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PNC Park supports cycling

This topic contains 122 replies, has 45 voices, and was last updated by  RustyRed 2 mos, 3 weeks.

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RickyTickyTac

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Jul 18 2010 at 1:51pm #

So Jane (skipdip) and I went to the Pirates game last night, and I was shocked to find out that bicycle helmets are apparently a security risk and potential weapon, and not allowed in the park. The reason the guard gave me is that helmets are hard and you could whack somebody with them. I tried to explain that they are actually made of porous foam, and designed to crumple when they hit something, thus not hurting ANYTHING, but he wouldn’t have any of it. So one thing I’m wondering about is how are the souvenir helmets and mini-bats they sell not weapons? How is a shoe, cell phone, or camera (all of which are a lot harder than a helmet) not weapons? We ended up just locking our helmets to our bike and it was fine, but doing so always makes me nervous and leaves helmets pretty vulnerable to getting smashed by passers by. The way I see it, PNC Park either doesn’t want you to be safe on your bike ride over, or doesn’t want you to ride your bike at all.

  • This topic was modified 4 mos ago by  erok.

Noah Mustion

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Jul 18 2010 at 2:05pm #

That’s not an official stance as I’ve brought my helmet in to PNC before. I guess it differs from each security person.


rsprake

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Jul 18 2010 at 2:11pm #

Yeah. This is not official at all.

A link from another thread, http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/pit/ballpark/pit_ballpark_food.jsp


Lyle

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Jul 18 2010 at 2:22pm #

This is more “Fear the Different”. It’s not a rational position, so rational argument is irrelevant. It’s rooted in a combination of conformism and status anxiety. I’m not going to psychoanalyze it here on the Internet, but maybe over beer…


RickyTickyTac

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Jul 18 2010 at 2:32pm #

I guess next time I’m going to bring up that policy you mentioned, and bring some food and water in a soft-sided 16x16x8 cooler. But, that policy also says no weapons of any kind, and the guy was saying that my helmet was a weapon. I would argue that its a defense, not a weapon.

Anyhow, I’m going to e-mail and/or call them tomorrow, and I have a connection to some higher management there who is going to talk to them. I’ll keep everyone informed about what happens.


edmonds59

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Jul 18 2010 at 2:37pm #

Letting a helmet in is definitely a lot safer than giving out souvenir baseballs, I don’t remember the situation but several years ago on souvenir day, somebody errored and a hail of thousands of balls came raining, or hailing, down on the field. It was hilarious. I think that was the last time they did that.


dwillen

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Jul 18 2010 at 3:09pm #

I said in another thread (it may be somewhat un-PC / insensitive) but someone should try to keep their helmet on as they go through security, tell the guard you’ve got some medical condition and that you wear the helmet to protect your head.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Jul 18 2010 at 3:24pm #

From the Pirates Website: “For the comfort and security of all Guests, hazardous or disruptive items cannot be brought into PNC Park. Samples of these items that are not permitted include boom boxes, infl atable balls, balloons, motorcycle helmets, Frisbee discs, laser pointers, fireworks, footballs and weapons of any kind. The Pirates reserve the right to inspect and remove any packages and/or containers.”

Perhaps they view bicycle helmets as a similar “threat” as motorcycle helmets.

That said, I took my 4-year old to a game last season via bike. We put our helmets in a back pack (because I didn’t want to leave them on the bike, and I didn’t want to have to juggle helmets and a 4-year old. We passed through security, they looked at them in the back pack, and there was no issue.

It sounds like the Pirates need to address bike helmets specifically and communicate that policy to their security people.

FYI, here is their bike policy: “Bike racks are located outside the ballpark on Federal Street near the Roberto Clemente Bridge entrance to the park and at the southwest entrance near the Allegheny River. Bikes are not permitted inside the ballpark.”


Andrew

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Jul 18 2010 at 5:01pm #

You could just lock you helmet to the bike. I do this at most places for short stops. I don’t really like having to carry my helmet around.


