Testing Out the Bike Valet Service

Kyra DeBlaker-Gebhard

A man with a Nationals badge approached me and my husband as we stood at the bike rack located outside of the Center Field Gate and suggested that we try the new bike valet service.

Dedicated bikers with enough locks to keep even a detachable basket permanently affixed to a bike, we declined his offer and went about our cumbersome, but worthwhile ritual of locking our bikes to the rack, to each other's bike and to anything else we could find.

As we finished the time-consuming process, another staff member approached us and suggested we try the bike valet. We looked at each other, looked at the bikes and figured there was no better time to try the service than now.

We unlocked our bikes and walked around the corner to the bike valet "lot" located in Garage C at the corner of First & N Streets. While my husband filled out the claim card, I fumbled with the locks to my bike, certain that we would at least lock them inside the bike valet cage, but the valet attendants assured us it wasn't necessary. I nervously handed over the bike to the young man and walked away, sure the process was in some way flawed and ultimately not worth our while.

Well, I was wrong.

At the end of the game, we walked to the garage and collected our bikes. There was no fumbling with a u-lock in the dark as crowds of baseball fans pushed by us, and there was no need to scan our bikes for missing accessories such as blinking lights and speedometers. We simply got our on bikes and headed home.

By Kyra DeBlaker-Gebhard  |  April 22, 2008; 6:44 PM ET  | Category:  Kyra DeBlaker-Gebhard
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Comments

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Glad, but not surprised, to hear the valet works smoothly.

Anyone know if you can leave your helmet with your bike, or if you have to take it in with you?

Posted by: capitolcub | April 22, 2008 7:50 PM

I left my helmet clipped to my bike when I used the valet.

Posted by: bike rider | April 22, 2008 9:11 PM

so delighted to hear this -- now that the sub-arctic weather that plagued the first 7 games seems to have abated I can't wait to try this.

Posted by: OutsideTheLaw | April 23, 2008 1:57 PM

I used bike valet for the Sunday afternoon game vs. Atlanta and it was great. Although you don't have to, you have the option of locking your bike within their enclosure. I recommend doing it, just to avoid someone mistakenly riding off on the wrong bike, etc.

Also, because you have the option of locking your bike to a bike rack within the valet area, that also makes it a little more secure to leave your helmet there. I brough my helmet into the stadium in my backpack and had no problem with the bag screeners at the gate.

I think the valet is a great idea and the Nats are to be congratulated for providing it.

Posted by: Meridian | April 24, 2008 10:32 AM

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