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Just curious what most people think about parking their bikes at grocery stores, malls, etc. I notice a lot of bikes parked on the sidewalks by the front doors but I usually go find a regular parking spot. I tried parking at the front walk of a Walmart once but the nice old lady in the golf cart with flashing lights scolded me.
Has anyone had any problems with doing this?

Cheers, John
 

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Sometimes, but I got a warning ticket once in front of Best Buy. Our local theater has a nice, big side walk area right in front where bikes park all the time. If there is an area for bikes & it's fairly close to the place I'm visiting, I'll park there, otherwise, I'll park in a regular spot. It all depends...
 

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I have been asked not to park in front of a particular store. Apparently they think motorcycles tarnish their image... it's a picture frame store for crying out loud. Anyway, I will park in front of malls, shopping centers, etc. so long as it doesn't impede pedestrian traffic.
 

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I saw somthing on AMA's website or in their news letter about legislation being introduced in some municipaities that mandate that there be X amount of motorcyle spaces for every X of cars or some formula like that. Simular to handicap spaces.

In my area a certain town, near the beach with enforced parking meters, they set asaide about 3-6 spaces (about 2-3 car lengths of space) just for motocyles on the corners of the blocks for about 2 miles.
 

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I have been known to park WAY up front at the Home Depot, Lowes, and sometimes the cinema. As long as it's a huge chunk of concrete, and there really isn't any chance of my bike getting pushed over (AKA - it's not in the way) I will continue this practice. I do it much less with the Road King, simply because it's quite wide for it's length.

- S
 

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Not too picky

I often park out in the lots, but try to find a spot between two nice cars - never next to the methmobiles. Of course, you never know who will be coming or going while you're in the store. It's illegal to park in the fire lane directly in front of the store, with the exception of those who are loading or unloading passengers or purchases. Often, the lots will have spots that are too small for cars, so they don't mark them for parking. I often park there and have never had a complaint about it. Amazingly, for a place that is a major destination for riders from around the world, I can only think of one tourist spot near here that has specifically designated parking for motorcycles - Chimney Rock State Park. They have a great and secure parking area for bikes right in front of the store at the bottom of the cliffs. I don't mind leaving my gear on the bike there, 'cause there will always be somebody nearby to keep an eye on the bikes.
The grocery store that I go to has a wide concrete veranda in front with tables and newspaper racks that is sometimes used by the likkercycle crowd for parking, but so far, I haven't parked there.
One thing that I always try to look out for is runaway grocery buggies - our local Wally World has a sloping parking lot, and it's not uncommon to see a buggy careening across the lot on a windy day. Anytime I go there, I park at the top of the lot, even if it means having to walk further to reach the store. I've seen some big dents inflicted on some of the unlucky shopper's cars from the wind-blown buggies.
If I lived in a city or a place with a rep for crime, I'd probably be a lot more cautious.

Hey, this is totally off-topic, but while I'm typing this, I'm watching a show about Cambodia on HDNetwork. They were showing a young couple taking a jungle tour on the back of an elephant - and the guide, during the entire ride, was texting on his cell phone. Dang, it's like a crack habit!
 

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I almost always park in a regular parking spot but I I'm picky about it. I usually go for a spot away from cars and near some kind of curb or sidewalk. If I can't find a spot like that I'll settle for a light pole. I think having something solid and not mobile near the bike is a bit of a safety zone. Most people won't drive over curbs, onto sidewalks or into light poles so if my bike is next to them I think it a bit safer. If I can see my bike from inside the store that's even better.

The Best Buy near me has a small section that will fit two bikes at the front of the store. It's not marked as motorcycle only but the painted lines could only be interpreted as motorcycle spaces. Well every time I ride my bike to this Best Buy some tool parks their car in space. Once in a while I see a SUV crammed in there. I hope they smash their doors on the concrete planters on each side.
 

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I don't usually park on the walk or in a fire zone. I just think it makes us look bad. But sometimes there are triangle shaped areas that have been striped across because they're too small for a car and I see no problem parking in those spots.
 

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I'm with you on parking next to the parking lot islands. That's a must! I don't like parking the V out in the open in a single spot or between 2 cars because I've watched idiots zoom into those spots and smash into small bikes like ours. I've seen it happen probably 6 or 8 times over the years. It ain't pretty. And when the cops show up - "I couldnt' see it." Same old BS. I do not park in fire lanes at the store doors. There is usually a lot of extra cement up front to put a small bike in places like the Home Depot, Lowes, Kmart, etc, and I have not been asked to relocate. Just gotta use a little common sense as the where you drop that sidestand.
 

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I usually just find the spot farthest away from everyone that I can. I would rather walk than have someone hit it. I also park at the front of the space so people hopefully can see it.
 
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