Taking it elsewhere

Credit: zilverpics on flickr. noncommercial reuse licenceI don’t know about you, but I don’t like letting my bikes out of my sight. Sure, on a cafe ride I’ll park it, unlocked, somewhere nearby, but at any other time, the bikes do not leave my side. Ever.

I don’t even like to lock the bikes to public bike racks. We’re looking at several thousand dollars worth of carbon and alloy apiece, not $100 K-Mart specials. I think I’m fairly justified in this, given that bike thieves have plenty of techniques at their disposal to break bike locks. Not only that, but being race bikes, everything is quick-release, meaning it’s pretty damn difficult to secure everything – wheels, seatpin, accessories. It becomes a logistical nightmare. Not to mention the possibility that some clown may just take it upon themselves to break something instead of just stealing it.

So generally, if I’m doing a local shop run, I take my bike into the shopping centre with me, and wheel it around. Maybe you do the same. Or maybe I’m weird.

Anyway, I’ve been doing this on and off at my local shopping centre – Ashfield Mall in Inner West Sydney – for quite a while now. I do pretty much all my major shopping there. Groceries, video games, booze, the lot. Usually in my van, but for small backpack-sized shopping, I take the bike.

All three of my bikes have been in with me. They’ve been into Coles, Woolworths, BWS, EB Games, Liquor Legends, the Asian Supermarket and even KMart. The guys at the bottle shop even comment when I pop in on Friday after work without one or other of the bikes.

Anyway, tonight I popped over for a few pizza ingredients and a cheeky bottle of wine. As is my wont.

While strolling between Woolworths and BWS, I was stopped by a mallcop, who was eager to make the point that I wasn’t allowed to take my bike in there. And that there’s even a sign. No, it doesn’t matter that I’m pushing it, carefully at walking pace. While being an adult. It’s a safety thing, I was told.

Safety, huh? In a building traversed all day by overfilled shopping trolleys with a mind of their own, pushed by vacant, slack-jawed consumers, orbited by their randomly-meandering offspring?


Yeah, it’s way more dangerous than that. Yeah. Totes.

Long story short, I told Mr Mallcop that this was complete bobbins, but no worries, I’d leave. And I’d be taking my money elsewhere.

And I did. I hopped on the bike, zipped a few hundred metres up the road to a different bottle-o. And I found this:


Which is proving to be actually quite nice. And it has a bike on it.

To be honest, I’m kinda glad that I’ve now got an excuse to avoid Ashfield Mall. Sure, I’ll be missing out on a bit of convenience, but it means I’ll probably be making more of an effort to find some variety and interest in my shopping. And buying from smaller, local retailers instead of the big Coles/Woolies duopoly.

So it’s a win all round, from my point of view. Thanks, Mr Mallcop!

Of course, your tenants are losing a few grand a year. Which is a bummer for them. But at least you enforced your no bikes rule. That’s the important thing, right?

4 Thoughts on “Taking it elsewhere

  1. Go to leichardt, there is a great fruit/veg shop just outside the shopping centre run by a great old italian man.

    Also, for pizza ingredients go to Haberfield, the IGA there is a goldmine for cheese and italian meats.

  2. Michael McMahon on 11 May, 2014 at 9:48 am said:

    Love it, go local! 🙂

    I try not to go anywhere now where I can take my bike or my dog, or both!

  3. Bill Holliday on 8 July, 2015 at 1:53 pm said:

    With three bikes, surely one can be the shopping trolley bike (steel frame, mudguards for the rain, hub gears for reliability, led lights, large box on the back to make loading quick and easy and a home made paint job – unique and uninviting to thieves)? A lock and chain around the nearest street sign and it will always be there (and ridable) when you return.

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