Sainsbury's bike parking refusal on 'hygiene' grounds begs question: do customers remove their shoes?

Cyclist's thwarted efforts to buy dinner on the way home led to Twitter debate

(Image credit: Chris J Ratcliffe)

Cyclists have asked why shoes, buggies and other items that make contact with the ground outside should be allowed into Sainsbury's supermarket stores, after the shop said bikes could not enter based on 'hygiene grounds'.

The problem of where to leave a bike when making quick errands is an issue for many cyclists, who are reluctant to leave bikes locked up outside for fear of bike theft.

>>> Bike theft stats and how to avoid having your bike stolen

After having his dinner buying efforts thwarted at the Sainsbury's near Paddington Station, Edouard Guidon (@edouardminh) took to Twitter to complain.

Guidon messaged the supermarket, saying: "[There was] nowhere convenient to lock my bike while I wait for my train so took it into your shop whilst I picked something to eat for dinner. Told I couldn't take my bike in. Congrats on losing a sale and a customer!"

The reply from Sainsubury's stated that 'hygiene issues' prevented bikes from being allowed in store.

Elaborating, Daniel on the official Sainsury's feed explained: "Unfortunately as we are selling fresh produce and other foods you wouldn't be able to bring your bike in. This is because the bike runs the risk of contaminating the food on the shelves and causing potential risk to customers buying the produce."

See more

Unimpressed by the answer, and maybe a little offended on the behalf of his perhaps very shiny clean bike, Guidon responded: "It's unclear to me why a bike would be any less hygienic than, say, somebody's luggage or buggy or, hey, bare hands or shoes, but ok."

The statement from Sainsbury's gained attention from several equally baffled cyclists.

Martin Porter asked: "So your own trolley wheels are sterilised every day then?", before Ken Murray added: "I presume Edouard wanted to push his bike on the floor, not along the shelves."

Clearly concerned about his hygiene practice for future visits, Martin Sutton chimed in to ask "do I have to wear gloves?"

See more

Cycling Weekly has contacted Sainsbury's to ask for their official policy on bicycles in store, and we will update this story when we have more details.

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.

Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.