Today an email came around at work informing us that new bike racks had been installed in the basement car park, and encouraging us to use them (and more generally encouraging riding to work).

This is all very commendable; they have also recently cleaned and repainted the shower room (which previously had mildew on the walls and was filthy). There's still only one shower (well, one male, one female) for the whole building, but hey. You can have some nice chats whilst queuing up in the morning...

I thought I should go down and check out the new bike racks. Currently I just take my bike up into the office and lean it up by the door. To be honest, I'm quite happy with that arrangement - it's quick and convenient - but I know some people get a bit aggravated when there are perhaps six or seven bikes all piled up in the office.

The new bike rack is pictured above. Now, I'm all for encouraging anything that promotes cycling, and any new cycling facility is welcome, but, well, do you think I'm justified in being a little underwhelmed by this effort?

To put it in context, our building houses about 1,200 people (from a range of different companies), and there are already quite a number who cycle to work. There's probably six just on my floor.

So they have installed a set of six rather lacklustre too-low-on-the-wall domestic-grade bike hooks in the corner of a public-access parking garage. Hmmm. It's better than nothing, to be sure, but only a little bit...

Views: 72

Tags: bike, commuting, racks, work

Comment by Sir Ubu, Viscount of Sitlandria on September 9, 2010 at 8:59pm
Methinks someone, somewhere, has a spangly new bike rack installed in their kitchen, and is wondering how exactly they hang their new pots and pans off of it.

If it helps, being solutions-focussed like I am - I have an hammer drill with assorted masonry bits, impact driver & spirit level which should be about all you need to fix this problem (for now); you're welcome to borrow them.
Comment by Llewster on September 9, 2010 at 9:02pm
So how do you lock your bike? D-Lock around wheel and rack - wheel and frame - frame and back wheel?
Comment by Tony Arnold on September 9, 2010 at 11:45pm
They probably just installed the racks to get an extra "green star" on their green rating ;-)

I agree that this is underwhelming and shows very little thought or effort. Maybe everyone should leave their bikes in the general manager's parking spot one day.... :-)
Comment by Susan on September 10, 2010 at 1:07pm
Why not see who is in charge of installing the racks and give them a list politely asking for what you need? A quick email round the office should give you potential numbers of people looking for a safe and secure way to lock up their bikes.

With numbers to back you up and a clear list of what would be the best solution you might get somewhere? Many companies have never had to deal with lots of bikes and a place to put them so why not figure out the solution and give it them? they might be really grateful for the help?
Comment by naomi on September 10, 2010 at 1:39pm
My bike is quite heavy - I wouldn't want to have to lift it on and off those racks let alone potential wheel damage.
Comment by Sir Jay on September 10, 2010 at 4:09pm
Not sure if Dan realises but I work in the same workplace :)

I was completely underwhelmed by the new rack as well. I was also unsure whether these have the potential to damage your rims - I know they're fairly common but I've never used one.

It was also my first time down into the car park so I'm not sure about how secure these would be?
Comment by Andrew on September 11, 2010 at 9:17am
I am assuming that the hr department or whoever was in charge of this installation never asked whatwas required. I know that for the last few bike installations that my (old) work place did they made sure that they ran it past me and one or two others. Of course it did take a few years of commenting on the shit work that they did when we moved into a new building in regards to the 'cycling facilities' they did provide. Basiaclly you need to keep at them, priovide alternatives, explain the issues.
Comment by Sir Neil d'Ardthelmon on September 11, 2010 at 9:20am
That looks like something which you would expect to see in the local butcher's cool room with various kinds of dead animal hanging from the hooks. (Have you asked the nearest butcher if s/he's had a bike rack delivered by mistake?)
Comment by Mark Lambert on September 11, 2010 at 9:39am
I worked in the facilities department of a large organization, and getting bike racks installed was a major headache. If I had any hair, I would have pulled it all out. Because we weren't the only tennants in the building everything had to go through various levels of approval with the building owners/managers, the racks ended up being in a really crap location that was only about 170cm high and you had two walk down two flights of stairs to get to the elevators. A total balls-up.
Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on September 11, 2010 at 1:01pm
Ironically, they look the same as those provided by BNSW when I worked there (though they have moved to new premises now). I think they are the rack you choose when you have absolutely minimal space available............?

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