On the Champaign County Bikes email list, there has been chatter about bike parking as of late and it reminded me of a couple things. There are some great new bike racks around town(s).
Downtown Champaign has enhanced bike parking on N. Neil St. near Aroma and Pekara (or if you are a townie like me, near the old Lox, Stock, and Bagel building). There is also covered bike parking in the new car parking garage downtown (if you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to get out more since it is huge...well, huge for Champaign). The car parking garage is also very well lit, if that is what you are looking for. I have yet to use this facility since I prefer to park my bike right outside the businesses I'm visiting. That is one of the many benefits of riding your bike after all, but if it was raining or something or if I worked downtown, I could see using this new rack in the parking garage.
The Market at the Square has added more bike racks in the Lincoln Square Village parking lot. A few of them are in the shape of produce and the market's mascot, the rooster. Over the last several years that we've been biking to the farmer's market, we have seen an increase in bike traffic. It is wonderful! New racks seem to be added every year to help with the bike parking issue, but these new racks are pretty cute and added just recently so check them out.
Of course, the best bike racks will not help if you don't lock your bike properly to them. We were biking to campus for a bite to eat after the farmer's market Saturday and saw a wheel locked securely to a bike rack on Green St. Too bad it was just the wheel. The rest of the bike was long gone. Most bikes built in the last decade have quick release front wheels so you need to lock the frame and the front wheel to the rack. I know this seems simple, but apparently there are still people not locking their frames.
Here are some tips on how to keep your bike secure.