I got an email at uni late last week, telling me that there was now a 'secure bicycle parking facility' available. You beaut, I thought, after all, just locking the bike to a fence isn't overly secure ... as well as being against the university rules.
So today I dropped into security and got my ID card upgraded to give me access to the 'facility'.
Now in fairness to them, I should point out that the 'facility' has a high fence, you need a swipe card to enter it, it's covered and has has good quality racks to hang your bike from. Sounds wonderful doesn't it.
Well ... after I carried my bike up the flight of stairs to get to it , I hung my bike on the rack ... and realised that there was nothing there to lock my bike to. Sure, I can lock the front wheel to the rack but as we all know, there's no value in coming back to find your front wheel still locked to the rack with the rest of the bike gone. I looked around, the other half dozen users all had their bikes sitting on the ground, locked to the supporting structure. So I did that ... only the steel beams used to make the structure are only just small enough to get a U-lock around. I managed it eventually, turned to leave and saw that the gate was still wide open. That's right, it's not self closing and while I appreciate a gate that doesn't behave like a rat trap, I can see someone walking off leaving the whole thing wide open.
Ah well, at least they tried. Yes, an email has been sent and I await the gush of justification.
I'm glad I'll be finished there in a month. Once that facility gets popular, I can see there being few places to lock your bike on the ground and if you do, you'll have some idiot hang his bike off the rack and leave it resting on your bike underneath. I've already got three bike locks so I'm not going to invest in another ultra long cable just so I can use their stupid racks - it's probably back to the fences for me (fortunately, it's not a 'high crime' campus).