Bike ‘Shrooms

23 09 2010

Something different has been popping up near the new student residences on campus.

Mushroom-like hanging bike rack.

My initial response was “that’s so awesome!”

I told a friend about it who demanded we head out on a night time mission to investigate this new species of bike rack. The first thing we did was try to put my bike up in it, and the second thing we did was determine that there was no way we could mount my bike, or any bike with front fenders, onto the wheel holders. These racks weren’t looking so well thought out, after all. Our interest piqued, we set out to do more investigating.

Unassembled bike mushrooms.

There were more bike mushrooms, some assembled, some not yet, at least 6 in all. We did not find any other types of bike racks in the new development (hopefully there’s some on the way).

My companion demonstrates the structural integrity of bike mushroom caps.

I found the tops of these to be the most visually striking aspect of the new racks, but they won’t be visible from ground level once they are installed. The design also doesn’t allow for securing the wheel and frame with a single U-lock, even though it looked like it would be really difficult for a thief to detach a wheel, which was one of the few positives. I appreciate the idea of a sheltered bike rack very much, but when I checked back at the rack on a rainy, blustery day, I found wet seats. Rain never falls vertically in this town, and I consider fenders to be a necessity at times. I’m not even going to get into how much of a pain it can be to lift bikes into hangers every day. If these are the only bike racks going up, it will be a huge disappointment for a supposedly green development.

Anyway, remember to lock your bikes up properly, everyone. Don’t end up like Bruce.

And watch out for your fellow cyclists, too.