Author Topic: Outdoor bike storage  (Read 5352 times)

vivian

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Outdoor bike storage
« on: May 10, 2014, 12:16:38 PM »
I'm continually trying to bike to more places. One difficulty I am encountering is that my bike is stored in a small enclosed area off the side of our house. This is the only area we have outdoors that is covered (I don't want to keep my bike out in case it rains) and is locked (obviously I don't want it stolen). But, it is down half a flight of stairs and requires me to unhook the bike trailer from the bike. This means that every time I want to ride the bike, I have to carry it up half a flight a stairs and, if I'm bringing my son which I normally want to, I have to also carry the bike trailer up and hook it up. It is a hassle and is causing me to ride the bike less than I really want to in the long run.

How do you store your bike? I would prefer something that allows me to keep the bike and trailer connected, while out of the elements and secure. Storing it inside is not an option due to lack of space. I could store it on the front porch, but there is nothing really to secure it to. I've been thinking maybe securing the bike to the porch swing and rocking chair would create something awkward enough to deter thieves... Bike thefts are common in my neighborhood, so that's why I'm worried.

The other option I've been thinking about is a tent-type storage thing I've seen online. I *think* I might be able to use that and secure my bike to a metal railing we have in the backyard with the tent over it. Does anyone use that?

Badass by 41

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Re: Outdoor bike storage
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2014, 02:03:59 PM »
First, Kudos for riding your bike with your son.  Keep it up!

Now, some tough love ... you've already solved your problem.  You have a storage solution for your bike and trailer which is both secure, and keeps everything out of the elements. Seems a bit complainypants when you think about it that way doesn't it?

Perhaps try a little Stoicism (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/02/what-is-stoicism-and-how-can-it-turn-your-life-to-solid-gold/).  Or if you really think the opportunity cost of the manual labor and time are worth it, run the numbers and see if they work out.

Personally, this type of thinking has been my toughest challenge in adopting Mustachian ways.  I feel like "convenience" is a gateway drug to "consumerism".  It's too easy to justify excess when you think of it through the lens of "saving time" or "making life easier".  And ultimately, it's the little hardships that add up and make us stronger people, and appreciate what we have even more.

Emg03063

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Re: Outdoor bike storage
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2014, 05:43:06 PM »
What's the bike worth?  Maybe just lock it to the porch swing and a cinder block or two?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Outdoor bike storage
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2014, 06:49:02 PM »
Depending on the value of the bike, having the trailer attached might be enough to deter opportunistic thieves as long as you still lock it appropriately.

I'd still opt for the enclosed space, personally.

Emg03063

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Re: Outdoor bike storage
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2014, 10:13:45 PM »
Does your front porch have columns?

vivian

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Re: Outdoor bike storage
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2014, 03:41:07 PM »
Thanks for the replies. Maybe I am being complainypants. I'll keep trying it and hopefully my arm strength will get better from carrying the bike upstairs while my legs get stronger from riding.

Our porch does have columns. I guess I never thought of securing the bike to that, but that's a good idea.

capital

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Re: Outdoor bike storage
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2014, 09:40:57 PM »
If bike thefts are common, your porch is probably a place to avoidó it's probably visible from the street, and unless your columns are steel set in concrete, can potentially be kicked down or sawed out by thieves.

Perhaps a better solution for you would be a long-bike style cargo bike, e.g. Xtracycle/Yuba Mundo/Yuba Boda Boda/Kona Ute? They're not light, but have been around long enough these days you might well be able to score one used at a decent price, and are a single unit to lug up/down stairs.

They're not quite as much of a cheap commodity as a hybrid bike and a child trailer, but probably won't depreciate more than a few hundred dollars until your kid's old enough to ride her own bike, and worth the investment if they spare you the temptation of driving.

prefrontalfinance

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Re: Outdoor bike storage
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2014, 10:09:51 PM »
I don't really have any advice, but your question made me think of this article from awhile back, and thought you might like to see it:

http://bikeportland.org/2014/04/01/gallery-heres-how-portlanders-store-their-bikes-at-home-103835

I don't know what your house layout is like, but maybe instead of lugging the bike downstairs, you could set up a rack in the back and just lock the bike+trailer really well out of view? Throw a tarp over it to keep the weather off?

scottydog

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Re: Outdoor bike storage
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2014, 11:09:34 AM »
Personally, this type of thinking has been my toughest challenge in adopting Mustachian ways.  I feel like "convenience" is a gateway drug to "consumerism".  It's too easy to justify excess when you think of it through the lens of "saving time" or "making life easier".  And ultimately, it's the little hardships that add up and make us stronger people, and appreciate what we have even more.

+1

I've been struggling with outdoor bike storage myself, since we have a bakfiets cargo bike that's too long and heavy to bring inside.  We've had it for nearly a year, and it's always stored outside under an 8'x12' tarp.  I used some cheap rope and a few $1 aluminum carabiners to attach the tarp to a fence so the tarp is fairly easy to use.  Now the "wouldn't it be better if..." thinking comes from some small problems.  The tarp sometimes causes condensation to build up on the bike and the tarp has ripped wherever the squirrels have climbed on it.  I find myself dreaming about a bike shelter like #8 in the bikeportland article -- thanks for the link, prefontalfinance!  When I fight the "convenience" thinking I have to admit that fixing what I have is cheaper and more flexible than building a permanent bike shelter.  Plus, I can probably get away with patching the existing tarp using some pieces of an old corporate banner that was tossed away.

I put a couple of eye hooks into a fencepost just like #3 in the bikeportland article, and I lock the bike using the integrated rear wheel lock and a heavy chain padlocked to a U-lock through the eye hooks.  I could just use the U-lock but the padlock is easier to carry on the bike.

Dealing with the tarp does add an extra minute or two to each ride, but I just added an equivalent buffer to the kids' morning routine so we aren't too rushed.