This morning I went to a regular appointment I have every Friday morning and locked my bicycle to the railing next to the building entrance. The structure is a converted apartment building and the owner leases the spaces to business. To get to the entrance door you walk (or ride in my case) up this pedestrian ramp and end up on a landing. It's not huge but never have I thought that my bike would cause any sort of problem. It's actually the side door of the building as the gate which accesses the front front door is always locked. I guess the owners must think the front door faces a 'sketchy' (read: lots of people pass by here) street or something. It's worth noting that the landing just inside the gate by the front door is nice an spacious but no convenient to get to s I would have to go down a flight of stairs just to get there from this side door.
So I go to my appointment which costs me money and thus enables the business I patronize to pay rent which in turn lines the pocketbook of the building owner.
As I'm unlocking my bike while getting ready to leave this guy walks up. I move my bike out of the way and he steps to the side door. Out of the corner of my eye I can see him pause like he's thinking about what he's going to say... and then he finally does.
"We have clients coming through here so would you mind not locking your bike up to this railing?"
Even though I knew exactly what was coming (years of commuting by bicycle have taught me that at least) I still just stood there and gave him what must have been a mildly incredulous look.
All these possible responses were racing through my head.
- "I am a client."
- "Just as soon as you provide a bike rack (which building code probably stipulated anyway when you converted this from a residence to business) I'd be happy to."
- "C'mon... is that really how you want to start your day?"
- "I guess you have one less client to worry about now."
It was obvious that he thought I was a bicycle messenger or something. You know, one of 'those' people that can't afford the services of his tenants. And in his defense I was wearing baggy MTB shorts, knee warmers, Vans tennis shoes, a fleece top, gloves (one of which has a hole in it) and had on a big messenger bag. Still, why so grumpy? And what are the odds of anyone leaving this building not being a client? In the three or so years I have been going here Friday mornings I have encountered about two people total arriving AND leaving.
In the end I simply ran out of energy, nodded my head and rode away. After all, the sun was starting to come out, it was not raining and I was really looking forward to descending Interlaken while it's still closed to cars. Seems there is some pavement instability caused by the heavy rains we had recently and I'm certain there are not many things that are better than rounding a left hand corner at speed knowing for certain no oncoming traffic is headed your way.
Besides, now I know what vehicle he drives.