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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TL;DR version of this thread:

"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?"

"No."

I have parked both ways, depending on the situation. There are pros and cons to each. I agree with the OP about the spacing issue. If you park parallel and someone parks next to you, it can be problematic. I posted here months ago about someone twisting my bike around (and scratching and denting it in the process) so they could park parallel (I was perpendicular) and lock their bike with two U locks. This was at a single rack on a wide sidewalk downtown where people commonly parked perpendicular to the rack. For two bikes to be parked parallel to the rack and each other, it can mean that the second cyclist has to touch the other person's bike to get their bike into place. I don't think that touching someone else's property is a good thing. The second person oftentimes may park in such a manner that their bike or lock is touching or is intertwined with the other person's bike. I have had scratches and marks left on my bike because of this. If someone really is in a hurry and/or isn't careful, they could accidentally loop their lock around the other person's bike. Also, it is usually harder to unlock your bike when someone else's bike is right next to it. I do like the greater stability created by locking up parallel to the rack, and this is my preferred method if it is unlikely that someone will parallel park next to me. When there is a greater likelihood of someone doubling up and there is enough sidewalk space, I would rather park perpendicular to the rack.

From your note Bob, "If someone really is in a hurry and/or isn't careful, they could accidentally loop their lock around the other person's bike."       Yep, happened to me.  

I don't understand how this is considered etiquette. Bicycle advocacy groups and rack companies frequently educate users of the undeniable benefits in stability and the ability to double tether in situations you will be locked up for long periods. It is not uncommon to see stickers in many cities (I live in Evanston where many racks have these stickers installed by the manufacturer). 

I ride a lot of things that have been mentioned as being a hindrance like front baskets, racks wide bars, etc. 

I am very genuinely confused why those in favor of using the racks counter to the designed use want to call an approach they don't prefer bad etiquette. 

If you want to see a couple hundred bikes locked two a rack including a big variety besides road bikes come to the financial district. West side of board of trade, east side of LaSalle at Jackson is always packed with bikes two to a rack.

Spotted recently at Mariano's. I'd say this is bad etiquette. 

...as well as an invitation to wheel theft

Now THAT's a rack hog.

Two hogs.

That type of rack is called a "wheel bender."  I wouldn't want to lock up my bike by putting the wheen into the dividers intended for the wheel.

I put mine over the top bar when possible with the wheel still coming in backwards into the lower gap but if is at least a little safer, but I don't like these either. 

As others note, these are horrible racks.  I try to do what the bike at the end did, which is lock perpendicular to the end bar if I can.  Otherwise, the two bikes I ride and lock on the street have fenders, and I literally couldn't put my wheel over the top bar even if I wanted to.  That means I'd have to lock my front wheel only, which is what these racks really expect you to do, and that's no bueno and useless.    

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