Janet (j4) wrote,


Dear manufacturers of bicycle parking stands,

In the grand scheme of comparative widths, bikes are reasonably narrow. This, in the urban jungle, is probably a distinct evolutionary advantage; the humble bicycle can squeeze through small gaps in traffic, park halfway up lampposts, and when necessary be carried down flights of stairs, all with only medium inconvenience, shin-barking and car-scratching incurred by self and other road/pavement users.

If, however, your locks are designed such that the front wheel noses into a cosy metal fitting, to which it might be imagined that one might want to lock one's bike, then unless one has a tactical bike-lock which can be fired at the wheel area and activated remotely, the situation changes; suddenly the svelte vélo has a somewhat less streamlined pedestrian attached at one side, sticking out like the proverbial sore digit which is no longer a mere metaphor, being almost certainly about to be acquired in actual, painful, bicycle-cursing reality.

No amount of pie abstention, however dedicated, is going to render me sufficiently skinny to fit my frame in a space smaller than required for that of my bicycle -- though the contortions I am required to perform to fit myself between two bicycles might in other contexts be considered useful exercise towards that fat-free goal. In the meantime, what action would you advise -- other than extensive cussing, or resigning myself to acquiring an array of bruises (these latter options form the current two-pronged strategy), or simply parking elsewhere (not always possible in the heaving cycle-congested metropolis)?

Yours faithfully,
Tyred of Cambridge.

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