Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Alice in targetland

I bought December's Glamour issue because Selena Gomez is on the cover. About time she split from that Bieber kid. Now, date a Dave Navarro-type please! :)

Anyways, I noticed this bike with a Boo-internet-sensation-look-alike on the basket.
I'm all for mainstream media of bicycles, always have been. $500 dollars for single speed seems a little high, but that is the maturing adult in me talking.

Sure it's cute but there are plenty of bikes like Globe, Gary Fisher Simple Simple City or Public Etc. around the same price range. I just don't approve that people should be spending that much for a single/cruiser style bike, specially if they aren't very familiar with better parts or what a bike can be worth in the long run. Anyways..

Snapped a couple of quick shots with my phone of the bike which is available later in December, in Target+Neiman Marcus.
alice olivia bike
What do you think of the wallpaperesque-style frame, I do think is bubblegum-cute, but is it worth the price?
On similar wallpaper decoration note, this is hairy frame quite interesting. Looks like this bike frame has hit puberty: Sebastian Koseda | World naked bike ride.

I've known of Stacey Bendet +her line Alice+Olivia from reading about fashion +following what women designers do around the clothing, trending world. Earlier this month a retail store opened on Fillmore store but have not been in the store as it is outside my budget, but I do enjoy seeing their displays from time to time on my way to the Clay theatre [next door].

The first Target in San Francisco opened at the Metreon downtown recently +it seems to be a hit, people seem to love it.
The city is flooded with ads +many of them display bikes. It could be very possible that the quality of bikes sold remains parallel to the rather mediocre quality of bicycles sold at big-box stores, which is unfortunate for most people that are fresh to the idea and/or a 1st-time bike buyer.
/"Target is coming to the Metreon" taken from Market st.

While visiting stores, I tend to ask the staff directly whether or not they provide bicycle parking spaces, doesn't make much sense to cater to people who ride bikes but when does marketing make any sense?
Is there bike parking available in the Metreon area perhaps? I'm not sure about that.

If Target has ads that strongly display bikes, what does that mean to people that identify themselves with them?
[x] That they sell bikes?
[x] They cater to cyclists, people on bikes?
[x] Provide safe bike parking in their location? ← which would be very great.
[x] Bikes are the next boobs. They sell.
I do get a mixed message from an ad from Target with a bike +I tend to ignore ads, but I'm very visual. Red is just pretty hard to ignore. 90% of me thinks there is valet/indoor bike parking available, but that's my optimist wishful thinking. Curious I reported from the Westfield mall about their indoor basement parking [Greetings from the mall, 2010] but it turned out that it is only available for the mall staff, which at the time that was not specified to me. So that leaves very little safe bike parking options.

I find the safe parking concerns rather frustrating +a repeated issue with shoppers on bikes headed downtown.
Have you had similar feelings about the parking issue?
What/How do you come up with a solution or alternative, do your shopping elsewhere? Take Muni or train instead?

Last time I reported bike parking issues [ignored shoppers, 2009] as an open letter to the Mission's Best Buy –well, I sure hope somehow that was connected– resulted in new shiny red bike racks as reported by long-time reader Peter :) he even sent in some fotos [el big brother, 2010].

Recently Adrienne commented on Facebook about the lack of bike racks in a newly opened Whole Foods +things started rolling, asides doesn't hurt to know who to complain/formally contact here in town. Rock-star parketinas Calitexican +MaryKay always put the word out on which events/venues will have the SF Bike Coalition valet parking.

/Yeah, come all. But park where?

Old Navy is apparently doing a similar take on their advertising. I doubt they sell bikes or utilitarian accessories, I mean other than fleece items, scarves or hats which are nice to have. As far as I know there isn't public parking for either cars or bikes at their store, please do correct me if I'm wrong.
Again, that would be ideal/awesome for consumers.

Dan - PUBLIC Bikes
/Photo by Richard Masoner | cyclelicio.us
The Gap located in the old Woolworth building at Powell+Market, did a collaboration with Public bikes or if they still do that from time to time but the bikes were available for purchase. Their headquarters are here in the city +they seem to do plenty of pop-ins/pop up stores throughout town.

And this just started with a Glamour magazine impulsive purchase from a long line at the grocery store, raising plenty of questions within my observer +a rather apathetic consumer eye.

/As my entire blog, this post is certainly not sponsored.


  1. There is a bike rack at the Metreon, it's on Mission Street as you walk to what would be 4th. I'm not sure it is safe, as it is away from traffic and a little hidden. There are racks there, near YBCA (which is more visible), and near the Howard Street/ 3rd Street corner.

    Being in bike advocacy, I think bikes in ads just mean companies are jumping on a visual design bandwagon, I wish it meant they are investing in health (and philanthropy that promotes bicycling) - alas!

