Bike Cage Etiquette

Bike cage etiquette can be a tricky thing. Those of us lucky enough to work in a building that provides a locking bike cage (but not lucky enough to work in a building that lets you take your bike indoors) have some definite advantages. However, there are two particular scenarios where the balance between being nice to your fellow cyclists and conscious of everyone’s stuff can be at odds.

Scenario 1: Holding the door open

They put a lock on the bike cage door for a reason. But what do you do when a fellow cyclist pulls in to enter the cage at the same time you do. Do you awkwardly slam the cage door shut in their face – preserving the safety and security of everyone’s bikes inside? Or do you hold the door open, letting your fellow cyclist enter without needing to fish out their keys, or electronic badge, or whatever is used to secure the cage? Of course, this seems straight forward if you know the person, see them daily, and know that they belong there. But what if you work in a large office building where you don’t necessarily know the other cyclists?

Scenario 2: You left your lights on

What if you enter the bike cage and notice that another fellow rider’s bike has the headlight or taillight left on. It is sure to be dead by the end of the day, leaving the rider without lights for their commute home. Do you try and turn it off for them? Do you feel uncomfortable touching someone else’s bike without their knowledge and permission? Is it better to respect their property – even if that means a dead battery? Just like above, it will likely depend a great deal on if you know the owner of the bike or not.

I’ve faced both of these situations a few different times in the bike cage of my office building. I’ve gone both ways, but somehow always left questioning my decision no matter which path I chose.