05 August 2010

San Francisco Bicycle Parking

bicycle parking San Francisco
Sent in by a friend, this image was taken outside Public Cycles in San Francisco. I think this may be the most elegant outdoor bike parking I've ever seen. It's almost as if they're surfing bikes, paddling out to the break.

What do you think? Parking or sculpture?

UPDATE: Thanks to D in the comments I now know this is called a Bike Arc.


m e l i g r o s a said...

I saw this long ago in the silicon valley and thought it was a little too much. what's wrong with plain old racks, the more the merrier.

Dominic Dougherty said...

I think this is a Jeff Selzer (of Palo Alto Bicycles) design! Fantastic. I love bike racks... so much nicer, more convenient, and cheaper than bicycle parking facilities.

Girl on Bike said...

Elegant yes, but not very safe. It looks like you can only lock up one wheel and not your frame at all. I wouldn't trust it.

Charlotte said...

Meligrosa - The ones we have in Boston smash my wheels! At my office we have racks that separate the bikes by a few inches and I do appreciate that my bike is not attacked by people who care less about their bikes.

Dominic - I better go look up Jeff Selzer, it's a very elegant design so I'd like to see his other work.

Girl on a bike - All three of those bikes are locked at their rear chainstay, but it looks like you could lock through the chainstay and rear wheel if you wanted. Traditional racks only allow one wheel to be locked (usually the front!), I carry a cable lock for my other wheel.

dr2chase said...

So, #1, looks like the side rails need to be a little longer to accommodate a cargo bike (with a longtail, most of the cargo weight is in the rear, and more or less rotates in place, so it's not hard to use, and actually really a good idea),

and #2, would something like this be of any use to your friend? This would not be an outlandish thing to build out of plywood, given time and plenty of clamps to hold the curve.

kfg said...

So where do you park your loaded bike?

Velouria said...

I would not be able to life the bikes I use for transportation to the extent required by this structure, so the arc would not be practical for me.

Charlotte said...

kfg, what kind of load would you leave parked? I suppose you might haul bricks or some other heavy, low-value item?

Veloria, I believe the goal of the arc is that you roll your bike up the track, the arc is supporting much of the weight the whole time.

We have hanging storage at my office and you're meant to roll the bike up the wall, which helps a great deal with the weight. However, it still has a 90 degree turn to manage. This arc eliminates that initial "heft" of the bike to vertical.

dr2chase said...

kfg and Charlotte,

When my bike is fully loaded, I am normally on my way somewhere to unload it. Otherwise, assuming a load that is not a theft-magnet (i.e., beer or my bag), I simply lock the front wheel to the frame -- the bike's going nowhere. It's all I can do (when stopped loaded in traffic) to scoot the rear wheel to one side or the other lifting on the stoker bar. So the locking issues for other bikes, are not as large a deal for cargo bikes.

If my bag is in the load, I remove it. It does not stay in my car, either, it is worth more than the car. If I am stopping with beer, either I don't stop long, and/or in a "really good" neighborhood, and/or I throw some junk on top of it.

There's much discussion of security on the various cargo-biker mailing lists, and the consensus seems to be:

- thieves are after particular commodity items, not necessarily the stuff that is valuable to you;

- don't be stupid (beer, GPS, bike lights, laptops, untethered saddles advertising their Brooks brand);

- for whatever reason, the loaders on the Xtracycle back end seem to have an ability to render your load non-descript; maybe thieves see it and assume that we're all just bag people;

- perhaps in line with the bag-people thing, if I KNOW I am going to be hauling many pounds of stuff, chances are I am not doing it in a jacket and tie. Loads roll pretty easily, but you sure don't sweat less (except downhill). Doesn't mean I don't ride my cargo bike in nice clothes (jacket drapes nicely over the deck, yes, I have done this), but when real cargo is an issue, I dress a lot more like a contractor or handyman.

- we benefit a lot from weird and different. How would you fence a cargo bike? And there's little stuff that helps; old style xtracycles, the rails just slid in, but modern ones have mechanical collars that keep out water (galvanic corrosion, more certain than theft) and prevent casual disassembly.

For reference, assuming a well-behaved load (main weight low and forward of the rear axle, held tight), 50 lbs allows no-hands riding, 100 lbs is merely sluggish up hills. Because the weight cg is typically at most about a foot forward of the rear axle, and is already about a foot-plus off the ground, this arc storage would work really well -- worst case, you lift it about a foot, in the process of rolling your bike "forward" 5 or 6 feet.

Simply Bike said...

Oooh, beautiful. S.

MamaVee said...

it's beautiful but I would have trouble even with the rolling aspect of it. I kind of fail at bike racks though.

She Rides a Bike said...

I love the design, which solves the problem of the rack inhibiting pedestrian traffic. The rack is out of the way but not in a way that diminishes the importance of its purpose. Just last night I and another bicyclist had to place our bikes parallel to a bike rack on a narrow sidewalk because correct placement would have completely cut into the pedestrian area and forced walkers into the street. So a rack that should have accommodated 8 bikes on each side could only hold 2 - 3 bikes on one side. What a waste.

Cris C. said...

I like that the racks at least show some thought for accomodating long full fenders. One of the problems that I have with vertical bike storage (ie. the hanging racks they have in the Portland rail) is that it can cause one to scrape their fender as they heft the bike up to the hook. This idea, at least, tries to strike a nice compromise with reducing the footprint through vertical-ish storage while acknowledging that some bikes will still have stuff trailing off the back (fender, chainstay kickstand, etc.)

Charlotte said...

I park vertically at home and at work. I've found that a strategic thigh to the saddle helps bump up the bike enough that I don't often scrape my rear fender. It's become autonomic now.