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."

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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?"

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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.

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan
Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor, and is responsible for managing the tech news and reviews both on the website and in Cycling Weekly magazine.

A traditional journalist by trade, Arthurs-Brennan began her career working for a local newspaper, before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining writing and her love of bicycles first at Total Women's Cycling and then Cycling Weekly. 

When not typing up reviews, news, and interviews Arthurs-Brennan 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 190rt.

She rides bikes of all kinds, but favourites include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6. 

Height: 166cm

Weight: 56kg

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