I've started biking and see its potential for being able to go around the local area. But when you are running errands (biking to a store or the bank or something) you have to physically put it somewhere while you shop. The one time I ever did this was to pick a pizza. I put it in the place of a car, grabbed the pizza inside, and left. (I put a light lock on it) I don't know if this is proper or even legal. This is a very stupid question, but I can't find the proper phrasing for an answer.
You have various options, mostly depending on your local regulation, facilities and length of your parking time:
- Bike lockers
- Bike parking spaces
- Building facade
- Car parking space
The last two are less recommendable, as
- your bike won't be linked to something hard to move (a thief can simply load it on a pickup and remove the lock with calm in a quieter place)
- it might be unlawful or impeding others (pedestrians, drivers)
- it might not be appreciated (I have seen bikes thrown in the bushes when left in the car space, and 3) understandably really pisses off car drivers)
which are possible but, well, do not praise your smartness (I have seen people locking their bike to a stranger's one)
A secure bike rack is my first choice. Many business offer them.
I avoid cheap racks that are not as strong as my lock.
If there is a parking garage there will often be a bike rack in the garage.
Not all places want you to lock out front. One of the sports arenas in my town will have the police impound the bicycle if you lock in front of the building but they do offer a rack in the garage.
Careful with street poles as some pull out easily.
You don't want to just put it somewhere you want it to be there when you return. Get a good lock. A larger lock will give you more options.
Some businesses will let you bring a bike in. I forgot my lock one day and the grocery store let me shop with my bike.
One store I go to has nothing so I have to lock to a trash can.
I know this should not need to be said but don't block walkways or exits. Don't lock to operating equipment. I saw a guy lock his bike to a fire water valve.