Goodbye, Safeway #705

I’ve purchased groceries and household supplies at Safeway #705 in Mountain View on Shoreline intermittently for four years (regularly since March 2009). It’s the closest grocery store to my apartment and carries nearly all the groceries I need, so I rarely go elsewhere.

I travel primarily by bike, and I usually walk my bike inside with me when I buy groceries at Safeway #705. This is much more efficient if I’m only getting a handful of items, and I don’t have to worry about a wheel or a seat walking off. At all times of all days of the week, no employee has ever looked askance. (There are no automated checkout lines, so I always walk by a few employees when I pay.) I’ve never been asked to leave my bike outside.

Not until today.

Today I was told Safeway #705 doesn’t allow bikes inside it. I replied that I’d walked my bike in regularly, to no avail. So I went and locked up the bike, then returned to finish my little bit of shopping. (I was fortunate to have a lock, since I usually carry it to Safeway only when buying an especially large amount of groceries.)

I understand why a store might wish to forbid awkward, bulky bikes. (Still, they’re less bulky and much more maneuverable than carts.) But this makes Safeway #705 quite unusual for the area: no other grocery store has forbidden my bike. I have no reason but convenience to particularly visit Safeway #705. Other grocery stores as little as half a mile further away (even other Safeway stores!) have no problem with me taking my bike inside. Safeway #705 can exclude me, but I can retaliate: I can stop shopping there, and I can use this bully pulpit to tell others.

So in the future, Safeway #705, expect to see far less of me, and my money, than you have in the past. I may rarely show up when I especially need convenience (only if I have my lock), but you won’t be my default stop for groceries. I can suffer minor inconvenience to make my preference for bicycle flexibility known. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see light here; I wouldn’t bet on it, but I’d love to be proven wrong.