28 January 2010
Parkinson's Law of Cycle Storage
Estate agent Ludlow Thompson have started putting prominent 'how to cycle here' links on properties advertised on their website. They seem quite keen generally on the bike thing, with positive bike features on their website. They're the first estate agent we've noticed that treats cycling as a significant factor for the buyer, and obviously we're all for it.
On similar lines, a recent article in the Independent reckoned that cycling convenience - mainly parking possibilities but also route access - is becoming more of a factor for buyers.
It points out that cycling levels in London have risen dramatically since 2000 "partly thanks to Government efforts", which is an interesting use of the word 'partly', and of the word 'efforts'. Now, it's the sort of article that comes round every few months and should be taken with a pinch of salt - which is about all our local council have left for the next cold snap - but it's something, I suppose.
Bike storage in London is a problem, especially in flats. We're all familiar with the hallway assault course, where you have to vault a Brompton, snake past a Dawes Galaxy, and limbo under the handlebars of a Dutch bike just to get to the bog.
In new buildings it's particularly bad: Southwark Cyclists' experience is that developers get away with providing as little bike storage as they can, with councils are reluctant to pressurise them. No doubt market forces would work better, so let's hope that house descriptions begin to make more of cycle storage possibilities where they exist, and make it a routine part of house details.
Was bike storage information provided on our house details, even though we are lucky enough to have a small outhouse perfect for the purpose? I don't know, and to get to the box in the cupboard under the stairs they're stored in, I'd have to shift cratefuls of old mudguards, spent inner tubes, worn saddles, disused handlebars, and tangles of oxidised ironmongery of no clear purpose. There must be a Parkinson's Law of domestic cycle storage: however much room you have, cycle stuff expands to fill the space available.