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How do you do….Bike Storage?

How do you do….Bike Storage?

Where the “Second Car” ought to be. (yay no 2nd car!)

It’s spring cleaning time and I’ve decided to tackle the garage first. Mostly because the bulk of my “possessions” (not clothing, books, or kid things) are in the garage….aka, my lovely bikes ūüôā

 

(See: Ella, Daisy, Galaxie, Gino (which is actually a long term loaner to the Hubs, but he still counts), and Free Loading Bike (a mountain bike who shall (for seriously) become my winter-ish bike). Not to mention the Foldy Twins, Damien’s Spider Man bike, and Liliana’s Trike. Oh…and 2 different trailers (one of which was turned into a storage center so all bikey bits stay in one place.) Some of these are admittedly in various states of needing work to be rideable)

I’ve hit a road block though. I’d like to find some more cohesive manner of storing them than stacked along the sides in a non-accessible way. Currently if I wanted to work on my Galaxie, I’d need to move at least 3 bikes, plus or minus a few kids bikes or parts.

The biggest problem I face is that I have a huge garage that I’d like to make as multi purpose as possible (aka on a rainy day, moving the mom-mobile and letting the kids ride around in the double garage would be fantastic). However, with my bike collection currently the opening is close to that of my van. So…not exactly great riding space.

Current options in stores or online seem to be aimed towards either apartment dwelling or bicycles with straight top tubes instead of my plethora of step through variants.

My biggest hindrance at this time is cost and time. I’d like something affordable and safe, but also don’t want to spend a month building something that will require me having to ask for tonnes of help. (aka my dad just left from a brief visit yesterday and I’m gonna guess he’ll be hesistant to come back out if his first “project” is bike sorting).

Current options that I am considering:

Canadian Tire sells simple vinyl coated hooks, meant for bike storage. They’re incredibly affordable ($0.94 each) and I’d like to think when used properly, would easily support a bicycle. I’m thinking some sort of staggered hook placement that each bike would need to be measured for before hand (thus every bike in it’s place?) but I’m not sure if my garage has the right spacing between studs to allow this to be done quickly and easily or if I’ll be building around them to make it work. (I guess this means going and measure precisely which bikes need which space and which can go where?)

My dad suggested using a pulley and some hooks to haul bikes up to the rafters. At first I thought this a brilliant idea until the only hooks I could find were a: uncoated or coated with an abrasive substance¬† and b: definitely not going to work for any bike except possibly Gino. So yes, he’d be up and out of the way, but he’s also the bike Hubs prefers to “ride”, aka foot along the paths with the kids with, so it’d be slightly impractical to put him up except for in winter.

So how do you store bikes? In home or garage? Did you build something up or do you do the “stack along the wall” method?

((ETA: Upon browsing Canadian Tire’s website for a link/photo of the desired cheap hook I found this:¬† Bicycle Lift. Anyone used something similar? It looks like it might actually work for all my bikes, which would potentially mean that, assuming they all are similar enough to not require adjustments all the time, it’d be a viable option to at least keep whichever is the currently least used bike up “out of the way”.))

What a lovely day.

What a lovely day.

(This post is actually cowritten by Angel and Deborah with additional photographs by Nicki.)

Yesterday afternoon we went on our scaled-down suburban¬†Critical Lass¬†ride. It’s the first weekend of Fringe Fest, and it was women-and-transgendered day at EBC BikeWorks, and some people were probably nervous about leaving the city’s central neighborhoods by bicycle, so we had a smaller group than last time. Miss Sarah has already blogged about the ride from her perspective – if you haven’t already seen it check out her post too.

We met up at the playground closest to Deborah’s house, in a subdivision where the houses are a mix of faux-Victorian, -Georgian, and -Craftsman houses, like Halifax or Victoria rerendered in vinyl siding and concrete. We like it because the sidewalks, front porches, and garages placed on back alleys make it a more pedestrian-friendly area than the typical suburban front-garage development. Some of the bikes you see in the photo above belong to other families who had brought their kids to the park.

