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View Full Version : Bike Storage a major hurdle



Shirlington
01-04-2010, 03:59 PM
Hi -- I would love to cycle more in Arlington (and across to DC and down to Alexandria), but since buying a condo in one of the older garden condo communities near Shirlington, I have been left without secure bike storage. It's not feasible for me to carry my bike up a narrow flight of stairs and then through the narrow dining room out onto the balcony every morning and evening. What do you suggest for those of us who like Arlington's garden communities but which don't have facilities for storing bikes securely?

Joe
01-04-2010, 04:50 PM
Is there anywhere outside to lock a bike? If not, this would be something to bring up with your homeowners/condo association. I bet a lot of other residents would be interested. If you have a place to lock it, the problem of leaving it out all night is not that different from what many commuters face on the other end of their commute -- leaving it out all day at a transit stop or at work. I had a bike stolen in broad daylight in front of a busy train station. Now I use a Kryptonite chain lock to lock the frame to a bike rack or lamp post, and a heavy cable to attach the wheels to the same lock. If you can come to an understanding with the condo association, you may be able to leave the heavy chain lock locked to the bike rack if you don't need it at the other end. Other commuters focus less on high-end locks and instead use an old bike for their commute, one that they don't think will be desirable to thieves. I hope you can figure something out, good luck!

Chris Eatough
01-04-2010, 04:54 PM
Another option is to ask the property manager if there is a storage room or any other space that could be used to lock up residents bikes. If you can band together with a few other responsible indviduals in your building that bike, that helps. Then talk to the property manager in a respectful and encouraging manner. If they provide bike parking for residents and visitors, that may cut down on the number of cars that need to be parked there. Hopefully it's important to them to have healthy, happy, considerate residents. Good luck!

Tim Kelley
01-04-2010, 05:09 PM
Great ideas, Chris and Joe!

A third option might be to look into a "folding bike," which is lightweight and may be better suited to navigation through tight stairwells and halls.

Dahon is one brand of folding bike I have seen in Arlington bike lanes. Here's a youtube clip of one in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrCBter8nUo

See you out on the trail!

Joe
01-04-2010, 05:28 PM
I just wanted to mention that bikes CAN live outside, just as cars can. I'm fortunate to have a place now that has a convenient place to keep a bike inside and get it out easily. Up until my last move, though, I've never been willing and/or able to pay for living space for my bike. Whether or not you have protected storage does factor into choosing a commuting bike, just as it factors into choosing a car. (My car still doesn't have a roof over its head.)

Dirt
02-23-2010, 11:46 AM
Second the call for a folding bike. The Bike Friday Tikit (http://community.bikefriday.com/node/6301) models are designed for fast folding. When I say fast folding, we're talking less than 30 seconds. They're small, light and very fun to ride. You can get them in a minimalist form (fixie) up to a multi-speed bike. They're funny to look at, but anyone who sees you fold it down and walk away with it will be truly amazed.

invisiblehand
02-25-2010, 05:42 PM
Most people are pleasantly surprised by the ride of a quality folding bike. Here in the US, the primary brands are ...

Bike Friday
http://www.bikefriday.com/

Xootr Swiftfolder
http://xootr.com/index.html

Brompton
http://www.brompton.co.uk/

Dahon
http://www.dahon.com/

and

Downtube
http://www.downtube.com/

I have a Bike Friday New World Tourist and my wife has a Pocket Crusoe. (I run the local Bike Friday club.) I used to own a Brompton and still have a Downtube. I've ridden all of the bikes above at various times and can answer some questions. Like nonfolding bikes, they come in different flavors and are designed for different purposes. Lucky for us, we have two dealerships in the area that have several models of folding bikes: Bikes at Vienna and College Park/Mt Airy Bikes. Dahon is sold at Revolution if I am not mistaken.