Noah Mustion

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Jul 18 2010 at 11:13pm #

yeah. i’d say if they’re going to put up bike racks they should definitely address the helmet issue.


dbacklover

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Jul 19 2010 at 12:26am #

I emailed the PNC park/ Pittsburgh Pirates thru their contact on the website and pointed them to this post and asked them to please clarify the policy.


ieverhart

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Jul 19 2010 at 1:17am #

My brother and I biked to a game last season and came in with helmets in our backpacks, no problem. You might have gotten a different answer if you’d gone to the next gate and had a different security guy.


dbacklover

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Jul 19 2010 at 1:21am #

Ieverhart

That may be true but they need to have a clear and consistent policy, and educate their security on that policy


steve k

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Jul 19 2010 at 5:00am #

1. this thread title is horribly misleading. how can you make such a leap in what the management at pnc park feels in regards to safety in cycling via this singular instance. anecdotal evidence. also, why can’t leave your helmet with your bike? you’re obviously locking it, why can’t you lock your helmet with your bike as well if you’re that concerned about it? it’s not like concern for security at a sporting event is something new. i know that if i brought my whole messenger bag in it’d be a hassle so i choose not to. it’s not like this is a new thing. just deal with it.

2. everyone in this thread that is outraged is overreacting.


Erica

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Jul 19 2010 at 9:55am #

I’m pretty sure that aside from the title of the thread, no one is over-reacting


Noah Mustion

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Jul 19 2010 at 11:19am #

why can’t you lock your helmet with your bike as well if you’re that concerned about it?

i know i don’t like to leave my helmet out at my bike for long periods of time, locked or not, especially in an area with heavy (drunken) foot traffic like a ballgame, SS, etc. who knows what some jackass might feel to do…


sloaps

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Jul 19 2010 at 11:22am #

Regardless of the outcome, PNC Park should be informed of the inconsistency. My bet is on not allowing them, as they state on their website that motorcycle helmets aren’t allowed – death by association.

I think I posted a pic on another thread as an example of how to lock up your bike and helmet with a U-lock: over the rear wheel, behind the downtube and through a vent hole in the helmet.


edmonds59

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Jul 19 2010 at 11:26am #

Come to think of it, I’d be really upset if I was trying to get in with a motorcycle helmet, a good mc helmet can be 400 – 500 bucks. That would be me walking away from a game. If I went to games.


sarah_q

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Jul 19 2010 at 1:28pm #

I’ve seen a number of dogs peeing on bikes and it’s made me seriously reconsider locking my helmet up with my bike.


rsprake

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Jul 19 2010 at 1:38pm #

Never thought about a dog peeing on a bike…


dwillen

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Jul 19 2010 at 2:02pm #

If you are strictly following manufacturers instructions, helmets are designed for one crash. You have some fool plow his bike into yours attempting to lock it up, or some drunken bucs fan kicking random shit take aim at your helmet, you’ll probably have to buy a new helmet – as those incidents qualify as a “crash” as far as the integrity of the helmet is concerned. If you stick your lock through a vent hole, it doesn’t take much force at all to crack the foam that surrounds that vent.

I never leave my helmet locked to my bike. Some people do and that is fine, but I’ve seen some pretty banged up helmets locked to bikes. I guess it probably protects your head better than nothing, but I’d rather have an undamaged one, if I had to pick.

A bike helmet is so light and collapsable. I’m not sure how they think this qualifies as a weapon. I could take my shoe off and do more harm with that.


erok

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Jul 19 2010 at 2:05pm #

this gif needed to happen right now


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Jul 19 2010 at 2:07pm #

Can’t someone edit that with Cavendish chucking his helmet out of the bus?


HiddenVariable

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Jul 19 2010 at 3:31pm #

i’d consider being outraged if i was disallowed with a messenger bag, considering i’ve brought in plenty of bags of similar size that weren’t messenger bags. it would strike me as moderately prejudicial.

also: in order for a helmet to be a weapon, there would have to be someone else at the game for you to hit!


scott

Private Message

Jul 19 2010 at 3:59pm #

Everyone,

We understand that this isn’t an ideal situation. We should be able to bring our bicycle helmets inside to make sure they aren’t tampered with. But, there is a big difference between not allowing helmets inside and actually “supporting unsafe cycling.”

BikePGH has finally, after 8 years of existance, made a contact at the Pirates and they are supporting us through our silent auction this year at BikeFest. I’m sure we can raise this concern with them. Let me see what I can do.


