A bicycle lockup stand that might be too complicated to use



Behind the Victoria Curling Club there’s a bicycle parking area with snazzy lockup stands that have built-in storage compartments and very sturdy bars. It’s sheltered by a roof. One side is a Curling Club wall, three sides are open, but bordered by railings. It’s probably the nicest public bicycle lockup in the city.

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But instead of using the stands, many cyclists lock their bikes to the railings, even when plenty of stands are available. On a recent Sunday, four bicycles were locked to the stands and four were locked to the railings.

The reason is almost certainly the six-step locking process, outlined in diagrams attached to each stand. (A photo of the diagrams is at the end of this post.)

Those diagrams and the many moving parts of the stand have scared me off. I’ve opted for the railing every time, and clearly I am not alone.

But I’ve made a pledge to myself. I am going to tackle that stand this year. And when I get adept at using it, as a public service, I’m going to shoot a video of the lockup process so that others won’t be as puzzled as me. It might be a while before that happens, though. There will need to be plenty of practising.

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Here’s a video of a bicycle lockup in Japan. I’ve seen it featured on travel shows because of its nifty factor. You buy a membership, which comes with an identity card for you and an identity tag to attach to your bicycle. You roll your bicycle into a clamp in front of an elevator-style door where the tag is scanned. You press a button. The door opens and your bicycle is whisked away by automation, through the doors and down a shaft onto a shelf, joining dozens of other bicycles. When you want to retrieve your bicycle, you scan your card, and the bicycle is delivered back to you.

The video on YouTube is here.

A detailed description of the system: Japan’s automated underground bike storage

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Many bicycle stands don’t provide much area for locking; there’s a relatively small spot where bicycle, stand and U-lock can combine. I like the design of the stand at this link; it’s a loop of metal that extends far enough to provide locking and support points at the front and rear of a bicycle.

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Instructions for bicycle lockup at Victoria Curling Club.
Instructions for the bicycle stands near Victoria Curling Club.

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My previous posts are here.


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