Now that the weather is occasionally turning spring like (and summer-like), I notice that my clients are more aware of whether a house or condo has easy bicycle storage. This is an urban issue much more than a suburban one. In places where garages are common or lot sizes are big enough to add a shed, the bicycle storage issue is easy.
It is in the cities and towns close to the cities that bicycle storage is an issue, even for the weekend warrior. Some of the things to look out for are features that make basement storage awkward. These things include:
Basement doors at a stairway landing with stairs parallel to the outside wall. That makes it necessary for the bicycle to turn an impossibly tight corner.
Straight stairs work if they are ahead of the door. Basement stairs that have tight turns to save on space make bicycle storage hard.
I see doors that are no more than 3 feet high leading out of the basement to ground level. (I call them “hobbit doors” even though they aren’t round.) Even if a bicycle can get through them, a person and a bicycle will require some wiggling and giggling.
(However, these work great for kayaks if you set up a line to hang the boat there.)
My first every-day bicycle commuter client bought in the late 1990s. He worked in West Cambridge and eventually bought just north of Medford Square. His concerns were, in order:
A safe route between work and home.
Everyday storage of the bicycle that did not involve a lot of ducking, wiggling or stair climbing.
An area in a basement or garage to service the bicycles.
Since then, I have had more clients who use their bicycles for daily commuting. Some have taken issue with hills, some do not. Some also require mass transit back-up, others do not.
Safe routes can be tricky. There are many bike paths, but there are places where the only way between them is over tricky roads that have “spaghetti intersections”, like the junction of Alewife Brook Parkway, Soldier’s Field Road, Memorial Drive and Greenough Boulevard. That is the route between the bike path along the Charles and businesses near Alewife Station.
Today, we are talking about bicycle commuting. Do you have any clever tips for your fellow bicyclists?
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