Farmer’s Market Ride

Last Thursday I went to a meeting at the Farmer’s Market before work, and it made for a good opportunity to show you a couple of their new(ish) bike racks that were installed last summer. I chose to lock Kermit Allegra to the cornstalks, which were functional enough as well as pretty.

 

The tomato bike racks, I’m sorry to say, have not garnered such good reviews.

I’m sure the reason will be obvious to anyone who rides: the only way to secure your bike is by threading a very thin cable lock through the tiny holes of the tomato seeds.

Just another example of poor bike rack placement or design trumping the best of intentions.

On a more positive note, I was at the market to get an advance look at a “share the road” campaign that Metro Public Works will be launching in Nashville next spring—right around the time the city is set to extend its bike share program. More details on these developments as they move forward . . .

 

  • Kim

    That tomato bike rack is gorgeous — what a shame it’s not functional. And it could’ve been so easily fixed at the design stage… just another reason why cyclists need to be involved in the planning process.

  • Kim

    That tomato bike rack is gorgeous — what a shame it’s not functional. And it could’ve been so easily fixed at the design stage… just another reason why cyclists need to be involved in the planning process.

  • Maggie

    If I was looking for a place there to park my bike, then I would have obliviously walked past the tomato and cornstalks. Are there any signs indicating these are indeed bike racks?
    I’d much rather have functional bike racks that scream BIKE RACKS than fancy, non-functional art racks.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      I see your point, but I think cyclists in Nashville are so used to having to lock their bikes up to random things that basically any permanent installation screams BIKE RACK to us.

  • Erica Satifka

    Ugh, I kind of can’t stand “artistic” bike racks. Even something like the cornstalk would kind of suck IMO, because it doesn’t look like I could easily mini-U-lock my back wheel to that without picking up the bike or maybe attaching it to the thicker pole through the center, but maybe that would be too tight a fit also. Bikes may be hip, but give me a plain utilitarian rack over some crazy modern sculpture. Although I kind of like the ones that are shaped like bikes (easy to lock to and you know it’s a rack!).

    • Dukiebiddle

      “Artistic” bike racks are a great way to completely squander very limited bicycle infrastructure funds. Just consider how much they cost to build compared to simple inverted staples. You could install 5 boring and functional bike racks for every creative and likely useless artistic rack.

      • Dukiebiddle

        …I should also add that they are an excuse to divert state and federal infrastructure grants to subsidize local artists. From a city planning by committee perspective I can see how it happens, as planners are trying to find ways to benefit as many locals as possible with these grants, but they are bad for bicycle infrastructure, which are the grant’s original purpose.

    • Dukiebiddle

      “Artistic” bike racks are a great way to completely squander very limited bicycle infrastructure funds. Just consider how much they cost to build compared to simple inverted staples. You could install 5 boring and functional bike racks for every creative and likely useless artistic rack.

      • Dukiebiddle

        …I should also add that they are an excuse to divert state and federal infrastructure grants to subsidize local artists. From a city planning by committee perspective I can see how it happens, as planners are trying to find ways to benefit as many locals as possible with these grants, but they are bad for bicycle infrastructure, which are the grant’s original purpose.

      • Philippe_ram

        Agreed.
        And I could not help but notice the flimsy looking lock you’re using. Don’t they steal bikes in Nashville ?

        • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

          It’s actually not as flimsy as it looks — it’s a Knog lock and the silicone hides a stainless steel cable. But no, Nashville doesn’t have a serious bike theft problem like many other cities (knock on wood).

  • http://www.anniebikes.blogspot.com anniebikes

    I definitely like the corn stalks bike design, because it is functional. The tomatoes are gorgeous, but more like art. Both are eye-catching which must have been the intention for advertising the market. I agree that a sign is needed. This is an opportunity to attract someone who normally drives, to pedal to the market as opposed to a regular commuter who is continually on the lookout for safe options for locking their bike.

  • Anonymous

    Guess the corn stalks are functional and the tomatoes are sculpture? Looks like gorgeous weather there.

  • http://weefrills.com Sarah W.

    I look forward to hearing more about Nashville’s bike plans. I didn’t know we had a bike share service!

  • Nathan Townshend

    I love the corny bike stands!
    Here in England they’re sweetcorn and in my home country of South Africa they’re mielies.
    I wrote about our local farmer’s market in Cheshire on my blog at http://rideaday.wordpress.com/ please have a read and maybe add to your list of blogs? Thank you.

  • Stephen Hodges

    I guess one could kvetch about anything, but the bike stands, as questionably designed and expensive as they may be, are at least THERE in the first place, and they do look cool. And Trisha’s may look flimsy, but at least there’s a lock, and it’s unlikely that bike (would any male thief be caught dead on a lime green girl’s bike?) would be stolen, given the people milling around at the Farmer’s Market and the placement of the racks next to a roadway. Eyes on the street, and all that.

    My issue with bike racks (and I’ll be the first to admit that there are some real clunker designs) is their placement. I work in a building where policies are drafted, plans are reviewed, and building permits are written, and the bike racks are kinda cheap and poorly placed. Hence, they are seldom used. If you ride up on a bicycle to pay your utility bill, you’re going to want to lock your bike up where it can be seen by the most amount of people precisely so it WON’T get nicked. Instead, our existing bike racks are in areas where they can get picked at and stolen by the many street people in this neighborhood. As a result, when I ride to work, I bring my bike inside and store it under a stairwell.

    I’d rather have a badly designed bike rack in a good location than a superb design in a poor/isolated location. Even if it looks like an overgrown vegetable!

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      I do agree that placement can be more of a problem than design (although in the case of something like the tomato bike racks it could be a toss-up). As for bike color — well, my pink bike got stolen a few years ago so I don’t depend on the bike being green to keep it safe! That lock is actually a med-high security lock if you can believe it. Although I am a bit worried I’m jinxing myself by talking about how secure it is. :)

  • Fred

    Cranksgiving Chicago this Saturday! Proceeds go to The Greater Chicago Food Depository!

  • Fred

    Cranksgiving Chicago this Saturday! Proceeds go to The Greater Chicago Food Depository!

  • eco-cyclist

    LOVE the corn bike rack- so very clever. The tomato is super clever, too- too bad it’s not usable. I can count on one hand the number of bike racks in my town- and it’s a big city. ;) I love it- thanks for sharing. :)

    • http://twitter.com/cupcakeride Cupcake Ride

      Agreed! The corn bike posts are so clever and very cute!!

  • Lem

    Like adding a dash of spice to flavour (your) life .. so I feel thankful someone care(s) .. (Alas .. if only the ‘sliced tomato’ is (more) functional to bicyclists! ) ;)
    L

  • http://twitter.com/lovelybicycle Lovely Bicycle!

    I looove the corn stalk bike racks!

  • Sue

    I read that the rack designs were chosen and selected on the basis of artistic merit, location context, functionality and durability. The artists, Paige Easter and Dan Goosetree. I think it’s great that Nashville supports local artists. Though the tomato racks don’t look functional there are many cyclist whom own cable locks and may consider them functional for a quick ride to the market. They also look wide enough to lean the bike against, preventing others from piling bikes on top of one another. In other words – one bike per tomato :).

  • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

    There’s no way that tomato one would work with my locks, but I love the look and concept. The cornstalk one is great!

  • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

    There’s no way that tomato one would work with my locks, but I love the look and concept. The cornstalk one is great!