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Something neat: the bike-rack rap!

If you haven’t seen this already, it is quite possibly the best thing you will see all day. It’s a rap on how to use bus bike-racks from TARC, the transit agency in Louisville, Kentucky! You can find out a bit more on the making of the video at Active Living By Design. (Big thanks to one of my co-workers for sending me this: and thanks to Streetsblog for the link to Active Living.)


9 Comments

  • By ayla, December 9, 2008 @ 11:21 am

    If only we could make Vancouver’s new bike racks more user-friendly by rapping… Sadly you can’t sing away poor engineering.

  • By Dan, December 9, 2008 @ 8:21 pm

    I assumed all the bike racks were, more or less, standard designs provided by bus manufacturers such as Nova or Flyer. I wasn’t aware of any substantial differences between our bike racks and those of other companies.

  • By Anne, December 9, 2008 @ 10:58 pm

    I’m sorry. I think the other commenters are kinda missing the point. This is totally and utterly and unrelentlessly awesome. Period.

    And Mr. Theo, the rapper in the video, is a bus mechanic by day and musician by night? Who could ask for more! I’ve got such a crush on Louisville KY public transit now.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 10, 2008 @ 9:47 am

    Anne, *you* are awesome. I entirely agree: Mr. Theo is amazing!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 10, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

    Ayla & Dan:

    Sorry for the late-ish response — I had to do some research to get an answer for you guys. But I’ve finally got one!

    So there are actually 2 main types of bus bike rack out there.
    1) the original yellow bus bike rack, which most people seem okay with
    2) the newer black plastic bus bike rack, which has a number of issues. There’s about 400 of these racks out on the system, and Ayla, TransLink in fact shares your concerns about the engineering of these racks.

    We have raised concerns with the manufacturer concerning the following issues:

    1. The weight of the racks. The manufacturer has designed a spring mechanism that will reduce the weight of the racks. If you find a rack that is unusually heavy, let us know and we’ll install a spring, which should help.

    2. The awkward location of the handle, particularly on the new racks that have been installed on the New Flyer buses. The manufacturer produced the new racks as a special order to allow the bicycles to be positioned so that they would not block the flow of light from the headlights. While TransLink appreciates the supplier providing us with a custom design, we have asked that all future racks allow one to grab the release handle in a comfortable manner.

    3. The new plastic trays are so wide at the top that the bike flops over if not held (this creates a problem if you want to let go of your bike while loading it). The manufacturer is looking into this issue – they went to the plastic tray in order to accommodate bikes with bigger tires and to allow for easy replacement when the tray is broken. TransLink’s opinion is that those with wide tires are a very small minority and we would prefer if the rack were designed to allow standard road and mountain bikes to stand freely while in the rack.

    So there you have it. Ayla, if you or anyone else has other concerns about the racks that we haven’t addressed, feel free to contact TransLink customer service, and those complaints will get sent to the right people. You can reach them at (604) 953-3040, or you can use this online form.

    (And of course, you can always put your comments here on the blog too and I’ll direct them to the appropriate staff. Customer service does provide a handy central way to aggregate, track and pass on the complaints though, so we’ll hear you if you contact them too.)

  • By ayla, December 11, 2008 @ 11:00 am

    Thanks for the comprehensive reply to an admittedly snarky comment, Jhenifer. I have used the online feedback form a number of times in the past, and will continue to do so. And judging from the bus drivers’ familiarity with my complaints about the racks I am sure that Translink is aware of this issue. It was just such a bummer to get all those fancy new buses and have them be a total pain for cyclists. In my mind, public transit systems should be in the business of encouraging all non-car travel, and facilitating bus use for cyclists is a key component of that.

  • By guss, December 26, 2009 @ 5:13 am

    It´s fantastic.
    I dance with you

  • By Elfren Ordanza, September 18, 2010 @ 9:20 am

    Wow, great video of how to put your bikes on a bus bike rack. :)
    Pretty much tutorial alright.

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Friday fun poll: have you ever put a bike on the bus bike rack? — September 17, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

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