Bike storage is a much-discussed problem, especially in cities where many people live in flats and space and access are limited. I’m exceptionally lucky at work that we have secure underground guarded bike parking and access to 12 showers which well exceeds demand. I probably wouldn’t be too concerned about leaving my bike on the street near work in any case, but near home there are far fewer bikes on the street, and far fewer passers by removing any sense of security. Even if it didn’t get stolen, I would worried about vandalism if I left it out overnight, not to mention the damaging effect of the elements.
Fortunately, although we live in a flat, we have a back garden and the plan has always been to somehow secure the bike back there. We did lots of research into various bike boxes, but these proved difficult as they needed a concrete base to be placed upon and our garden has paving. We eventually discovered the Shed Shackle. As you can see above, this attaches along one wall of the shed, and then lets you chain your bike to the shed itself. The key thing here is that the shed shackle is fitted with shear nuts, and cannot be removed. To get the shackle off, they would need to actually saw or smash through the back wall of the shed or take the entire back wall. Hardly a discrete operation. Since getting into our garden involves climbing over an 8′ gate, or climbing through three neighbouring gardens, this would be pretty tough carrying a bike attached to a large proportion of a shed wall, and I cannot envisage anyone bothering to do this to get my bike, which whilst important to me, is probably worth about a tenner sold down the pub. Coupled with a chain that’s almost too heavy to lift and a padlock the size of my head, it seems pretty robust, without any messing around with concrete.
Now clearly the test is simply “will my bike get stolen?” and the only way the Shed Shackle could really prove its worth is if someone broke into the shed and didn’t manage to get the bike. Until then, it’s all hypothetical. Nonetheless, I feel confident that we’ve got a decent solution; easily as good as having the bike in a communal hallway, behind a front door which is only secured with a Yale lock.
Last night was spent scrubbing the communal hallway wall that had been desecrated by my handlebars, tyres and pannier rack, and it creates a far better first impression now without my bike cluttering things up. What’s more, at the weekend I plan to move all my bike junk out to the shed – baskets, pump, spare helmet etc, freeing up more vital space in our flat. I also no longer have a watering can in my bedroom or a barbecue and two deck chairs in my front room.
Yes, I do in fact love my shed.