Twice in the past seven days I’ve encountered an unsecured sucker pole.
A sucker pole next to a highly-secure bike rack provided by the City of Chicago’s Bicycle Program. The adjacent placement of the two fixtures is an unfortunate side effect of construction crews who didn’t receive guidance on bike rack placement.
What’s a sucker pole? Any sign pole that’s not embedded in concrete or securely fastened to the ground in another fashion. A simple hex nut on a bolt fastens the pole to the base.
So last Saturday I encountered my latest one in front of India House (59 W Grand), just hours after Alexis Finch of Thought You Knew pinup calendar fame mentioned a specific sucker pole at the Green Eye (2403 W Homer) – I could completely remove the pole from its base.
Alexis reported that when she visits that bar, she removes the pole from its base and lays it on the sidewalk to prevent others from locking their bikes there.
I want you to spread the word about sucker poles while at the same time requesting a bike rack for that spot. I invite designers to remake this crappy poster I created and thankfully never printed.
Remake this “beware of sucker poles” poster into something cool and I’ll pay to print a few copies for you to keep and give to friends or bike shops.
About Steven Can Plan
I started this blog in 2007 as the writing assignment for an introductory urban planning class at UIC. It's about cities (mainly Chicago), GIS oftentimes, and transportation (mainly bicycling). Learn more about me, Steven Vance. I also write for Streetsblog Chicago.
Steven Can Plan is hosted on Dreamhost.
Chicago Bike Map App
The Chicago Bike Map app is a bike and street map stored entirely in your iOS device – no data connection required. The map is designed to look much like the City of Chicago's official printed and online bike map. The app works on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Highly Recommended Bike Products
So far I haven't had a flat with this tire. I've used Continental Gatorskin and Panaracer T-Serv, both of which have had flats (same Chicago streets). The Gatorskin has less tread than both, and wears to a slick surface faster.
So far my longest trip was 40 miles on this saddle. It molds to your butt like Birkenstock sandals mold to your feet. The springs make the bike ride a little more comfortable and more fun (weird, because you bounce up and down on them). It also looks gorgeous. Comes in 3 colors - I got black.
I've used this pannier to carry groceries, books, my laptop, clothing, anything. I like it because it's stylish (but also "normal" looking at the same time), stands up on its own, is extremely durable, and has the most universal attachment system: two hooks.
The Practice of Local Government Planning (Municipal Management Series) by
You could basically design and administer a new town kind of effectively after reading this huge and boring textbook.
Joyride: Pedaling Toward A Healthier Planet by Mia Birk, With Joe (Metal Cowboy) Kurmaskie, Joe Kurmaskie, Jim Moore
I met Mia Birk in October 2011.