I Hate Parking

OK, I have issues. Parking issues. I’ve had them as long as I’ve had a driver’s license. Basically it’s this: I need to know where I’m going to park before I ever start the car. And if I don’t know, well, then I’m not a happy camper. And if I get to my destination and find that I have to hunt for parking, well, them I morph into really-pissed-off camper. I do manage to keep all of this to myself. If riding with me you would only notice an expression of anxiety on my face. But inside? Hoo-boy!

This is one of the reasons that I wanted to change my driving habits when I moved to Springfield five years ago, i.e. I wanted to do a lot less of it.

Today I drove downtown again — the second time this week!

My permanent office on campus will be ready by the middle of August. So I’m packing up my downtown office. Today I needed to transport a load of boxes. And I’ve been thinking all morning that, yes, I do believe I will think very seriously about a cargo bicycle for next year.

There is a lot of bicycle parking downtown. And there will be more soon. Car parking? Well, the city brags about 6,000 spaces. I don’t care. I hate parking.

It’s for sure the quality of my life started getting better the day I decided to use a bicycle as basic transportation.

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Comments 15

  1. robert wrote:

    As someone who has used a few different types of cargo bicycles I can tell you that none of them compare to a bikesatwork trailer.

    They hold hundreds of pounds, handle wonderfully and are much safer IMO than any cargo bike or trike that I’ve seen.

    Yes, those cargo bikes look cool when you see a woman in Amsterdam hauling her 3 kiddos in one at 9 mph but strap a bookshelf to one and you have an unstable death trap.

    My two cents. If you want to haul anything from a washer and dryer (at the same time) to a few boxes than the trailer is for you.

    If your trying to make Springfield Copenhagen Chic then go with the bike but just remember that you will be hauling a lot less stuff.

    My two cents!!!! FWIW

    Posted 23 Jul 2009 at 11:29 am
  2. Andy Cline wrote:

    Robert… I appreciate your perspective. And I’ll certain consider a trailer. Is there a website?

    Posted 23 Jul 2009 at 11:49 am
  3. robert wrote:

    http://www.bikesatwork.com

    The 96″ would look GREAT behind your redline!!

    Posted 23 Jul 2009 at 11:52 am
  4. Andy Cline wrote:

    Thanks! I’ll take a look.

    Posted 23 Jul 2009 at 1:07 pm
  5. Steve A wrote:

    Speaking of parking, don’t you just park in your office? I’ve never noticed a post on “in office” parking here.

    Posted 23 Jul 2009 at 5:28 pm
  6. Andy Cline wrote:

    Steve… While my office was downtown I parked at the rack right outside the front door of the building. On campus there are two racks outside the building I’m moving to.

    But, I am planning to take the Brompton some days, so I’ll be taking it in ๐Ÿ™‚

    And, yes, I should talk some about alternative parking options — including taking a bicycle inside when there is no good parking available outside.

    Posted 23 Jul 2009 at 5:36 pm
  7. Steve A wrote:

    I almost invariably park in my office, behind the door, though I contemplated a change in policy when our freight elevator broke and I had to carry the thing up to the third floor…

    Posted 23 Jul 2009 at 7:00 pm
  8. Kevin Love wrote:

    I will also vouch for the efficacity of a bike trailer. Not to mention that a bike trailer is vastly cheaper than buying a cargo bike.

    I favour the Wike trailers. Their Large Lockable trailer takes an amazing load of cargo. It also solves the problem of what to do with the stuff I bought in the first store when in the second store. I just leave it in the locked-up cargo box. And it is about one-fifth the price of a cargo bike. See:

    http://www.wicycle.com/

    Posted 24 Jul 2009 at 3:36 am
  9. Abhishek wrote:

    Xtracycle. Nuff Said!

    Posted 24 Jul 2009 at 6:29 am
  10. robert wrote:

    What I’m trying to convince Andy to buy is a little different than a xtracycle or a smaller trailer.

    Here is a picture. One of the great things about this trailer is that its designed to hold those size tubs without straps…at least one layer of them.

    I have hauled a washer and dryer (together) on this trailer without problems.

    The most I’ve had on it was 500#’s and even though its only rated for 300# it did great.

    You need a tough rear wheel and LOW gears.

    http://tinyurl.com/coj8lp

    Posted 24 Jul 2009 at 9:00 am
  11. Abhishek wrote:

    Robert,

    A trailer like the one in the picture is great for big stuff, namely washer and driers. I prefer the xtracycle for the simple fact that it rides like a regular bike where ever I go (sometimes 14 miles into downtown) and instantly transforms into the bicycle equivalent of a truck when I want to haul larger stuff. With the wide loaders and long loaders, most boxes, cartons and long loads are taken care off. The xtracycle is rated up to 200 Lbs.

    Moreover, all of it neatly fits in my second floor apartment and isn’t heavy enough to haul up the stairs.

    http://www.sheksfootprint.com/my-bicycles/l-640-429-e9846967-6d06-40e3-b51f-f1ae323e79b9jpeg

    Posted 24 Jul 2009 at 12:28 pm
  12. robert wrote:

    I’ve ridden an xtracycle and I think they are very cool. Nearly every xtracycle owner I know is very passionate about it and I think that speaks volumes for the product.

    However, I prefer trailers for a variety of reasons but thats just my take.

    You are correct that the large trailer is fairly extreme. I have a burley flatbed that I use much more often.

    Posted 24 Jul 2009 at 1:32 pm
  13. Andy in Germany wrote:

    I’ve wondered about making something like that for hauling big stuff (as getting one from the US would cost $$$$) It’s good to hear thes are reasonably stable.

    But Xtracycles are cool for small stuff. And Kids. and shopping… etc.

    Posted 24 Jul 2009 at 1:42 pm
  14. Abhishek wrote:

    Robert,

    I have thought about the idea of using my dog trailer as a cargo trailer. It needs some modifications for a floor board though. The floor is soft. The trailer is rated at 115 Lbs.

    Posted 24 Jul 2009 at 2:27 pm
  15. MamaVee wrote:

    I am so with you on the parking issue. I hate parking. I think it stems from my fear of driving and dear of parallel parking even though I am actually good at parking a car. Mostly it’s because I have to search for a spot and thus keep driving when for me the idea of driving is so I can travel in the least amount of time-i.e. be in my car the least amount of time…. When I can’t park I get mad.

    When I bike I get happy. Today saw someone almost get a parking ticket and I was so happy my bike was parked across the street and I had no timeline to move except my own schedule.

    As for the CArgo bike discussion. I dig em all. Love my trike cargo. but I cart kids, not washers ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Posted 25 Jul 2009 at 1:38 pm