Sunday, January 20, 2008

Finally time for bike trees in U.S.?

From (Portland), 01.19.08:

A New Tree for Stump Town
Until a few years ago, commuting by bike was my preferred means of getting to and from the daily grind. After a few weeks of experimenting, I got the process down to a science: a permanent set of clothes at the office to change into (recycled whenever I drove in but at least weekly). The ride to work was only five or so miles--mostly flat or down hill--so I arrived smelling reasonably sweet even on the warmest summer mornings. Then, at the end of the day, I'd head out for a 25 mile ride home, up and over the West Hills.

About the only flaw was parking my bike. I had to bring it into the office and stuff it away in corner. Now, having changed the company for whom I work and locations - my Portland office is in one of those gleaming towers around town--bringing my wonderful Trek into the office isn't possible. And I'm not about to leave $4,000 of carbon and high tech aluminum wheels sitting outside just anywhere.

Enter Bike Tree. This energy efficient, solar-powered device makes for safe and reasonably attractive bike storage...The Bike Tree has the added advantage of getting bikes off the street and out of those ugly fence-like bike racks. The design can make for a pleasing architectural addition to a promenade or courtyard. (Read more.)
Since its introduction in Europe, the Bike Tree concept has yet to catch on in any communities in the U.S. I'd guess the barriers might include the capital costs, maintenance expenses of the technologically dependent facility, and chronic lack of visionary creativity among urban planners. Perhaps their introduction in the U.S. will happen not at a municipal facility, but at a corporate environment: a profitable, eco-conscious, bike-encouraging company with an extensive office campus and eager for favorable green publicity opportunities. Did I hear someone mention Google? Anyone?

All I can add to the benefits mentioned by this writer is the shade potential of the Bike Tree, which has to be attractive in communities with hot summer temps, like Sacramento, or Mountain View, or elsewhere.

Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site


Grendel said...

While at first glance this seems like overkill, then I realized: All the little accessories like blinkies and headlights that can run a pretty penny are secured by this method.

Fritz said...

The Googlers all roll their bikes into their offices, in spite of the availability of secure, covered bike storage.

Anonymous said...

Great new innovation for storing your bike, now all they need is a way for me to store my Tadpole Trike. US rider