Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's a Strike! Uptown's Best Bike Rack

Above: Bowling pin bike rack at Bryant-Lake Bowl

I’ve recently started paying attention to bike racks, and have become mildly obsessed. Not obsessed with using the racks, ironically, as I don’t own a bike, but fascinated with them for both their utilitarian and artistic values. Minneapolis (including Uptown) is a pretty bike-friendly place, and it’s great to see so many businesses – and even some apartment buildings – offering bike rack parking.

Uptown has many great examples of the sheer variety of bike racks available, but so far my all-time favorite is the one at Bryant-Lake Bowl (photo above). It’s the perfect blend of form and function, and further serves to establish a unique sense of place. The design is eclectic, fun, distinctive, and relates to the nature of the business. It livens up the streetscape on a stretch of Lake Street that has historically been rather drab and utilitarian.

While in some commercial districts or streets a more elegant, or at lesat subdued and uniform, look might be more appropriate, but Uptown – especially the area closer to Hennepin and Lake – is often criticized as having long since lost its artistic vibe. Lyn-Lake still has more independent spirit, but with its growing population and name-recognition it’s going to risk running into the same issues as the core Uptown commercial area. Interesting, unique, functional bike racks are a great way to restore some of that bohemian flavor. When done right, as at Bryant Lake Bowl, they add to the pedestrian experience, make it easy for people to choose biking over driving, and overall make a street more enjoyable and a neighborhood more interesting.

If you, too, want a unique piece of commercial-quality bike racks, Midtown Greenway-adjacent Dero Bike Rack is a local supplier. The company has seen sales skyrocket in the last four years; their customer-base is national, but people here in Uptown, business owners or otherwise, can just hop on a bike and head up the Greenway to discuss their business or building's needs. Check out some of Dero's custom designs for inspiration, or dream up your own vision. They sell the basic versions, too.
Did I miss any other creative Uptown-area bike racks?

No comments:

Post a Comment