Little Red Targ-ette (Baby you’re much 2 fast)

Thanks a lot, Prince! You forced me to shop at Target for the first time in a long time.

Coveted end-of-the-aisle placement

Coveted end-of-the-aisle placement

The 2 miles surrounding my home has everything I would ever need to buy: bikes, books, music, wine – you know, the basics. So when Greg suggested that we swing by Target today, I was highly resistant. Once I heard the reason, however, I had to oblige. Prince is his favorite singer (he has fond memories of pedaling around his family’s farm blasting Sign o’ the Times on his Walkman) and the new album is being sold exclusively at Target. sigh. I don’t hold a grudge against Prince; he’s doing what he has to do and getting by without a record label, which is great. Good for him. But still – Target? I guess I should be thrilled he did not choose Walmart.


The whopping four bike parking spots were annoying, but Targets in most cities probably have no bike parking, so I shouldn’t complain. (Notice the kid’s bike to the left. This belongs on How Not To Lock Your Bike – it’s not locked at all. Amazingly it was still there when we left.) Navigating the parking lot was madness, with cars going this way and that with barely an over-the-shoulder glance. I hate shopping centers.

I had to gawk (in a bad way) at the bike section. The Schwinns were especially painful to see. Absolutely nothing like the real Schwinns made in the USA that are still going strong decades later, while these things will be ready for the junkyard in a year.



On the way home, in accordance with my luck, it started to hail. WTF? These April showers are getting old already. [ETA: and now it’s snowing!] As the hail was quite painful hitting my face, we took shelter under a bridge for a few minutes until the hail turned to regular rain. A bit later we ducked into a restaurant for a late brunch.

Bicyclist Discount

Bicyclist Discount

I was surprised to see this sign, offering 15% off for cyclists Monday-Friday. Oddly, one gets the discount by brandishing a helmet, which excludes a large percentage of Chicago cyclists and also sets up a huge loophole for people lame enough to drive and simply bring a helmet with them. Anyway, cool offer.

Shelter from the Storm

Shelter from the Storm

Finally, between Target and hail, the reason we set out today was to purchase a Brooks B17S woman’s saddle for Betty Foy. I wanted to buy the saddle local, at least, since the bike’s being built up and shipped from California. The shop’s price was actually lower than any I saw online, plus I got a 15% discount for being a member of the Active Transportation Alliance.


Again I went to Rapid Transit, which is quickly becoming my favorite bike shop in the city. Every time I go, I’m assisted by helpful female associates. Now my accessories are waiting for Betty Foy. She will be delivered tomorrow, and I will be working from home to wait for her. Hopefully my superiors won’t mind!

*Runner-up for punny title: You don’t have to be rich to be my girl…but you do have to shop at Target. Awful, I know.

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10 thoughts on “Little Red Targ-ette (Baby you’re much 2 fast)

  1. cyclingchicken says:

    I feel the same way about the Mongoose marque- they really have sullied-up the name selling junk bikes at Mal Wart under the Mongoose name. Our Mal Wart has a token bike rack, which could fit all-of 4 bikes at a time. My problem is that said rack is right next to the shopping cart entrance, with a large area of open concrete between it and the parking lot. Lazy customers roll shopping carts from the curb toward the shopping cart entrance, sometimes hitting our bikes. It gets aggravating. When I am by myself, I park my bike between the rack and the wall. Wish I had alternatives to Mal Wart, but there really isn’t much in our little town. :(

  2. Carolyn says:

    We got those too in Canada, Schwinn and Mongoose at various dept stores. Makes me cringe. But heh, at least we are smart when it comes to bikes. I’ve always had decent bikes, even as a child. My first commuter, that I got 18 years ago was a decent price. I figured that if it was my transportation, it’s worth the extra upfront cost.

    In fact, even when I bought my new bike recently, which is built in Canada (and has mention of that fact on frame) I phoned Dad about it and he said smart to buy good bike, it is much more reliable and you get what you pay for.

    I think a lot of bikers who have no regard or care of how to bike around town (ride wrong direction, on sidewalks ALL the time, weaving in and out of a road without regard, crossing anywhere in the middle of a busy road where you are not supposed to…) use cheap bikes. The serious bike commuters who use it for transportation, generally have much more better quality bikes as they know that it’s important to have a reliable bike. I don’t know, that’s just my observation around here.

    Speaking of racks, we really need more here.. It’s impossible finding a bike rack downtown, would you believe? We have unused posts from meters that were removed, and they work good for bikes no way to pull bike up out of it, not just a straight pole..the city should consider doing something with them to use for bike locking. Not sure how though, but at least they didn’t remove them!

  3. Karen says:

    I’m please to say out the Target in Flag has a very large bike rack outside and it is always filled with bikes. My husband got his Schwinn at Target last year and so far has been pretty satisfied, although he does want to upgrade to one that is designed for cargo.

  4. dottie says:

    My sister got a bike from Target (not a Schwinn) last year and less than a year later the derailleur was so messed up I had to change gears for her manually. My friend got a Walmart (I think) bike less than a year ago and it’s out of commission, too (Melissa, what kind of bike was it?). Hopefully your husband’s bike will last longer, Karen. Schwinns are the best quality of the lot and the higher you go up in price, the much better the Schwinn will be. I have another friend who’s had a pricier Schwinn for several years with no problems.

  5. Ghost Rider says:

    The Targets in my area have no bike parking whatsoever, so I’m happy to see even marginal lockups here. We (and by “we” I mean local politicians, store owners and other community stakeholders) mostly just “don’t get it” when it comes to bike-friendly infrastructure.

  6. Charlotte says:

    “born June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota”

    “an American retailing company that was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota”

    Prince is also trying to help his hometown economy – you think alike!

  7. Trisha says:

    Have I ever told you my uncle connected Prince’s cable TV in Mpls? Truefax. ;) Love the punny title, and will never get tired of seeing Betty! Have fun today. Oh, and our Target? ZERO bike parking.

  8. MelissaHopeS says:

    The bike I got from Wal Mart was a stupid bike. That’s it. It said “STUPID” on the handle bars! J.k! I don’t know what brand it was. Just a generic cheap bike.

  9. tsalyards says:

    Prince is from Mpls. Target is also headquartered in Mpls. Pretty simple logic behind the pairing, I believe.

    Thanks for stopping by and supporting my employer.

  10. sara says:

    are you trying to make me feel less guilt for eyeing another gorgeous bike that will cost a pretty penny but last for years (as opposed to going the target bike route)? if so– many thanks!

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