Storage for 150 bicycles at Bike Park. Photo: Bike Park
Whenever we do a story on bike commuting there'll always be a commenter concerned about what happens when they arrive at their workplace. How do they scrub up from a sweaty or rainy ride? Where do they safely and securely store their bike? And all their cycling clobber?
Fair questions, but for potential city work riders in Melbourne, Australia those excuses have been made redundant, with the opening of facilities such Bike Park. Recycled from a former nightclub, Bike Park offers room for 150 bikes to be stowed indoors. As well lockers, showers, fluffy towels, right down to hair straighteners, ironing boards, fresh coffee and bike servicing.
Some of the facilities at Bike Park. Photo: Bike Park
Being located around 300 metres from the main city train station of Flinders Street riders can enjoy the benefits of secure parking and showering for about a $10 casual fee close by to their office. Or they can become a Bike Park member and get lower long term rates.
James Chong, co-proprietor of Bike Park, who took up cycling in his late 40's on the advise of his doctor, has some competition in Melbourne for his services, in the Bike Boutique chain, who offer similar options at the other end of the city.
Bike Boutiques can be found in 10 countries, from Germany to the Philippines and most provide to their sticky clientele what they call BikeLodging.
But The Age newspaper quotes figures from the Melbourne City Council suggesting that about 7,000 commuting cyclists arrive in the Central Business District (CBD) during the morning peak at last count. So we trust both businesses can manage to sustain a roaring trade as riders discover their services.
James of Bike Park is of the belief that just as workplaces often provide car parking, they should consider the option of sponsoring, or at least subsidising, the cost of bicycle parking for employees, as cyclists make for productive staff. And research seems to bear this out, as we mentioned the other day with our little post on Five Benefits of Cycle Commuting.