Monday, November 7, 2011

Domestic Cycling Infrastructure—on the cheap

A grand thing about cycling is that in many ways it is remarkably economical. The purchase price of a new, fully-equipped Dutch bike is nothing to sneeze at, but once that is done, many of the things that follow are pretty reasonable. True, when I finally decided on some rear panniers the cost was commensurate with the quality and durability—but in every other area, it has been remarkably un- “budget-busting,” from finding decent rain-gear on sale (who needs the latest?) to my solution to the parking issue in our garage.

I have a very small garage, built for something like a Model T. With a car in the garage much of the time, there is not a great deal of room for anything else. Just having a bike, ready to go, in the same space was a little bit of a challenge. There wasn’t enough room for it to rest on the kickstand (the current stand requires the bike to lean at too great an angle), and propping it against the wall resulted in a few occasions when it fell against the car as I was loading it. Hmmmm. I could purchase an expensive bike stand… or, I could jury-rig a solution using an eye-bolt and a bungee cord I already had. Presto! A way to keep the bike upright that is effective, easy on the paint, and very inexpensive. No big deal, of course—just another example of the way cycling tends towards simplicity and satisfaction.

With the bikes I own, I could leave them out of doors all the time and they would fare OK. Garaging them just makes it a bit more convenient, and allows me to keep them dry and close to the small amount of “gear” involved. Having it all fit into a small space is an added bonus.

Have you found any ways to do some “Domestic Cycling Infrastructure” on the cheap? I’d be interested to know.

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