Robert Hanks: The Cycling Column

The cure for my home bike-storage agonies
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Indy Lifestyle Online

It's about time this column had a sprinkling of the fairy dust of celebrity, and Wayne Hemingway has been on TV often enough to count.

He is, along with Paul Smith, our most prominent cycling fashion designer - with Smith it's racing cycling, while Wayne is an about-town cyclist.

Until recently, he was riding "the bike that I rode at university. I rode every day from Wembley, where we rented. It was a sit-up-and-beg boneshaker. It was 20 years old at least when I first used it".

But last month, to mark Bike Week and Architecture Week, he led an architectural cycling tour of London, and was rewarded with a Ridgeback Genesis ("not a mountain bike, but with roadbike wheels - really lightweight, and I love it").

He and his family do most of their cycling near their South coast home. "We bought our second home in Perth, Australia - it's the ultimate cycling city. The cycling along the Swan River is a dream."

He's also involved in urban design, and is on the judging panel for the Reinventing the Bike Shed competition. He's even made his own contribution to the RtBS show: a cure for my home bike-storage agonies.

"When we were doing the housing development, we thought we should deliver a decent shed. Trying to find a good shed that was affordable and not cheesy and not flimsy was difficult." Hence the Shack Up shed, designed specifically for cyclists who have small gardens.

Most sheds work on the assumption that you want to be able to wander around inside. The Shack Up prototype on show the other week (we are promised other models) would take four adult-size bikes leaning up against one another.

Tacked on to the end was an upright storage compartment for compost, trowels and bicycle pumps, while the roof will take plants, to forestall complaints that the shed is taking up valuable growing space.

"The design has come out of necessity, and that's always a good thing." It's a nice-looking shed, made from Finnish sustainable timber. They should be coming on the market in the new year; at the moment, you can look at designs on the website, shackup.co.uk, and there's an e-mail link to register an interest. It's very close to the bike store I've always dreamed of, and would build if I were remotely competent.

A couple of e-mails from readers seeking help with gadget hunts. Soren Sjolin, happy owner of a Reevu helmet, featuring built-in rear view mirror, wants to know if they are still being made.

Also, Paul Ashbrook loves the brake light he has fitted to one of his bikes (activated by the brake arms rather than pressure on the lever) and would love to find one for another bike.

I'm torn about these. I can see the point of them, but they both seem to be ways of trying to turn a bike into a car. Still, for Soren and Paul's sake, all sightings will be welcome.

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