June 18, 2024


Where Innovation Lives

Houston votes Saint Arnold has the best bike racks

3 min read


When it comes to locking up your bike in Houston, the options are typically few and far between. 

In a city dominated by parking lots, having something, anything, to which riders can affix their set of wheels is a godsend. For businesses and other places that do have bike racks, they’re sometimes not up to snuff—so the bike safety advocates at BikeHouston set out to see which did, in fact, have the best bike racks in town. 

Over the course of the last few weeks, coinciding with NCAA’s March Madness, BikeHouston hosted a single-elimination-style tournament pitting Houston’s bike racks against each other. From bars and shopping centers to libraries and museums, voters on Twitter whittled down 32 entities and their bike racks to the single best. 

Ultimately, Houston’s own Saint Arnold Brewing Company took the spot as 2022’s Bike Parking Madness champion Monday with 57.7 percent of votes, beating the Menil Collection in the final. 

“We’re really grateful for all the casual bike riders and cyclists that show up to the beer garden day in and day out,” said Lennie Ambrose, chief marketing officer at Saint Arnold. “It is a really nice tie-in to our amazing Saint Arnold Bike Team who rallied and pushed us over the top in the voting. We have the largest MS150 team year in and year out, so we are definitely best friends with the bike community.”

Featuring spacious inverted-U racks outside the beer garden’s main entrance, Saint Arnold’s bike parking options are the cream of the crop when it comes to bike racks. The space between individual racks gives riders the maneuverability to safely lock up, and the inverted-U shape provides multiple lock points. This design is preferred by both the city of Houston’s design manuals as well as the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals

Joe Cutrufo, who leads BikeHouston, said the goal of the tournament was multifaceted. 

“It’s sort of an education tool, not just for the general public, but for other businesses and creators of public spaces to see what it is that makes for high-quality bike parking,” Cutrufo said. “We think it’s important to recognize businesses who are already doing a good job accommodating cyclists.”

Cutrufo said bike parking is often overlooked in the grand scheme of making Houston a bike-friendly town. The city has ambitions to become a Gold Level Bike-Friendly City by 2027, a category defined by the League of American Bicyclists, and is currently building out more than 1,800 miles of high-comfort bike lanes through the Houston Bike Plan. 

“We don’t just need high-quality paths, trails and bike lanes,” Cutrufo said. “We also need good bike parking at destinations as well.” 

In August 2020, Houston City Council made it a requirement for new commercial construction to include an increased number of bike racks on the property based on the square footage of the building, which is one way the city is working to enhance the availability of reliable parking. But by and large, it’s up to individual businesses to install bike racks—which is sometimes inadequate for cyclists, according to those vocal on Houston Bike Twitter

While there’s certainly much to do to increase the availability of good bike parking across Houston, Cutrufo said it’s important to point out those who are already doing it right. 

“Businesses that invest in good quality bike parking and they locate it in a convenient place like Saint Arnold … they’re making a statement that not only are people who come on bikes welcome but that they’re actually a preferred customer,” Cutrufo said. “As advocates for a bike-friendly city, we love to see that.” 


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