With the UK still riding high on all the cycling successes of London 2012, and the Tour de France visiting Yorkshire next year, interest in travelling by two wheels has rarely been higher.
Schools, colleges, local councils and employers are all always looking for more ways to make their students and staff healthier, and using a bike every day is a great way to keep fit which also doubles up as a mode of transport, and this activity can be easily incorporated into a daily routine. Research has shown that cycling to work boosts productivity as well as health – and it could also free up space currently used for parking cars.
But, of course, if there is nowhere for bikes to be stored safely under cover, there is unlikely to be much take-up of riding – and that’s where cycle shelters come in.
If you’re considering installing high quality facilities for cycle parking, there’s more to bear in mind than you may have realised. Here are some of the things to take into account:
● The more visible your bike shelters are, the more people will be encouraged to use them.
● · Your shelters also need to be easily accessible, and, ideally, located within no more than 30 metres of the final destination – whether that’s the school front entrance or business reception.
● · Users need to feel safe using bicycle shelters, so well-lit spots are best, especially in winter, and they also need to feel that their machines will be secure.
● · Bike shelters also need to be easy to clean and maintain, with stands that fit most makes of bike.
● · It will also help if the design of your shelter is attractive, and sympathetic to its surroundings.
● · There should be enough covered bike spaces to comfortably fit everyone who cycles, including some left over to encourage greater take-up of the activity.
● · If cycle shelters are covered, this may encourage greater use of these facilities.
● · Clear roofing materials allow greater surveillance, and enhance feelings of security, while also reducing the need for extra lighting.
● · Bear in mind that sometimes bike racks or hoops may be sold separately from the shelter itself.
● · Think about what materials you use. Steel, for example, is very strong and robust, and can be galvanised to protect against the elements and prevent rusting. It can also be power coated to any colour you choose, to fit in with the environment. Check the product’s life expectancy before committing.
It’s also worth noting that to be truly effective, bike shelters should go hand in hand with other cycle-friendly facilities at a school, college or place of work. These could include buddy schemes where colleagues or pupils ride in together, showers, lockers and good changing facilities, as well as somewhere to dry out web outer clothing.
Discuss the overall style of your shelter with all decision-makers, and those who will be using the facility. The Internet is a good place to start researching different solutions. Learn more about the best way to increase the life and reliability of your bicycle, on this website: www.betterhomeguide.com