Change Over: bike stations provide conveniences a cyclist needs along the way (Photo: Nick Bastian Tempe, AZ on flickr)
A relatively new trend as utility cycling gains in popularity, bicycle stations are designed to accomodate the unique needs of cyclists. They may be standalone buildings, or areas set aside at bus- and trail stations in downtown or suburban areas or even at international airports.
They may be for commuters continuing on to the office by foot or public transit or for travelers continuing on their journey by bike.
A well-designed bike station will include most of the features described below.
Bike Parking & Charging
New Millenium: the recently built Millenium Park Bicycle Station in Chicago, IL (Photo: Mr. T in DC on flickr)
A bike station should provide first and foremost a range of indoor and outdoor supervised and unsupervised bicycle parking, respectively, available on a short-, mid- and long term basis including bike lockers.
As the use of electrically assisted bicycles grows, the demand for facilities to recharge the batteries will also increase. Current and future bike stations would do well to provide electricity from renewable energy sources (solar, wind, biomass or geothermal) for charging pedelecs and ebikes at a reasonable rate.
Green Power: pedelec batteries are recharged using a renewable energy source (Photo: electricbikee.com)
Showers & Changing Rooms
Change is Good: a bike station should provide lockers and changing facilities (Photo: Wildcat Dunny on flickr)
In addition to parking facilities, bicycle station will provide facilities for commuters and travelers to freshen up before beginning or after ending their trip. This includes showers and changerooms as well as washrooms.
Tube Station: vending machines in cities can sell replacement parts for cyclists (Photo: PresleyJesus on flickr)
Cyclists often need replacement parts at the spur of the moment. Rather than facing the high cost of operating a staffed store selling parts, a bicycle station should include one or more vending machines to satisfy demand for such parts.
In fact, vending machines not only at bike stations, but also at bus terminals, railway stations and airports can provide a convenient service to cyclists by offering:
- inner tubes
- tire repair kits
- folding tires
- air pumps
- bicycle tools (alan keys)
- front and rear LED lights
- AA and AAA batteries
- replacement halogen light bulbs
- wheel spoke reflectors
- cycling cloths (shorts, socks, caps)
- rain gear (ponchos)
- nutrient bars
- energy drinks
- local maps
Maps on Demand: vending machines at bike stations can sell cycle route maps (Photo: motionReferences on photobucket)
Food as Fuel: cyclists will appreciate healthy snacks and drinks over junk food (Photo: romanketchup on flickr)
Food is a cyclist's fuel and every cyclist needs energy replenishment. A restaurant, cafe / bistro or snackbar at a bicycle station or via adjacent food courts in intermodal stations provides a gathering point and important social component not offered by vending machines.
Of course, cycle friendly retailers and other services will be interested to set up shop near a bike station to cater to cyclists.
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