bikebritain Says January 10, 2012

How difficult should it be to store a bike?

This is a story about sheds. Or rather, a tale about a growing collection of bikes..... 

When we moved into our house we inherited a couple of very sad looking lean-to's that were well beyond their best. Not the type of buildings you would want to keep anything precious in......like a bike. One of the first things we invested in during our first Summer iin Shoreham was a shed. I had not owned a shed before (let alone a house) and I think there's something inbuilt in men that means they are predisposed to like being in them. It's our space, where our 'stuff' is, whatever that might be. It was large enough for the bike, mower and my increasing collection of wood offcuts (left-overs from my growing DIY exploits). To be honest though, the lock wasn't very good and I progressively started to leave the bike in the conservatory. That was much safer. Plus I slept better at night, knowing 'precious', the Specialized, was safe.
This became the status quo for a while; an accepted convention between me and my wife that the bike lived in the conservatory. Until baby Brendan came along. Bringing a baby boy into the world was a truly wonderful event. However to someone who had not much experience of children (and much less so of babies), you don't quite realise the scale of change that is ahead of you. One of these changes is the amount of 'stuff' that you suddenly require, and with it, space. Like, space where the bike used to go. 'Precious' was under threat by the new born. I supposed, fair enough. So the bike went back into the shed. In-between time, the other pair of motley outhouses had been removed, but it got me thinking. Maybe we should get another shed, more secure than the first, where my bike, my wife's bike and the MTB could live. A dedicated bike shed. 
Time passed and I didn't progress this idea until we decided we would buy a bike trailer rather than invest in a second car. The catch was we needed somewhere easy and accessible to store the trailer, hence the notion of Shed 2 reappeared. Shed 2 duly arrived, thus allowing us access to the bikes from the drive. Perfect. Just enough room for the trailer and both MTBs hanging on opposite walls, plus a few other related bike bits and pieces elsewhere. Not enough room for my road bike though. That remained in what we now called Shed 1. So Shed 2 had become a solution for some challenges but not others. At around this time I purchased my single speed bike. Now I had 2 bikes living periodically back in the house (did I mention that?) instead of Shed 1 or 2. Not completely ideal though because as the boy got older, so his curiosity developed - and bikes are very interesting to someone exploring this new world........ just read 'oily hands everywhere'.
Until recently my bikes have been living in Shed 2, simply because it got impractical to have them anywhere else. I had not been happy about this though, so I suggested to my wife what we really needed was Shed 3. The ultimate in bike sheds. Where just my bikes would be stored. This would allow us to get in and out of Shed 1 without breaking our necks on something as well as moving some clutter out from Shed 2 which frankly (and somewhat irritatingly) wasn't really big enough for the trailer and MTBs. And the buggy. And his ride-on car. And the bike box. And the other pram we don't use now. Get the picture?
Of course, Shed 3 would also allow me enough room for, yes, you guessed it, another bike! Having already got a racer, a single speed bike and a MTB, I decided the gap in my capability list was a racer fitted with a Shimano Alphine hub. A Winter bike if you will. After some internal debate, the Winter bike, a Genesis Day One, was bought. This now lives in Fort Knox, sorry, I mean Shed 3. 
1 child. 3 sheds. 5 bikes. 1 trailer. How do you arrange them? Well as far as Shed 3 is concerned, I bought a bike rack for them from wiggle. Ironically it also takes up quite alot of space so there's no way anything else will be stored there. I am not sure I can say too much more about it (the rack), other than it's of sturdy metal construction and with enough room (!) (front and back) it will hold 6 bikes upright. It cost £60. It's black. It will do the job. The point is though, the bikes have a proper home. Now the only thing keeping me awake at night is my son, not the thought of my bikes being in the garden. The way it should be. 
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