Photo: Parking bikes inside

Ari Shapiro, who owns Xoom Juice, recently opened his newest venture, Sparkroot, in downtown Tucson.

Shapiro, who is an avid cyclist and was named a bicycle commuter of the year by the Tucson Bicycle Advisory Committee, incorporated bicycle parking inside his new business.

Sparkroot — which serves coffee, food, beer and wine, has three bike parking slots along one side of the shop.

As cool as it is to actually have a business owner want you to bring your bike inside, the placement makes the parking spots almost unusable.

I used the outermost spot because there were two women sitting in the chairs next to the bike parking. Had I chosen one of the other two, I would have been fumbling around the other customers. The trouble with the right spot is that it forces people coming in the door to walk around the bike.

The idea is great, I just hope they come up with a better spot for it.

Are there any other businesses where cyclists are encouraged to bring their bikes inside?

16 comments
zz
zz

Bikes can be somewhat awkward indoors and I would cut a manager some slack if he/she didn't want them in their store. CVS at 1st & Grant are real nice about it and the bike goes in and out smoothly with no inconvenience. But, even if they said it was OK, I wouldn't try to manuver my bike around in Bimsco (my favorite hardware store) because it's just too tight in there. The Xoom juice guy wants to be accommodating and that admirable but maybe, if his space isn't right for it, he shouldn't allow them. It's a free country and you can always walk out waving all the money high in the air that you walked in with. Shoot, I'm lucky I get to keep bikes in certain designated areas in the house!

Dbbikes
Dbbikes

So your saying there isn't space for the Bak?

Cynthia
Cynthia

Sparkroot may have indoor bike hooks but the cafe has become fairly infamous for its no-water-for-the-thirsty policy. Anyone who wants to promote a business in Tucson should know: we desert-dwellers find being refused a drink of water beyond strange. Hope this prompts Sparkroot to fix an ugly policy.

Raymond Michael
Raymond Michael

Sparkroot is a business, not a charity. It is directly next to the main transit center which already attracts tons of vagrants and undesirables. And yes, maybe non-cumstomers that want water don't with the upscale demographic, and I am glad that they keep them out. Because I do fit with the demographic and I don't want to deal with annoying people when I am paying to enjoy myself. Providing water to people that wander in cost Ari money. Both in labor (someone has to pour it) and direct cost (making ice, washing glasses, etc...) How would you like it if you were thirsty for an iced latte and there were four people in front of you just getting water. You are a paying customer but you have to wait behind them. 

Martha Retallick
Martha Retallick

Perhaps the water-seekers don't fit with this establishment's upscale demographic. And, BTW, Sparkroot isn't the only place that seems to be infected with Downtown Snootiness Syndrome. Memo to those places that have this particular infection: You're not getting any of my money.

Cynthia
Cynthia

It's a blanket policy that the staff seems embarrassed about.

3wheeler
3wheeler

Thanks, Ari!  Good on ya.  And thanks to all the stores who allow bikes in. Bookman's, one of my most frequent haunts, alas, is VERY anti bike in the store.  I saw an employee get on one guy real bad for bringing his bike in.  I don't know why because they allow dogs in.

Matt Zoll
Matt Zoll

I'm not sure if that particular Bookman's has carpet, but I know when I've used the Speedway meeting room for bike meetings we had to carry our bikes through the store because of the carpeting. I can understand their concern with bike tire marks, although thousands of people hoofing over their carpet after having gotten out of their cars in the asphalt parking lot with oil stains must have much worse of an effect on their carpet then a very few bikes have. Home Depot and Ace by the way are very good, at least the ones I've dealt with. Ace will allow you to store in the corner or in some cases to walk through the aisles with your bike. Home Depot has always allowed me to walk through the aisles . I pretty much have taken my bike into any business or agency that I've visited in town (even the UA--after hours) without having a problem. But I'm sure there are a good number that restrict bikes.

