I have seen someone get yelled at to not bring their bike into the liquor store by Whole Foods on Centre. I can agree with that decision – (at times-)unwieldy bikes and shelves filled with expensive wine and liquor are not a good combo.
I’ve done this at home depot. I’m not locking to their rickety rack that’s not bolted down in a parking lot full of pickup trucks (that could easily carry away a couple bikes still attached to a rack).
I walked the bike with me through the store. Nobody cared. I probably wouldn’t do this most places though, most places are not big enough to easily move around people with a bike in tow.
I have had my bike in two liquor stores, one on Center and the one in Fox Chapel Water Works. I just roll the bike in the door and lean it somewhere out of the way, not all over the store. No one cared. I also take my bike around Home Depot and no one cares. I would prefer to lock it outside to be honest, but sometimes forget to take a lock with me.
The owner of the convenience store near me insist sI bring my bike in when I’m there late at night, but when there is a crowd, I lock it to some flimsy lawn chair out front.
When my bike is sitting in the store aisle, it’s clear it takes up a lot more space than a cart – mostly due to configuation than actual square inches. It’s kinda in the way standing there on it’s kickstand. particularly if the weather is bad
The security guard at the liquor store on East Ohio Street in East Allegheny always insisted I bring my bike into the store! But I usually lock to a rack when able, mainly because maneuvering my bike while trying to shop is a PITA. If I happen to forget my lock (rare, but happens), I will take it in.
I’ve had to sneak my bike into my downtown office building because I forgot my lock or keys. I’d have to skirt behind the front desk via the stairs because security would raise their voice and state, “Well, if you bring your bike to your office, then everyone will want to bring their bikes into their office.” Yeah, I can imagine the sea of bicycles in cubes from all the people who ride their bikes to work in my building (n<5).
Leaving your bike unlocked means one more thing on your mind. That’s work. Once you’ve been using a lock for a while you get pretty dexterous, so it’s easy to get it on and off. Of course you may have to walk a few more feet…
I would never leave my bike unlocked outdoors where I couldn’t see it, and keep an eye on it the whole time. And even then it’s a rare thing that I would do only when I was in a real hurry.
An exception is on randonnées, where there are always bikes better than mine also unlocked, and peer pressure makes me look like a dork for locking up.
On rare occasions (maybe once or twice) I have forgotten my keys and had to wrap my cables around the bike and rack. Only a close inspection or trying to untangle them would reveal that it was not locked.
On the other hand, I have sometimes discovered I forgot my keys and ridden the mile back home to get them to allow me to lock it.