Bert isn’t fixed yet. So, we put Audrey’s trailer-bike on a borrowed 1980s CCM 5-speed named Violet (Thank you Monica!!! -D.). As you can see in the foreground of the photo above, Deb used basket straps to put her antique egg crate on the front – which really affected the steering once it had a heavy purse and water bottles in it. (I don’t think I’ll use the crate that way again, as pretty as it looks. -D.)



Angel adding some air while everyone chats.

Winnie’s coaster brake isn’t fixed yet, so Nicki borrowed Mary Poppins and Deb’s polkadot helmet for the ride. Both bikes have 28-inch wheels and coaster brakes, so it was a good way to get her back in the saddle. This was her first time riding a bicycle in nearly ten years. Felt good, didn’t it, gorgeous?

Angel rode Daisy. In the end neither of her kids came – Damien was hanging with his grandparents and Lili needed a nap. Notice the green purse in the milk crate that matches one of the shades of green in her floral dress. Dress and sandals both from Reitmans (different seasons) purse is from random mall luggage store. Would LOVE to find a lovely belt to make the dress less poofy (even though the poof comes in handy while biking in the heat, yaaaay built in “AC”). – A.

Sarah was kidless too, thanks to the older LRT cars not being able to accommodate a child trailer without taking the child out and folding it up. We can’t imagine doing that solo with a wiggly baby! Here she has just put a CL pin on one of her polka dots. LOVE the skirt and the pearl necklace.

These women are effortlessly chic. Marilyn was wearing a beautiful shirt-dress with a pop of ruffly colour underneath. So classic. (I can’t wait ’til my Uniform Project shirt-dress arrives in the mail. -D.)

Of course it is all about the shoes. Clockwise from top left: Sarah in shiny patent leather; Audrey in pink and Deborah with bows on; Angel’s new silver flats; and Marilyn’s divine Dr Marten’s heels (covet!).

Just kidding. It’s also all about the bikes. Here is Sarah’s road bike at rest, with a Brooks leather saddle and reflective super-skinny rims and the beautiful Po Campo bag she’s been trying out.

Mary Poppins awaiting action. Look how pretty the white saddlebag looks with the white vinyl saddle!

Audrey (the only child who ended up coming) didn’t feel like staying at the playground, so we were quickly off on our ride and didn’t stop at any of the other four playgrounds on our route (yes, four). We headed to a strip-mall area with a lot of cafes and restaurants and neat little shops. On the way, we were riding mostly on residential streets, where one driver was unconscionably rude, and a few were clueless about driving around bicycles, but many were great.

We parked our bikes at the library. It was disappointing to see so few racks in a relatively newly-built area, when ¬†according to the bylaws they should be more. Guess we’ll need to call the mall’s management and ask some questions? Then we sat in a franchise cafe and had iced strawberry lemonade and a wide-ranging chat. During which we totally forgot to take photos. Oops. It was delightful to be able to all sit at the same table this time and really get to talk. Unfortunately Sarah and Marilyn needed to take off after the cafe and head back to the LRT, so they didn’t get to shop. Also, the locally-owned toy store has just closed this location (much to Audrey’s disappointment). However, Angel found a great locally-owned kitchen tool shop where she can register for her wedding. Score!

Audrey took this shot of Deborah in the cafe’s washroom. She is wearing windowpane-check bermuda shorts from Ricki’s, a ruffled scoop-neck t-shirt from Old Navy, a thrift-shop straw-and-leather bag, a gold-plated necklace and fabric flower from Anthropologie, a cloche from local Etsy crafter Sugar Soul to cover the helmet-head.

Audrey did magnificently, especially considering that it was only her second time riding without training wheels (her first was the day before when we were testing the trailer-bike on Violet). We walked the uphills because she felt unsteady when I had to stand on the pedals. We think she’ll be riding without training wheels on her own bike by the end of the summer. Oh, and yes, she did choose her outfit specifically to go with the pins for the riders, then lavishly accessorized it Fancy Nancy style. -D.