RickyTickyTac

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Jul 19 2010 at 7:49pm #

So, I’ll agree that the title was taking things a little too far, but thats how you get attention, right? I would say a more accurate title would be “PNC park does not support safe cycling.” because after all, if they did, they would allow me to take a friggin helmet in. Not allowing a bike helmet in is simply ridiculous, as it can in no way be any more harmful than any object that is currently allowed into the stadium. It made me feel like they were singling me out, for no good reason.

We did talk to another security guy there about it, this one wearing a cop-like uniform (dont know if he actually was a policeman, didnt look that hard) and he told us that what the guy in the yellow shirt says goes.

I just don’t want my helmet getting crunched.


RickyTickyTac

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Jul 19 2010 at 7:50pm #

PS, I don’t think that the Pirates’ management had anything to do with this, I’m pretty sure that the park is sort of a separate entity. I could be wrong on this though.


HiddenVariable

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Jul 19 2010 at 8:52pm #

if the pirates’ management had anything to do with it, your helmet would’ve been traded away long ago.


helen s

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Jul 19 2010 at 9:19pm #

No one discouraged you from wearing a helmet while cycling. Would a parallel be if they questioned everyone who wanted to come in by asking if they wore their set belt if they drove?

For those worried about locking their helmet to the bike, I am surprised you don’t worry about the bike more than the lid.


dbacklover

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Jul 19 2010 at 9:37pm #

Helen,

Actually it would be more precise if when you went to park your car the PNC parking lot they told you that no seatbelts would be allowed in the lot.

Personally I don’t think this is what PNC is trying to say, I believe it is due to an unclear policy that never thought to take into account the growing numbers of people who choose to ride Bicycles instead of cars. It could also be a policy that is dictated by some insurance rule.

The fact is we don’t know what the actual ruling on Bicycle helmets are.

One of the things I find so refreshing about this group here is that while we can be vocal about the injustices done to cyclist I believe and have heard that we can be just as vocal about the positive as well.

This one thing more than anything else keeps me coming back here.


Marko82

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Jul 19 2010 at 10:06pm #

I’ve been to Heinz field for Pitt games where they have the gates open early to get autographs from the players. Once a seven year old and his father in front of me were told he could not bring his real leather ($$) football into the stadium because it was dangerious and could be thrown and hurt somebody. Not more than 50 feet inside the gate is a souvenier stand, and yup, they sell footballs!

Moral of the story: Bringing a bicycle helmet into the stadium has nothing to do with anyones secuity. A littly authority goes a long way… remember the G20?


helen s

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Jul 20 2010 at 1:52am #

“Actually it would be more precise if when you went to park your car the PNC parking lot they told you that no seatbelts would be allowed in the lot.”

Or maybe that “no seatbelts woudl be allowed in the stadium.” They are not saying don’t wear a helmet.

Again I make my point that for those worried about their helmet being damaged while locked to their bike, what about the bike? If I were worried about my helmet locked to my bike, I would worry aobut the bike even more.

For some reason I keep coming back, but I do get tired of the negativity or people worrying about what might happen. I prefer to have confidence that bad things won’d happen, but if they do, then I will deal with them. I refuse to live in fear in all aspecta of my life, despite the former adminstrations efforts. I do take precautions while necessary, but trust things wil be alright in the end.


rsprake

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Jul 20 2010 at 3:27am #

8 out of the top 10 threads right now are positive.


dbacklover

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Jul 20 2010 at 1:51pm #

I believe that we are a rather positive group. Like I said it is the positive feel of the group that keeps me coming back here. I am always happy to see some great biking news or hear about some cool biking event (that I most likely will miss – grrrr)

I also think it is important for each of us to make items like this known, not because PNC park is on a mission to destroy the biking community (which I don’t believe) but so that light can be shed and PNC Park (in this case) can be made aware of a grievance.

Lets face some facts if Ricky had just emailed PNC park about what happened the chances are slim to none that anyone from PNC would get back to him. A group of people addressing the same problem has a much better chance to be heard. I emailed PNC and have heard nothing back, I don’t know if anyone else here emailed them as well (and linked to this post) and asked for an explanation of the policy. I would be willing to bet that if everyone who posted in this thread also emailed them and simply asked for some clarification of the policy (no threats, no demands, but civil discourse) then I believe that we would hear back from them.