straw
straw

The Ace on 9th has a fairly annoying backpack policy.  You are forced to surrender your backpack.  If you are a woman with a large purse no problem.  If you are somebody they know with a commercial account and you have a bicycle messenger bag, also no problem.  Asking me to surrender my belongings because I don't arrive in a mobile safe is not bike friendly.  What I find particularly galling in this case is that the 9th Ace has extremely poor parking and arriving on a bicycle would be a prudent thing to do.  The other thing about shrink (loss to theft) is statistically most of it happens because of employee theft.  So I'm surrendering my bag with my money and electronics to the person statistically the most likely to actually be a thief?  It doesn't make any sense.   The other thing that annoys me about this policy is that I'm pretty sure being Matt Zoll with a back pack would not resort in my having to surrender it.  In other words and not to pick on Matt it's not a blanketly uniform policy.  

straw
straw

That'd be the conclusion I came to.  

Red Star
Red Star

Your other option is to not shop at that Ace...

straw
straw

I could support a policy that was like what they do in larger stores in Mexico.  A counter with little lockers, an attendant and a claim ticket.  It's uniform.  Everyone has to comply.  The Ace's policy is far from uniform and like so much of what we do regarding security it's really just security theatre.  If Ace is the my neighborhood helpful hardware place then why am I treated badly when I shop there?  Your mileage will vary and the reason this is true is non uniform policies are about profiling not for a back pack but for a type of person.  It's like going to the courts buildings downtown.  Nobody walks through without emptying their pockets, fair enough.   By the way, Home Depot does not take my back pack away, neither does Sunflower, Fry's, Lowes, Trader Joe's, Benjamin Supply, Outlet Electric, Crescent Electric, the SW Supermarket on Ft Lowell, the Apple Store, any bike store I've ever been in, REI, Target, Safeway, Anitas St Market, the list could go on and on.  My point being the Ace policy is not the norm and there are choices in the marketplace.  My strong preference of course would be to go to a friendly neighborhood store but hey you can't always get what you want.   p.s. it is unfortunate that shoplifting is a fact of life and I have sympathy for the business owners.  That's the simple fact of a backpack policy, most people with backpacks are not thieves. 

Red Star
Red Star

" So I'm surrendering my bag with my money and electronics to the person statistically the most likely to actually be a thief?" The lament is understandable. Follows is what you can actually do: Zip the two zippers on the main compartment (standard on JanSport, Nike, Adidas) close together.  Put a  mini Master Lock or Travel Lock  shackle through the holes in the zipper pull-tabs (that's why the holes are there in the pull-tabs, btw) and lock up and leave the pack at the heavily-videoed register. Shop. Ace probably offers these little padlocks.

Martha Retallick
Martha Retallick

OTOH, I haven't gotten the slightest bit of static over bringing my bike inside the 9th St. Ace Hardware. But I do get straw's drift about the mobile safe. I don't arrive in one of those either. But, amazingly enough, when I go to stores, I still spend money. Imagine that.

Red Star
Red Star

Sunday standing in long line at CVS at Alvernon and 5th. Wanting to purchase a belated birthday card. Road warrior guy walks in a Magna or a Wal Marty something, kickstands it by the beauty display and starts shopping. Cashier glances, says "hello" and goes on about her business. Much of this is ad hoc

straw
straw

Chase bank downtown branch, both the tellers and the security guards tell you to just bring the bike in,  I've dragged my bike with a trailer in, no problems.  Tucson Old Pueble Credit Union downtown, no problem bringing in a bike there.  The manager and tellers both encouraged me to do so.  The manager and one of the tellers bicycle commute to work.  It's really a time saver to just roll in and prop your bike against a wall instead of having to deal with racks and locks.  Trader Joe's on Campbell has let me in with a bike when I forgot either my lock or my key, Sunflower too, bike and a trailer because I forgot the key and amazingly Walgreens at Anderson and Speedway let me in twice with a bike, again key lock issue.  They also have awesome bike parking.  In front by the door and under the scrutiny of a security camera.  Btw, I've solved the key forgetting problem, I carry a spare in my backpack now.