Carly Simmons was riding her bike to work when she was struck by a drunk driver.
She was taken to a hospital, where she had her right leg amputated.
She and her friend, Lauren, both in their late 20s, have been riding their bikes to work for years, and they have all the gear they need.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Simmons says.
Simmons is not alone.
The American Cyclists Association has a bike rack policy that requires bikes to have a rack.
But Simmons is among those who think it is too strict.
“There are lots of cyclists who think the bike rack is the wrong thing to have in a bike shop,” says Mark Schulte, executive director of the Association’s Bicycle Transportation Program.
He adds, “If you don’t have a bike, you don,t have the equipment to get to work safely.”
What does the policy say?
According to the Bicycle Transportation Policy, which has been in effect since 2002, the racks should be located within the shop and at least a quarter of a mile from the bike shop entrance.
In addition, racks should have a clear view of the bike, so cyclists can see what’s on their bike and know where to park.
“When I was in high school, I had a rack and I would put it on the curb and leave it there,” says Simmons.
“But I don’t know what I would have done with that rack now.”
It’s not just bikes that are getting in the way.
“We don’t want bikes hanging out on the ground,” says Schultes.
“Bikes are just an extension of our lives.
They’re not going to get in the shop, they’re not getting into the shop.”
There are plenty of ways to get around the policy.
Schults points to the fact that the Bicycle Coalition of California has a program that allows cyclists to pay a small fee to use a bike station in one of the city’s bike lanes, which are protected by a sign and lockable doors.
“In a city where the majority of the residents commute by bike, it would be great if people would just leave the bikes where they are,” he says.
“The bike racks are there for a reason, they don’t serve a purpose other than to provide a bike storage space for cyclists.”
The bike racks that are in place are not the only ways cyclists can avoid the rack ban.
The city also has a “zero-tolerance policy” on litter, which requires cyclists to remove any bike equipment that is less than five inches from the ground and less than one inch from the side of the rack.
Schulze says the city also plans to have racks installed in all of its bike lanes to make it easier for riders to access their bikes, especially during the week.
In October, the city unveiled a “green bike lane” plan that would allow bike racks in bike lanes.
“A lot of cities have done this, but it’s been a little slow,” SchultE says.
The policy is one of many steps to create a safer and more bike-friendly city.
But it is not a complete solution.
SchULTE says there is a lot more work to do to make bike racks safer and easier to use for everyone, including cyclists.
“Some people are not going be able to get out of their bike because of the racks,” he explains.
“So they are not coming in the racks because they want to get a better view of bikes on the road.
They are not really looking for a place to park their bikes.”
This article is part of the National Review 100.
Read more articles from 2017