    1. yes, totally agree with you. healthy or however the message covers ground I do believe it is good that mainstream bandwagon press uses it.
      same issue then applies from heading to movies at the metreon, I think a few of the paid parking spaces allow bike spaces at a lower rate than cars, but that would be an ultra careful step. I have often parked in the 5th/mint blue bottle space as there is typically enough foot traffic.

      I'll continue to ask to then perhaps take some action +further questions may follow up at some point :)

  2. That might be a record long post!

    Bikes are the new boobs. They are in adds for everything - cars even. It's an image thing. The idea of biking is cool.

    I think that people new to biking, or new to anything, should not rush out and make a several 100 $ investment w/o knowing what it is they are getting into. This leads to cluttered spaces full of stuff that is not used. Bike sharing might be a way for people to get a taste and know what they like. I read that this has been the experience in DC with their bike sharing program.

    Bike parking is something I think about regularly, having had 2 bikes stolen over the last 21 years. More than no bike racks, I chuckle at the bike racks that are installed in completely unsecured fashions. The one at my local Lucky here in Oakland can be taken apart and made useless with a simple wrench. I mention it to the store manager from time to time - no change.

    Hub locks and seat post locks have gone a long way to easing my fear of locking my bike up at a store. That and not locking up a nice bike. Bike stations would be a plus. Having truly safe and secure place to store bikes would probably do as much to promote biking around as bike lanes.

    1. thx Andy
      From time to time I do enjoy writing the longer posts ;) I believe most image/exposure is good.
      Yes, def. agree with you, bike sharing would also be ideal +allow people (like me) to not be in chronic fear of having a bike stolen downtown SF while shopping.
      Having truly safe and secure place to store bikes would probably do as much to promote biking around as bike lanes." GREAT LINE! so true.

      As far as the Lucky, have you tried the EBBC? I know that the SFBC has worked with local shops and even larger stores via 311 on street safe parking racks, so that may be shot worth taking –keep me posted!

    2. that's exactly why i used, and now work for, bike valet. as i was just first riding around SF, i used my bike more when events had promised bike valet. whee! it works!

  3. I've been obsessing about this and so happy your're tackling it! I go back and forth between 1) hating the bike-washing of using bikes as a cool, hip symbol while simultaneously encouraging driving to their non-urban sprawly-land store and 2) adopting a optimistic (naïve?) attitude of 'yay! they're talking about biking so maybe now we'll have safe road-sharing and parking and co-existing all around!' That latter part usually loses. Boo. I almost get hit on a regular basis right below that sign on Kearny. Sigh.

    Anyway, your post made me smile (per the yooj). The shout-outs to rockstar valets calitexican and MK and the very nice Dan are just a happy bonus!

    1. that intersection (of well, many) is very tricky to ALL modes of transportation. this day that I walked around the area, was after the rush lunch hour, and still seemed very tense. I think color theory and better timing of lights for vehicles could be a good step towards a better solution. no urban planner, but color, color color :)
      have you seen these open sidewalks in copenhagen? so out of control pretty: superkilen

  4. "Bikewashing" doesn't bother me the way "greenwashing" does, but I'm sure it'll get to the point I join the angry ranks. I *do* like that the Target bike has a double kickstand--that's not something normally seen on any regular bike. Definitely important if you're going to put a dog in the basket.

    We just got a new Target in downtown Seattle and I had similar trouble finding the bike parking. I was sure they'd have a great rack considering the bikey ads on every bus in town, but when we went opening day and I asked a couple of the greeters they said there was no parking other than the small, full rack on the corner. I ended up locking to a tree. Eventually I learned there is a bike area in the parking garage, but it's low-ceilinged, unattended, and feels high-thefty.

    OK, maybe I am annoyed at bikewashing now that I think about it. Boo!

  5. I found the Missoni + Target collection bike on RED TAG Clearance so I think this pre-pubescent bike can go to the clearance rack too. If I was in need of a super heavy, adorable bike I might go there... Or if you live in San Diego or Miami and ride 2 miles on occasion it would be a good choice.

  6. I think you bring up some brilliant points. I too have talked about for a number of years how marketing has jumped on the bike as a vehicle to more sales, and like you I'm not complaining. But YES, put your money where your mouth is ~ if you are going to act like you support cyclists, be sure to have parking for us. And see...magazines about fashion and makeup aren't all bad, look at all the thinking you did after you bought one! ☺

  7. Great article, Meli! I'm skeptical in general that big-box stores are going to do a quality job on cycle sales or service (much of their development model is tied into car-dependent life-styles and expansion into car-dependent areas, right?). Any SF-savvy retailers should do better on the service end, though. To the extent any of them shift more people to thinking of cycling, more power to them.


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