02 March 2009
Bike parking is always Wellcome
Hooray! Bike parking has at last gone in outside the Wellcome Collection on Euston Road, another of London's overlooked but splendidly visitable free attractions (right).
It follows a few months of gentle persistence with emails, trying to persuade the Collection to persuade the council, and it's worked, so hooray.
Three Sheffield stands isn't much, and already they're full, with spare street furniture still being used as overflow parking. No doubt a Wellkom Collectie in Amsterdam would have space for 23,000 bikes and their cafe would sell you spliffs as well as five-quid paninis. But it's a start.
And it's better than shackling the bikes up to the only available railings, which are in the middle of Euston Road, putting you at the mercy of heat-seeking wing mirrors.
Inside, there's a spacious entrance hall with an Antony Gormley hanging upside down from the ceiling and a nice cafe and bookshop (right).
Upstairs are the collections. They include gee-whiz interactives that can measure your height to within one metre and your pulse rate to the nearest hundred. There are also great activity areas for kids and childish adults like us.
There's a large room of cases full of medical implements used for hacking diseased offal from Regency paupers, ancient Japanese sex toys, historical artificial limbs and so on, and in the main gallery (right) there's a model showing what happens if you eat chips every day and don't cycle.
But a black mark nevertheless to the Wellcome Collection for not mentioning bikes at all on their website.
Just up the road, the British Library's visit-us page, by comparison, is very positive about bikes, highlighting their excellent cycle parking (right) and even giving you tips on how to use the tfl.gov's route planner to best effect.
But then it should do, seeing as I edited that page.