Unless they hear from a number of people about the same topic they have no reason to respond


cburch

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Jul 20 2010 at 2:21pm #

helen, also keep in mind that a helmet locked to a bike is MUCH easier to ruin than the bike itself. if you lock through a vent all it takes is one drunk guy walking into it the wrong way to put a crack in the foam. not to mention beer getting spilled on it, dogs peeing on it, etc etc. i stopped locking my helmet when came out of the movie theater on the southside one night to a helmet with beer soaked pads and little dribbles of beer between the hardshell and the foam. disgusting.


ccrider

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Jul 20 2010 at 2:57pm #

I bike to one or two games a week when the bucs are in town (yes, I love punishment). I always leave my helmet locked to my bike. Never had any problems, ever, never any, none. We always park at the racks right into front of the left field entrance (right under the bleachers GA). There’s alot of staff/security etc in that area so I don’t worry much about my helmet being intentionally vandalized. I usually prop my helmet up on my water cages to prevent it from being crushed if someone parks next to me, but the racks there are “doubles” so its difficult to damage someone’s helmet unless you’re just trying to do it on purpose.

I’ve never found biking to a bucs game to be anything but nice. Parking (my bike) is a snap, leaving (on my bike) is a snap, never had problems bringing my messenger bag in, surprisingly the suburban idiots driving through downtown (so far) have not pulled any dangerous driving feats in my vicinity etc etc etc. So far, I haven’t had any helmet vandalism, peeing, or beer spilling.

If Heinz Field has similar bike resources, I can’t find them. Anytime we see football we have to lock to light posts, signs, trees (yes, I know …), etc. In the past, I haven’t been able to find any biking info on the Heinz Field site. Anyone with bike tips for Heinz please post ‘em up as I’ve decided to be punished by the Pitt Panthers this year instead of watching boy quarterbacks with disguisting & criminal off field

behavior (although, the Panthers may be headed there too if the recent news is any indication).

Sorry you ran into a guard who wouldn’t let your helmet in. I suspect the motorcycle helmet mention on the web page may have fueled their concerns. I suspect there is an interesting story behind the ban on motorcycle helmets….I doubt that is posted on the PNC website just by whim. Try to get the situation rectified through PNC management, but at the end of the day keep in mind that biking to a baseball game is pretty damn awesome and the fun helps alleviate the pain of watching the Bucs “clinch” their 18th loosing season.


Mick

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Jul 20 2010 at 3:28pm #

I always leave my helmet on my bike, everywhere. I usully hang it from the U lock, but not really locked.

I’ve never had any problem. Even when my bike has been vandalized, the helmet was OK.


scott

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Jul 20 2010 at 4:46pm #

Checked with the Pirates/PNC Park and bicycle helmets are unfortunately not allowed into the ballpark. They consider bicycle helmets to be ‘hard sided items’ and thus prohibit them from the ballpark for security purposes. They will be updating their Web site and policy manual to make it more clear going forward, and will also reiterate the rule to the security staff. We would love to work with them to update their policies to become more bike friendly in the future. Like I said before, this is just the beginning of this relationship so we hope that with a little time and some good communication we can make some progress together.

In the meantime we suggest that people who ride to the games use the racks around the periphery of the stadium and use a U-lock to secure helmets with the bike. We have not heard of any instances of helmets being tampered with to date. Concurrently we will try to work with the Pirates to revisit this policy.

Riders could also consider parking in the Cultural District downtown and walking over the Clemente bridge. There are 21 wall-racks at the Bike Commuter Center and all of the downtown Pittsburgh Parking Authority Garages have free sheltered bike racks, some even near an attendant.


dbacklover

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Jul 20 2010 at 5:18pm #

Scott,

Thank you for the information, I think what we all wanted was a clarification on the policy.


HiddenVariable

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Jul 20 2010 at 5:23pm #

so we can get it changed!

maybe. but i do believe bicycle helmets ought to be allowed, even if motorcycle helmets are not. and i rather think motorcycle helmets ought to be allowed, though i’d like to hear if there are stories that support the opposite view.

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