Everybody loves Walmart- the wide selection of products at great prices, what more could you ask for?
Whether you decide to take a brief detour to do some light shopping while riding home or you decide a bike is more convenient than a car, you need to know where to park your bike.
Are there bike racks at Walmart?
Yes, there are- in some stores. There are Walmart stores with a separate area with bike racks where you can park your bike, but they are situated a bit far from the main entrance.
As I mentioned before, most Walmart branches won’t have bike racks.
Most stores or public areas that steer away from having bike racks do so for some of the following reasons;
- It is not a top priority for them. Public spaces are more interested in car parking.
- Possible theft. Bike theft is very rampant all over the US.
Bikes going missing will prompt customers to constantly complain about security to management and possibly drive some of them away. Stores do not want to be held responsible for this.
- Some stores might not actually have extra space after dedicating it to car parking.
This is a shame particularly because bike racks are good for business in that they attract the cycling community because they can park their bike in plain sight.
However, we cannot solely blame business owners for not having bike racks. Many store owners have reported that cyclists prefer not to use racks because the bikes are easily spotted by thieves.
What do you do with the bike at Walmart if there are no racks?
Here are some ways you can make sure your bike is OK when you go to Walmart.
You’ve probably seen people use some of these hacks already.
1. Take your bike with you into the store.
Sometimes the staff at Walmart might allow you to push your bike inside the store while you shop.
Sadly this doesn’t apply to all stores and the staff will strongly decline especially if the bike is dirty.
If you are very good at convincing and your bike isn’t covered with mud and grease you can give it a shot.
Remember to ask nicely!
2. Park it behind grocery carts
If the employees have no issue with it, you can park your bike next to the grocery carts and lock it or ask someone to watch over it for you.
Just make sure that your bike isn’t obstructing access to the carts and ensure it is stable so that it doesn’t fall over.
3. Put in the back room
This option isn’t for regular customers, but for employees of Walmart.
If there is space in the back room or in one of the offices, you can hang your bike there with a bike hook or put it against the wall.
For non-employees, you can ask a friend who works there to store it for you if there is no rule against it.
4. Put it against a wall or a tree
If you’re observant, you’ve probably noticed that this is the most popular way of parking bikes at Walmart or other department stores.
This will work for you if you intend to pop in for a short time but it is risky to leave your bike in the open.
Thieves are always waiting and watching people who do not secure their belongings so this method is highly discouraged.
5. Lock it to a post
This is a good one.
If there are railings or posts nearby, you can park your bike against them and secure them with a U-lock or whichever lock you prefer.
Get a good quality lock that won’t be easily tampered with.
6. Hide it
You can hide your bike in an area that is not easily accessed by the public. Make sure this area is not in plain view. Such an area would be in a bush or at the back wall of a building.
This is also very risky because there is a chance someone will spot your bike.
7. Remove some parts
To keep thieves at bay, before going into the store you can remove important parts of the bike such as the chain so that the thief cannot ride off on it.
Unfortunately, the remaining parts might still be valuable to the thief and he or she can take your bike anyway.
Whom should you talk to about getting racks installed outside a store or on a street?
If the outright disregard for cyclists bothers you, there is something you can do about it.
1. First try talking to the manager.
Pitch how it could actually be beneficial to him or her and if he is on board he will find a way.
2. Talk to the City Council.
If you have the time you can talk to the officials at the city council and they may be interested in cleaning up the streets by having more racks installed.
3. Get in touch with the bike community.
There is a chance that more people want racks installed. If there are societies, you can all liaise together with bike shop owners who would be interested and work on getting racks installed. Make sure you have approval from the relevant authorities.
Frequently asked questions on availability of bike racks on walmart
Does Target have bike racks outside?
Most Target stores have made space for bike racks so they are considered pretty bike-friendly.
Is it illegal to lock your bike onto a lamp post?
No, it isn’t illegal in most areas, but it could be in your area so make sure you confirm.
If you are at liberty to lock yours onto a lamppost, make sure it isn’t in the way of pedestrians. Avoid areas with ongoing maintenance since they might move your bike or accidentally damage it.
Does Publix have bike racks?
Yes they do, there is ample space for bikes at most Publix branches.
Walmart has provided an area for bikes to be parked, but if you don’t want to go that far away from the entrance, the above options are available to you.
Bikes are expensive, so don’t leave it out in the open without any regard for security.
If you aren’t able to keep your bike safe outside the store- you are better off just going home and coming back without the bike.