Needing some parts for a project for my daughter, I rode up to the hardware store. My first choice was Canadian Tire since I love that paper money they distribute. My son loves it even more than I do and I save it throughout the year for him.
One problem with Canadian Tire is that there is no bike rack to lock up your bike. I managed to secure my bike to a no parking sign and went inside to try to lobby the manager to install a rack. Our conversation went like this:
"I'm a bicycle commuter and I'd like to know why there is no bike rack in front of your store."
"Our head office has done studies and they have shown that very few cyclists ride here."
"But you even sell bikes here! Isn't that a little hypocritical?"
"Our customers drive automobiles and carry the bikes in their cars."
"Wouldn't you like to increase your business? I'm buying a hundred bucks worth of stuff today and I'd rather give it to your store than the competition."
"Where is your bike now?"
"Locked to a no parking sign - probably illegally."
"Since you're here, let me help you find the things you want."
"No way. I'm going over to Home Depot!"
I got a warmer reception at Home Depot when a customer approached me from the parking lot and jokingly asked me how I planned to strap two sheets of plywood to my bike. I laughed and knew I'd made the right decision to come here. It was a snap to lock my bike to the convenient rack and in minutes I was out of the store and back at my bike.
I didn't need to buy anything that was strapped to my bike at Home Depot and I didn't really need a hundred dollars worth of parts. Over the course of a year, we might spend that much at Canadian Tire, I just wanted to see if the manager really gave a crap about my business and the business of other cyclists. You can be sure though that I won't be recommending buying a bike at Crappy Tire.