16 July 2009

Drive-Thru World

I've always thought it strange that so many drive-thru businesses specifically prohibit bike-thru traffic. Fast food joints are notorious for this, but there are many coffee shops now that offer the service to limited traffic. For cyclists who either don't want to leave their priceless steed unlocked outside (I'm thinking of roadies who don't often carry locks), or those who are carrying a few hundred pounds of precious cargo (kids/groceries/whatever) that they'd rather not leave outside or haul inside, it would be handy to take care of business just like the car drivers.

The folks up north at Totcycle hit the Walgreens drive-thru a while back with success. I asked about this at my local Walgreens and they said that bikes are prohibited and they would ask me to come inside if I tried it. I got smart and stopped asking first.

A few weeks ago, I drove to an aunt's house to drop off three kids for the day. I took my bike along so that I could leave the van for Auntie to use if needed, then biked the 6.5 miles home to do some housework. The bike route home put me within smelling distance of my favorite Tacoma donut shop, Pao's. They have a drive-thru window, which I biked through for a small bag of donut holes. The shop owner didn't seem to mind and I felt like I probably biked off the donut calories that day. The bike trip took a comfortable 32 minutes. Driving took 25 minutes. Hmm...

Then a week later I spotted a new Satellite Coffee shop on 6th Ave, tucked in next to Masa, with a sidewalk window that says "walk-up/bike-thru"! Haven't tried it yet, but now you know. How cool is that?

On the way home from the park today, with three kids in the MADSEN, we used the drive-thru at the U.S. Bank in Proctor. The teller didn't say a word about the bike, treated me like any other customer, and threw in three suckers for the kids since he could see them all sitting right there.

So what's the big deal? Have you tried to bike-thru the drive-thru world?

1 comment:

Nick said...

That's cool about the US Bank. I bike through Columbia bank and they don't seem to mind either.