Attempted panda shot. I am wearing an older sport-style helmet that has never fit my head properly. It is actually not possible with the way it is shaped to get it to sit over my forehead… but it’s a decent slightly-small backup when loaning helmets to friends who forgot theirs. – D.
View of downtown Edmonton from the bridge over Terwillegar Drive. It’s rather pretty, except for the freeway and utility poles in the foreground – and it gives a nice idea of how sprawled out this city is. Our location here is about halfway between the inner ring road (the Whitemud) and outer ring road (the Henday).¬†¬†

Taking pictures at the end of the pedestrian bridge.

Nicki, Deborah, and Audrey walking up the hill. Angel was able to ride up with Daisy’s 6 speed!
They made it!!

Nicki and the downtown view.

Despite being on the outer edge of town, many of our city’s suburban neighborhoods are blessed with a well-planned system of multiuse trails, and most of them have sidewalks as well. Wide roads with two lanes in each direction on the collector roads make it less nerve-wracking to take the lane when needed than on some of the narrower roads in the city’s core, and some of the¬†collector roads are having sharrows painted on them¬†that will help to make road-sharing more of a habit for suburban drivers. It may not be practical to go completely car-free, and it takes a little planning, but we think that using a bike instead of a motor vehicle so that you’re driving less often is totally doable in the suburbs. Not to mention fun!

To end the ride we headed back to Deborah’s, where some other friends with children met us for a barbeque. Good food and good friends, what could be better?

Daisy Chain (almost literally)

Daisy Chain (almost literally)

HAPPY BIKE MONTH EDMONTON!!

In an effort to embrace our bike community and get the word out there even more, I’m determined to get daily (or as close as I can get to daily) blogs out regarding biking in our city. Some of them might not be Edmonton related though, as I have a few covetable/unique things found on the internets! Anyway, I think I can do this, think of it as a Na-Ni-Wri-Mo thing, only bike related, and in June because really, who doesn’t want to bike around all summer long?

So I’m in the process of testing a bicycle trailer to haul my kidlets in. Damien is 5 and Lili is almost 2. Together they only weight approx 70 lbs together so technically can both easily fit into a trailer with weight allowance for say lunch or some groceries, or toys (or all of the above and then some!)

The kids, Daisy, and me, about to adventure!

Last night I attached the borrowed (aka soon to be purchased if it works with both kids in it) trailer. Damien’s helmet was “hidden” (pretty sure he’d put it “away” somewhere his sister couldn’t get it) so we literally just went quickly down the drive way of our condo complex. It was definitely a different experience though. I could tell that Daisy needs a good cleaning again after our windy dusty “spring” (read: dust blowing into garage onto what was once a pretty clean bike).

Observation: The kids are SQUISHED. (see photo)

These are actually happy faces, but more like “Why have we stopped!”

Second observation: The seat caves in a wee bit, hence the EXTRA squishiness. I’m not sure if this is something the kids will learn to have to deal with or if there’s a way of solutionizing this?

Thankfully though, this allows for “oh look we need more milk” runs without strollering. Also school runs will gloriously be speedy and exercise filled! Sure there’s only like 10 classes left, but still, it’s a future. And plans for more park exploration are on the horizon. There’s a very very awesome park a few neighbourhoods over (I’m talking massive green area, huge selection of climbing and swinging and kid-being) and I’d love to NOT be the parent who has to drive there to make it before nap time.

Things learned though: Lili LOVES (and I do mean LOVES) bikes. Recently we ran across a wooden balance bike (that I just checked the price on and sighed desperately) and had the funds (and store) been available, would have been now ridden to exhaustion, and back. She has since tried to sit on her aunt’s road bike (perhaps another post…) and tries to climb onto her tricycle all the time. Bike collecting in our house? Going to be popular!!

So I’m wondering, do any of you have any experience with bike trailers or even biking with 1 semi self-reliant training wheels required boy and 1 definitely needing containment almost 2 year old? I’d like something that I can at least attempt to use most of the year long, but I know winters here are going to be pushing it when it comes to biking.

Comments are MORE than appreciated!