…because this is simply unacceptable (and, judging by the comments, not all that rare). From Bike2Work2Live2Bike:
I was downtown this evening, getting a replacement phone (I ran mine through the washer). I locked my bike to a bike rack near where I was going. When I finished and went back…no bike. No lock. No nuthin’.
I had the adrenaline rush of panic. It’s been a very long time since one of my bikes was stolen.
As I stood there with these thoughts running through my head, I happened to glance inside the nearby Jimmy John’s, and saw a bike by the counter. A large-framed bike. Minimal, aggressive, and rather cool-looking. My bike.
It turns out the guys at JJ’s took my bike, along with the rack it was locked to, and carried it inside. I suppose maybe they did this because the rack was not a public rack, and this was a way of getting my attention. That, they did. But, no matter. I am just so happy the bike was not stolen. Because I love this bike!
UPDATE: To clarify, this wasn’t supposed to be against Jimmy John’s. The city has rules about private bike racks, and sometimes businesses have to bring them inside at night, just like if it were a sandwich board sign. In fact, Jimmy Johns probably pays a permit fee to the city for sidewalk use (I haven’t verified that, but that’s usually how it works). The problem is that it is unrealistic to expect people to be able to tell the difference between a private and public bike rack. Especially in an area where bike parking is in such high demand, let’s just get some permanent bike corrals so this is not an issue.