Q. Do I need a lock? 

A. No, in fact locks impede our ability to move bikes around to serve everyone well. If you have a lock with you, throw it in your bag or fasten it securely to your bike before you pass it off to one of our incredibly trustworthy volunteers. The Pedal Instead area is fenced and our volunteers are very protective of the bikes in their care. Your bike is safe with us.

Q. Is my stuff safe?

A. As far as security, imagine a coat check. We have a fenced area where bikes are parked, and no one but our volunteers are allowed in that area. This is our fourth season operating this project and we have never lost a bike or had anything taken from a bike.

However, it is not uncommon for items that are not secure to fall off bikes. It happens at almost every event. Please make sure everything on the bike is securely attached. If we notice something loose that is designed to be on your bike or can be on the bike without impeding movement (like a helmet), we will ask you to attach it more securely (for example we ask people to attach helmets to frames, NOT handlebars where they can slip off when we are moving bikes around the corral). If it is not designed to be on your bike or impedes movement of the bike (like a backpack or a sweatshirt) you will need to take it with you. Sometimes items are loose but go unnoticed until we find them in the floor of the corral. In that case, we put those items on the literature table near the donation jar in the hopes that whoever lost the item will notice it there and retrieve it.

Q. When does the bike corral close?

A. The bike corral closes 30 minutes after the event ends. At 31 minutes after the event ends, we begin auctioning bikes to the highest bidder.

Q. My family/friends are biking together, can you park our bikes together?

A. No. We provide quicker service for everyone when volunteers are not all running to the same spot to retrieve bikes.

Q. Will you put my kids’ bikes on the same ticket as mine?

A. No. You will need an individual claim ticket for each bicycle you want given back to you.

Q. I have a tandem/recumbent/trailer/tall bike. Can you still park my bike?

A. Yes! Please be patient as it may take a few minutes to locate a suitable space in the corral to make sure your bike has the support it needs.

Q. Do you park strollers/wagons/motorcycles/electric scooters? Do you store back packs/lacrosse sticks/skate boards/ etc.?

A. No. Our space is often limited and we must make sure space is available for bicycles. Check in advance to prepare for prohibited items.

Q. You look busy. Can I just grab a clipboard and get my tag filled out to speed things up?

A. Please don’t. We really do appreciate your desire to help, but that can create a real mess in the corral. We park bikes on racks if they do not have a kickstand, in rows, supported by the kickstand, if they do, and other places if they need unique support. Our tags correspond to this system. Please wait until a volunteer is available to hand you a clipboard with the appropriate tag for your bike. And, if you are still eager to help, we’d love to have you volunteer. Check out the volunteer portion of our web site for more information.

Q. I left something on my bike. Can I run back and grab it?

A. Nope. We know you are not going to steal anything off someone’s bike, but we are not so sure about that 8 year old girl in line behind you. She says she “forgot” her water bottle, but she seems to be eying the stuff in your basket. For the security of your stuff, we do not allow non-volunteers in the corral unless accompanied by a volunteer. Hop back in line, hand us your claim check and we will bring the bike to the front for you.

Q. It’s free, right? 

A. Pedal Instead is always free to cyclists. We do accept donations, however, and you will see our “tip” jar out on the table. Donations help offset our expenses and maintain equipment throughout the season. In the past we have collaborated with other organizations, like Yay Bikes!, to raise funds for specific projects related to cycling.

Q. Crap! I lost my tag! What do I do?

A. No worries, this happens. That is why we ask for your name on your claim check. Come to the corral and let us know. You will need a photo ID matching the tag. If there is a line, you will have to wait until a volunteer is free to escort you through the corral. Please be patient.

Q. But I can see my bike right there in the 3rd row, can’t you just get it for me or let me get it myself?

A. Are you trying to make Catherine cry? No! We swear we will get your bike. Trust us. We’ve parked thousands of bikes, and found everything runs much smoother when we take care of the line of people with tags first. We promise we will get your bike for you. Let us clear the line and we will be with you as soon as possible. We really do like you and your bike and want the two of you reunited.

Q. I lost my [_____] and think it may be at or near the corral. Did someone find it?

A. In some cases we may have your lost item. When we find lost items we put those on the literature table near the donation jar in the hopes that whoever lost the item will notice it there and retrieve it. If the event is over use our contact form with “Lost Item” as the subject line. If we have it, you can make arrangements to retrieve it. Our office is conveniently located just east of Ohio State University. You may also want to contact the event organizers themselves, as they may have a lost and found.

Q. What happens if I don’t claim my bike on the day of the event before you close? (Otherwise known as “I blacked out after using all my volunteer beer tokens and woke up with this claim check in my pocket.”) Can I still get my bike?

A. Catherine will auction it off to the highest bidder. OK, well she hasn’t yet, but she does keep threatening to and one of these days we think she will.

We wish we could say this was the first time this has happened and we never considered what to do in that situation, but unfortunately, you are in good company. This is the reason we ask for your phone number. We will call you before we leave and beg you to come get your bike. But if you didn’t pick up,or gave us a bad phone number we reluctantly drag it back into storage with us. We don’t want to haul your stuff but we don’t want to see it stolen.Unless of course you told us you were too busy at a party elsewhere and that we should just donate it (this really happened, a week later the rider called to try and get her bike back.)

So, contact us using our contact form with “Unclaimed Bike” in the subject line. Include your name, telephone number and best time to reach you. Bikes claimed following the close of an event will incur a $25 storage fee (and Catherine’s irritation). When you pick up, please bring a photo ID matching the name on the claim tag to retrieve your bike. If you do not contact us within 30 days. the bike will be donated to a local cycling organization.