Cycling has lots of gimmicks, but today I saw something very cool indeed - a genuine solution to the problem of cycle parking.
More specifically, the problem of providing lots of cycle parking in a small space; the "ecocycle - automated cycle storage" system. I'll dive right in. A user wishing to park their bike presents it at set of mini lift doors, swipes a card and then it is whisked away and one goes about their business. No faffing with locks and no worry about leaving your bike.
Ecocycle's unit in London is the only one that that the Japanese supplier has provided outside of the country. The unit I saw was an above-ground demonstrator, but the unit can be installed underground as well and take 204 bikes with just the entry unit on the surface. Take a look at their website for lots more information.
Tucked away in a side road, the ecocycle unit is a cylinder with
bikes stored on racks stacked on to of each other.
You can just make out the multi-storey parking through the
windows of the building.
The groove is where you put your bike/ collect it.
And with the swipe of a card;
Your bike arrives in seconds.
The bike is held until you step on the pad next to it
where it's released. Leaving or picking up in 13 seconds.
Clearly, there are all sorts of locations this could go and the underground version can hold 204 bikes, but it is especially exciting for new build schemes where not only could the space be for residents or workers, but extra capacity available for public rental. Do have a look at the website or follow them on Twitter.
My thanks must go to Nick for hanging around on a freezing Sunday to show us the system and for Jonathan from the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign for arranging the demonstration. I'll leave you with a little video;