May 29, 2010

Hitching Post Welcome Mat

Faithful readers will know that a few months ago, my office was recognized for achieving the highest level of participation in Bike/Walk Week last year for companies in our size bracket. I credit the executive level support, although the fact that we have awesome staff probably plays into this as well. The win is a great honor, and we got a certificate for the office, an invitation to the 2010 Minneapolis Transportation Summit, and a wonderful bike hitching post with "2009 Bike/Walk Week Champion" emblazoned on it. The photo at right is a co-worker and I at the Transportation Summit with our booty.

We work in the IDS Center, so we can't really screw this nice rack to Marquette Ave, and I'll be damned if I am going to approach the IDS Center about adding this their bike rack collection (although more than one friend has suggested I do that and declare this to be my executive parking spot, which I like in concept).

After displaying this trophy in the office lobby for a few weeks, it became apparent that 1.) people wanted it out of the lobby, and 2.) I was the most enamored with it and no one else really seemed interested. So, I invoked executive privilege and took the rack home (yes!).

Today I finally got around to the installation. My wife (surprisingly) allowed that I could put the rack in front of the house. Perfect! Unfortunately, the mounting instructions strongly recommended a hammer drill (which I did not have) to bore the holes for the 3/8" mounting bolts. However, a quick trip to Home Depot solved that, and now I have a very reasonably priced DeWalt electric hammer drill which I can add to my Arsenal of Destruction (right next to the Sawz-All and the angle grinder).

The installation was a snap. The hammer drill chowed through my sidewalk like nothing and the anchor bolts, which I was a little worried about, tapped into the 3/8" holes with no problem.

Once the holes were drilled and the anchors bapped into place with a ball-peen hammer, the nuts and washers came off the anchors and I set the rack on the anchors, then simply re-attached the hardware and snugged it down good and tight. I might go back and hit this with some Loc-Tight if I am feeling paranoid, but it's rock solid as-is. Easy-peasy and it took about 15 minutes all-told.

I was chatting with a Bike Lover about what to do with the rack a few weeks ago on a group ride and she mentioned that having a rack like this in the front yard is handy, but it's also like a "welcome" sign to other riders. I agree. It also sends a message to my neighbors as well (probably more than one as I think about this).

I honestly can't wait until the first guest comes over to my place and locks up to this beauty. Many thanks to Dero Racks for the generous donation of these racks to the Bike/Walk program. Dero is a real partner to the cycling community with donations of temporary racks for events, prizes, etc. and it's so nice that they are local.

So. If you happen to roll through South Minneapolis and see this in the front yard, feel free to stop, lock up and say "hi".  Better still, follow my lead and be the first on your block to put one of these in front of your house...

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