Bike racks would be useful

Published 9:04 am Wednesday, June 11, 2008

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Albert Lea needs more bike racks.

Let’s say you want to run the figure eight on the Blazing Star Trail. You could bike there, but then where would you lock your bike? You can’t. That leaves people not close enough to walk there to have to drive there. In other words, spend costly fuel.

Let’s say you want to shop downtown. Are there places to lock your bike? Sure, you can hitch to sign posts, but that’s not what they are meant for. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have racks for cycling customers?

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This is how Albert Lea is over much of the city. Kudos to the few places that provide bike racks, but everywhere else, the city, state and merchants need to remember alternative forms of transportation. Young people live here, too. In fact, the hospital has recruited many young medical professionals to Albert Lea and they like cycling, too.

If just one organization began an citywide effort to encourage bike racks  like the new line of roof rack for subaru outback— the city, or the chamber or the downtown association — then others would follow.

The installation of carriers is completely legal irrespective of the type of car you are driving down the road. Hence, no official or police will be able to give a ticket or fine you for a carrier on the rooftop of your private, registered car. A heavy load on your roof rack will reduce the stability of the vehicle because it moves the centre of gravity away from that intended by the manufacturer. If you change direction at speed, your vehicle and/or load could become unstable and you could lose control.