“Excuse me, you can’t leave your bike there” a woman climbing into her Toyota Prius stated. A strange request I thought to myself, as bike racks tend to be a public space and there was three of them standing empty. “Oh sorry, I’ll only be 3 minutes”. I looked down on at the sorry remains of the previous bicycle resident in these racks. I couldn’t help but laugh that someone would want to stop me from locking my bike in such a clearly undesirable location.
“That’s my husbands bike, someone stole it last week.” I didn’t feel like preaching about his stupidity of only locking the front wheel. “Ah” I stated with a “I know how that is” look on my face.
Bikes left on the same rack in a predictable manner are easy picking for thieves. So what options do we have?
Obviously, indoors is great. But not everyone has the luxury of doing that. Especially, when you’ve come in from a ride in the rain and your bike is soaked.
If you have been graced with an outdoor area then a bike shed is another option. These can take up minimum of space and protect your bike from the elements and thieves. There’s a range of these available and if your bike is relegated to the great outdoors then it’s worth considering. You generally have two options between a wooden version or a plastic storage container.
The wooden ones look good and aren’t too expensive. However, it doesn’t do a great deal to keep your bike away from moisture that causes rust. Though this can be treated every couple of years with oil based varnish to help the situation.
The plastic storage structure on the other hand whilst it doesn’t look quite as good, it does protect your bike more effectively.
Although London, being London, not a lot of people are graced with a garden. Many people end up carrying bikes up stairs or fitting them into tight escalators. Personally, I’ve been fortunate enough that our flat has a landing area outside with plenty of space to lock bikes. I’d be pretty stuck without this space!
The other option comes from a clever innovation known as folding bikes. These can easily be folded down and then stored away in a cupboard. Undeniably this is a great convenience for those that are happy to ride a folding bike.