They Need A Place To Park ‘Em!

They Need A Place To Park ‘Em!

Does your city, park department, school or business have a program in place to promote bicycle use?  If so, a successful strategy must include bike parking as a critical element to the overall program.  According to the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals’ Bicycle Parking Guidelines (2nd Ed.), “One of the most common obstacles for bicyclists is the lack of bicycle parking at their destination.”

Whatever your objective is for encouraging bicycling … recreational trails, reducing vehicle congestion on campus or city streets, or promoting a healthier lifestyle … riders need to place to  get off their bikes

But be careful – sometimes art overtakes function, even for something as ordinary as a bike rack.  If your city, park, school or business provides parking for bicycles, those bike racks need to be easily recognizable. And have the design and security features that bike riders are looking for.

In its Guidelines brochure the APBP includes a list of design and performance criteria for a good bicycle rack.  These include:

  1. Supports the bicycle in at least two places to prevent the bike from falling over.
  2. Allows the frame and one or both wheels to be locked to the rack using a U-lock. Ideally, the bike can be locked to the rack at the two support points in #1.
  3. Is securely anchored to the ground. The bicycle isn’t secure if the rack isn’t secure first.
  4. Resists rusting, bending or deformation from customer use, and doesn’t cut or scratch the bike. It must be durable to withstand total and constant outdoor exposure.

To this list we might add:

  1. Know your customer. As the APBP’s Guidelines say, “schoolyard racks” might work fine for children and their small bikes riding to school, but these style racks won’t satisfy adult cyclists needing to secure their bike for short- or long-term parking.

R.J. Thomas Mfg. Co. makes four Pilot Rock Bike Rack designs that we believe meet the criteria suggested above.   All of these designs incorporate heavy gauge steel, all welded fabrication for maximum strength and durability. Each design is securely installed with an embedded post installation, or with surface anchoring.  Here’s a quick look at the different designs …

Hitching Post Bike Rack

HRE_G_HitchingPost  HRP_CY_8_HitchingPost_Group HRP_SignPlate

This “inverted-U” design is popular because it is so simple. It is a durable structure of 2-3/8” OD steel pipe offering lots of features. It supports 1-2 bicycles in two places and allows for use of two u-locks. You can arrange single racks in a pattern to provide the amount of parking you need. The Hitching Post can be embedded or surface mounted for secure locations. Or install them as a fixed group rack for 6 to 10 bikes. The hot dip galvanized finish is most popular, but we also provide colorful powder coat paint or thermoplastic coatings.  Include the optional signage plate on your Hitching Post rack and you have a highly visible venue for custom signage.

Omega Bike Rack

OMEGA_Rack The “omega” shape offers a little more sex appeal, but still includes the two support and locking points for 1 or 2 bikes of any size or style. Formed using 1.90” OD steel pipe this bike rack is surface mounted, and includes a colorful powder coat paint finish or a galvanized finish.


Hoop Bike Rack

This interesting design still provides the two support and locking points. The Hoop Rack BR20_HoopRack_Groupis all welded construction using ¼” thick steel plate.  The colorful thermoplastic coat finish protects the rack and the bicycles.  The surface mount plate lets you install the rack singly or in groups to provide needed parking.



Steel Wheels Bike Rack

BR_31_CE_SteelWheelsThe bicycle shape is one that everyone recognizes for bike BR_30_CN_SteelWheelsparking. Each rack design supports bikes in two locations. All welded construction of 1-5/8” OD steel pipe and double mounting plates create durable and secure parking for 1-2 bikes. The powder coat paint finish is available in a choice of colors.

The complete Bicycle Parking Guidelines, 2nd Edition, is available for purchase from the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals on their web site at

You can shop for Pilot Rock Bike Racks at



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