates two.

This is a bad take. I'm able to lock my bike the way you described without issue, which is the correct way.

Furthermore, many street installations have multiple U-racks spaced to pull in parallel, making your preferred method an obstacle. They are installed like this, because parallel is in fact the correct way to lock to these.

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I wouldnt mind if people parked the way that is depicted here as the other post is still relatively free in the picture here. Now imagine if instead of the multiple U racks you had one or two. And bring that bike forward a bit and tether it to both posts. Now that's going to take a rack that could accommodate two and limit it to one bike.

Still no. If you are having issues with your handlebars rubbing the other bike, just have your head facing the other way.

As I said, I've never had this issue and there is a reason they are designed this way.

Yeah but not every bike is a fixie or a road bike - skinny enough to get that close to the rack in that situation with no problems, handlebars facing the opposite way or not. Especially if you have a hauler, and/or baskets, accoutrements.

Thus my approach. Even an adult trike can park on a completely free post. But only some bikes can park if both posts are occupied.

Took this just now on my block. Other racks had all sorts, even cargos locked the same way to one side. You seem to be the outlier.

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Not seeing any cargoes in that pic nor bikes with baskets. Those bikes all have a somewhat narrow profile.

Next you'll be complaining that they don't accommodate those 4-seaters that cruise the LFT.

I'd locked up parallel/flush against both posts and someone else did the same on the other side.  Just my luck, they used a chain in addition to their U-Lock and accidentally locked my bike with their chain too which made for a long wait until they showed up and unlocked theirs to so I could get home   But if I don't do parallel, it sticks into the sidewalk.  

Side note - Whatever you do, for all the trouble, the upside down U rack is still more secure than some others because it is anchored all the way into the concrete.  If you use a pole instead use a streetlight pole not a sign pole:

https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20131111/lincoln-park/bike-theft-ga...

I agree with the concern of sticking into the sidewalk but that's more of an issue where you have a narrow sidewalk, which isnt always the case. And it's also minimized if you're at an angle and not perpendicular. 

It's fine to lock basically completely parallel to the rack if you're locked to one of the vertical sections (or "posts" or "legs") of the inverted U. If necessary, the second cyclist can move your bike a bit to maneuver their cycle onto the rack. But if you lock to both of the vertical sections, that does make it much tougher to lock a second bike, especially with a U lock, so it is sort of inconsiderate.

-- Guy who arranged the installation of about 3,500 Chicago bike racks 

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