New job, new cycling decisions #cycling

My previous office had a bike shelter in the car park, facilities for cycling other than that were non-existent, but one can change in a toilet cubicle, use baby wipes for the private areas and wash hair, face and hands in a sink (or toilet, whatever you like). I was fine with this for nearly two years, it wasn’t ideal, but I got used to it, so showers at the office aren’t a requirement for me now, but they do encourage others, if there’s not a shower then some won’t cycle, it’s one of those things.

Where was I heading with this, oh yes, my new job which I hope will progress into “my job” in a few months is in a town centre. This location brings numerous benefits, but there is even less provision for cycling, I am indeed shocked and appalled by this. How can the provision be less than practically nothing? Well, nowhere safe to store my bluebell, that’s how.

Q: Accept a job even though there is no guarantee of safe parking?
A: You can always buy a clown bike and store it under your desk
– No thanks, unless no other option.
A: Are you kidding? Job first, figure the rest out later
– Yes, fine, job accepted.

First couple of days have been train plus walk, it’s horrible and my legs can’t take all this walking, though the train isn’t that expensive (yet).
Thoughts of driving are ruled out by awful traffic and parking at £15 per day.
So I NEED my bike but the bike storage is now confirmed as rubbish!

Q: So bike under the desk, what about those dirty days when the bike will drip filth everywhere if I brought it inside?
A: That’ll get them to provision something PDQ
– Not sure I want to rock the boat in my new job just yet.
A: You can buy special bike bags for this
– Sounds like a faff to me and the outside of the bag will still get wet / dirty in the progress, I think my bike belongs outside, especially given my lack of cleaning routine

Q: Other options?
A: There’s storage on the flat roof, you could use that? There are also railings to lock it to.
– I’d have 4 or 5 flights of stairs to carry the bike up inside the building, not to mention the weight of it all, the filth issue above still comes in. Though that would be the safest storage option.
A: Pedestrian crossing railings outside the office
– I’d worry about that location, seems a bit like irresponsible parking to me, would my bike be removed by the council, etc.
A: The station parking
– Too far to walk from there up a hill to the office, you also need a season ticket for the cycle lockers too, so I’d be using the unsecured parking and I’d definitely need expensive cycle insurance, my locks are plenty high enough on the security ratings, there’s vandalism to worry about as well as theft.
A: Local bike parking e.g. hoops outside the library or school
– Similar concerns to station, though close to the office, there’s no guarantee I could get a space, but on that day I can always fall back to a different option, or turn around and go home in protest.

Q: Couldn’t you use the Nexus bike rather than worrying about the theft of Bluebell?
A: I’d rather slit my wrists, I tried the Nexus recently and I think I’d have to buy a better bike, but that’d again be at risk of theft, probably more than Bluebell, though she is expensive, she doesn’t have the coolness factor the thieves are hopefully looking for.

Q: When would you ride Bluebell if you used a different bike?
A: The Burley doesn’t fit it unless I get a new hitch, so probably never.

Q: Is there any point owning Bluebell and not riding her?
A: No, I suppose not.

Q: What will I do if my Bluebell does get stolen?
A: Cry and claim on insurance?

Q: Would you replace Bluebell?
A: Tricky question, I’d have to cross that bridge when I came to it, but it’s probably not worth it, the replacement would only get stolen too.

So it looks like the local bike parking plus hefty insurance and my hefty locks is going to be my first attempt, let’s see how I get on. Wish me luck!

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5 responses to “New job, new cycling decisions #cycling

  1. You have a real dilemma, I don’t envy you, the decisions you have to make. I’ve been puttingup with scant cycling facilities for the best part of 5 years at work. Changing in a toilet, washing in a sink, having to carry my bike up a flight of stairs to park it safely. Finally, and worst of all having to use Halfords BikeCare Plan to maintain my bike. They just get worse, I didn’t think they could, but they’ve now surpassed themselve by fitting an 8-speed derailleur to my 9-speed bike!

    • The more you mention Halfords the more I’m glad I’m pretty good at maintaining my bikes, but then Halfords wouldn’t have a clue where to start with mine and of course I have no idea what a derailleur is as my bikes don’t have them 🙂

  2. I’d take the flat roof option. If you can take the bags off it’s not that heavy. Welshcyclist, why did you HAVE to use Halfords BikeCare? Was it something the company gave you?

    Atkins seem very progressive bike wise, paying expenses for cycling miles and replacing car park space in Epsom with showers! A strong cycling lobby I think.

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