Tips (and Etiquette) for Riding Your Bicycle to the Flea
A Guest Blog Post by Alison Lucien, Owner of Eleanor's Stylish Bicycle Accessories for Ladies
It's finally warm enough to do more than daydream about spending long days picnicking in the park or biking to outdoor brunch spots. And we at Eleanor's Stylish Bicycle Accessories are spending our weekends soaking up the sun at our pop-up shop at the Brooklyn Flea. But we know, as fun as spending the weekend days on two wheels is, it also calls for some planning and logistics. That's why we've put together a short list of 3 tips to help you handle your Brooklyn Flea bounty by bike this season.
1. Parking - Bikes aren't officially allowed inside the Flea (unless you're trying out a bike basket, of course), and it's a pain to roll your bike through the masses. Luckily there are plenty of spots to lock your bike around the Fort Greene location (below): sign posts are always fair game, but the fence right outside of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School is actually the perfect place to leave your bike while browsing. We've noticed that many folks take advantage of this sweet spot, and there's plenty of foot traffic to keep potential thieves at bay.
In Williamsburg (below), however, places to lock your bike are at a premium. The long and the short of it is, if you can't snag a spot at a nearby bike rack or signpost, we recommend biking a few blocks away from the Flea and searching for a safe spot in the vicinity. There's so much to do in the area, so having to stroll a bit further isn't too bad.
Image courtesy of Postmodern Gentleman
PS - A bit of etiquette! When you're looking for a spot to lock your bike, avoid brownstone fences and gates, as well as fences that belong to nearby sidewalk cafés. It can be a pain for the folks who live and work there to maneuver around your ride. Also try not to obstruct the flow of sidewalk traffic when you park—we know, we know, this is a no-brainer—but it's happened before! And it makes it hard for vendors to get their products in and out of the Flea! Lastly, make sure not to double park so that other cyclists can come and go with ease (and so your bike and lock don't get damaged).
2. How to get your haul home - It's easy to get carried away at the Flea: everywhere you look there's something that you need, or at the very least want. If you've shopped 'til you've dropped and are worrying about how to get everything home by bike, we recommend a basket or rear-mounting crate. Both are super easy to install, roomy and sturdy enough to hold all your goods for the journey home, and available at our booth at the Flea.
3. When worst comes to worst. If you truly can't control yourself and end up getting those great vintage chairs whose call must be heeded, and you don't happen to ride one of these badboys, no worries. Although there isn't a delivery service associated with the Flea, it's no sweat to get in touch with a local courier (totally Yelp-able) who can do the heavy lifting and take care of transporting your finds so you can bike home unencumbered. It's also easy enough to call a car service like Northside if you can't seem to find a cab. You can travel home with your purchases, and then stroll back to the Flea to grab your bike (and maybe a cold beer or glass of wine as a reward for all your hard work).