Thursday, 8 November 2012

Storing my bicycle

Lack of space for storing a bicycle can be an issue if you live in a city. When I lived in Brighton, I didn’t have any bicycle storage. I had to watch my bicycle rust away all alone outside in the sea air. Now  living in London I am delighted that I have a flat with a little bicycle sized balcony offering protection from those pesky bike stealers and the worst of the British weather.

The only problem is that it is a bit of a mission to get my bicycle to the fourth floor of my block and through my flat to the balcony. I have to squash it in the lift (which I am VERY thankful for having!) and dodge the walls, furniture and the hallway through my flat.

Myself and the walls of my flat are always victim to scrapes and bruises from the sharp pedals on my bike. At least my arms get a workout each day with the heavy lifting!

To show you a little part of my journey to get my bicycle into my flat, I have made a GIF animation below. This is from arriving at my front door onwards.

When it rains this operation is most unpleasant, no one likes to carry a dripping wet bicycle through their lounge!!

How do you store your bike? And do you have any tricky manoeuvres you have to do?


Anonymous said...

I hang mine in the shed it is a bit tight though

Katrina said...

I feel your pain with this one! After my boyfriends bike got stolen from outside our flat we now have to carry ours up the steepest, narrowest set of stairs to the first floor & back them into any available corners. Like yourself our walls have all kinds of scrapes, goodness knows what our landlord will think when he finally comes round :s

Beth said...

We have to try and squeeze 5 bikes into our hallway! The big old vintage cycles are a nightmare to get around

Simply Bike said...

Hi! I'm a new reader, I just found your blog and am really enjoying it. I love this post, it's fun to see how people in other parts of the world deal with such basic things like bike storage. Although I'd much rather live in a city any day, I guess the one time I can be thankful for living in a small town in the vast Midwest is when it comes to space. We have lots of it. Which means that I just roll my bike with the kid trailer attached right into our garage and park it and walk away. I guess it's pretty nice :)


GMBasix said...

I don't have this problem, but have you considered getting a tarp sheet from a DIY outlet?

Get one big enough and you can roll the bike onto it then carry or slide it through the flat. Keep it by the door so it's ready when you come in.

Once on the balcony, flip it over and you've got a sturdy raincover for the bike. Tie it on with bungees, string or old inner tubes if you want to see it again!

It won't prevent pedal scrapes, but it'll make them less painful, and it's so much better in the rain!

Anonymous said...

This is a really important issue.

Half of the residences in London are flats – or is it half the people living in London live in flats? I forget – and most flats are not on the ground floor. Even houses are often too small for convenient and secure cycle parking.

I think it is disgraceful that you have to go through this rigmarole every time you cycle – would motorists put up with this? Obviously it is a key barrier to cycling.

There have been small scale schemes in London Borough of Ealing to assist residents with Bikebunker type lockers (go to otherwise Councils may help at estates.

It is one of the failures of local authorities only thinking of cycling in terms of what happens on the public highway and on off-road routes.

Wolf said...

I park mine in the Lounge, plenty of room for it & cargo trailer. Not to fussed about wet as got laminate flooring.

Kate, Champions said...

I used to have to carry my (heavy old) bike up four flights of stairs - stressful! I saw this bike shelf the other day, great idea (but a bit expensive for me at the mo!)

Kate, Champions said...

I used to have to carry my (heavy old) bike up four flights of stairs - stressful! I saw this bike shelf the other day, great idea (but a bit expensive for me at the mo!)

Chris Murphy said...

"There's always someone worse off than yourself" - you are it; thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Look at the positives you have a nice view from the balcaonoy

John said...

Since moving I don't have these problems anymore, but even small things can make a big difference. A Brompton folding pedal can make it much easier to stack bikes together and cut down on the bruising if you're prone to crashing the pedal into your right leg.

Anonymous said...

Mine lives in an unused basement room when I'm at work (up steps and through front door into building; across lobby; through another door and down narrow staircase, then round corner and into basement room).

At home, I don't have anywhere to keep it in the house so I wheel it through the house, out the back and it lives in our shed. My wife keeps on at me to buy a wall anchor and keep it locked up outside the side of the house, but I've resisted that so far.

Katya said...

I'm in Melbourne in a small flat and mine lives inside after one got stolen from outside when it was locked up (although since then loads of people leave bikes out there with no locks and they don't go anywhere...) It leans against my bookshelves, it's not ideal but it's not too bad and better than worrying about it being stolen. I have cloths down so the carpet stays clean, I wonder if anyone has invented tyre covers...?

Will B said...

Here's mine. Works perfectly for me!

Mark said...

Cycle hoop concreted into the front garden, 2 D locks and a large cable lock and a commuting bike which is fairly cheap. Hoop from

Paul M said...

I suppose I am surprised that no-one has yet mentioned folding bikes. They must be the ideal solution for apartment living in a city which fails as a cycling city the way London does.

I have owned folders for more than 2 decades, starting with a Brompton, passing via a Birdy, back to a Brompton again (looks much like the original but is actually a couple of inches longer and has better components these days). In my view the Brompton is the King of folders but it is very pricey and its particular advantages - a very tight and very easy fold/unfold - are not really necessary for apartment storage. I multi-mode, cycling from home to station, then station to office and back daily and the Brompton system pays dividends there, but there are other folders which ride just as well if not better and cost a lot less, if a bulkier folded package is OK by you.

Dahon do a range of folders at various price points and in small-wheel or indeed full-size wheel versions. Just folding in half might well be enough to do what you need. Some of them even seem like serviceable utility bikes, like this;jsessionid=1550af7b1750e5f/shopdata/0360_WW+2011/product_details.shopscript?article=0100_WW%2B%2BDahon%2BCiao%2BD5%2B%2BSlate%2B2011%2B%3D28WW%2B%2BDAHCIAOD511%3D29 Ciao D5 20 inch wheel, Sturmey 5 speed hub and step-through frame.

The day when Pashley produces a folder, ah, that would be a red letter day!

Anonymous said...

I lug my vintage Raleigh 3 speed up the stairs, fortunately only to the 1st floor. It does fit in the lift
(just) but its quicker to take the stairs for me as they are heavily used.

However I mainly use my Brompton, so there are no issues and it has it has its own mat in the flat :-)

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