Bike Nazis at the Texas Medical Center

Categories: Whatever

bikenazis.jpg
ARGH! DON'T YOU DARE PARK YOUR BIKE AT THE TEXAS MEDICAL CENTER OR ELSE!
Before going to the office this morning, I cycled over to the Texas Medical Center to visit Chris Gray, the Press's whiz-bang music editor who is recovering from an apparent heart attack. I greatly enjoyed sharing laughs with Chris during my visit, which lasted about 20 minutes. (He's doing much better, by the way.)

When I returned to my bicycle, somebody had played a joke on me. Or so I thought.

Wrapped around the frame was a pamphlet. Stapled to the yellow piece of paper was a citation that included these handwritten cursive words: "No Bicycles Allowed Period! All Bike's & Locks Will be Removed Nov 7th."

"Jesus," said a coworker a half-hour later when I showed her the citation. She also pointed out that there should have been a period after "Period" instead of an exclamation point. I'll also add that in the second sentence, "Bike's" should have been "bikes."

Okay, so maybe my coworker and I are the copyediting police/grammar Gestapo. We'll definitely take that over being a Texas Medical Center bike Nazi.

Back at the Texas Medical Center, I read the citation and all I could think about were the reasons I chose to bike to the hospital to visit Chris.

One is obvious. Parking is an absolute nightmare. The only surefire way to score a spot is to pony up $15 for valet service, which a coworker did yesterday. Before the colleague returned to the office, she forked over a $5 bill for tip because that's the only thing she had in her wallet. Twenty dollars. Poof.

The second reason partially pertains to why I've been a bike commuter for so many years. My workdays are usually jam-packed, so cycling guarantees at least a little bit of exercise. Said another way, I biked to the hospital so I don't end up in the hospital.

Now, I admit that I did see a nearby sign prohibiting bike parking. However, the posted warning did not seem to apply to a median area that housed three other bicycles, each locked to steel posts. It also wasn't clear to me that this area is where unattended bikes came to be cut away and removed by Texas Medical Center Police and Security Services. (Apparently, there are all sorts of bike racks in the Med Center, but I sure as heck didn't see one.)

To me, that's not even the silliest thing. That yellow leaflet that I mentioned earlier? It's a "Bicycle Theft Reduction Report Card" that grades bike-locking performance. (I passed the "BICYCLE LOCKED WITH U-LOCK" item! Awesome!) There are also tips about what to do if your bike is stolen as well as disadvantages of cable/chain antitheft devices versus U-locks.

Say what? Y'all just told me that bicycles weren't allowed "Period!" Why try to school me on proper locking techniques if my primary mode of transportation is illegal in these parts?

Makes zero sense to me. At least I'll have a ridiculous story to tell Chris next time I see him at the hospital. Now I just gotta figure out how I'm going to get there.

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13 comments
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your pal
your pal

"she forked over a $5 bill for tip because that's the only thing she had in her wallet. Twenty dollars. Poof".......Im not sayin your incorrect, but a/the valets DO NOT ACCEPT TIPS (crazy but true, ) b/ $5 on a fifteen is WAY over the top......sure you could have been scammed by the rouge valet, and I'll even give ya the editorial privilege of expanding the truth, but as an everyday valet at med center user for 2 years kinda gal I gotta throw a flag on the tip comment......

Acolvin Geo
Acolvin Geo

Houston Medical Center Cycling for Dummies.1. Plan ahead. Caveat: The TMC is not for the impetuous. 2. Make phone calls and read signs.3. Take the rail, and upset folks in wheelchairs competing for space with bikes.4. Take the rail and be told on their PA system before boarding, "Not during peak hours."5. Avoid rail.6. Use bus and front bike rack system. (slower, but more dependable.)7. Ask any of  the eubequitous valet guys, "Where's the bike rack for this building?"8. Park on the street like a dumb tourist and deal with the consequences. -- A TMC bike commuter.

squinney
squinney

Take the choo choo train.

Craigley
Craigley

Risk Management 101 - Take the train and leave the bike at the rail stop.

Driving is the TMC is risky enought; riding your bike in the TMC is a death wish. 

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

The train doesn't (yet) run from the west side of campus to the Med Center.

Jamie
Jamie

The Houston Press pointing out other people's typos is hilarious to me.

Deb
Deb

I had to go find the spot (and to find out where to park motorcycles, need that too), here's where to go:http://www.texasmedicalcenter....

Maggie_Mae
Maggie_Mae

Thanks!  People, just follow the link that Deb supplied & learn where to park your bike at the Med Center. Lots of people bike to work there every day (medical & science students tend to be broke).  And there are plenty of places to park....

Houston Metro also serves the place well--by light rail or bus.  Light rail lets you bring your bike during non-peak hours--probably OK for visitors.  Or you can actually attach your bike to the front of most buses.  But that would involve going to the Metro site & figuring out routes & schedules.

Or stay ignorant & get an article out of it...

Htwngirl
Htwngirl

I work in the medical center and there are designated areas just for bike parking.  I always see people ride their bikes to work.  Ask me where there are?  I have no damn clue.  

Allison
Allison

How DARE you not take any parking away from people who may be coming in from further away to see their loved ones!

Zippy
Zippy

"Now, I admit that I did see a nearby sign prohibiting bike parking"

JFC. 

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