20 Aug Looking After Your Bicycle
Cycle shelters are simply a place where a bicycle can be safely parked, and where a shelter from the elements is provided. They are typically found in schools and places of work, and may also be found at some public buildings. Cycle shelters can be open, or they can have gates, which can be closed securely for added safety and to prevent theft. They can have a few storage racks, or many, depending on the need for bicycles to be parked.
Cycle shelters are usually open on all sides with a transparent canopy to protect the bicycles from rain, hail or snow. The racks where the bicycles are actually parked are usually made from tubular steel, shaped to support the front wheel of the bicycle. This means the bicycle can simply be pushed into the rack and left there. For added safety, a chain and padlock can easily be threaded through the rack, securing the wheel, to prevent theft or unauthorised use.
The canopy that provides the actual shelter part of cycle shelters is often made from PET, or Polyethylene terephthalate cladding. It may also be made from PETG, or glycol-modified Polyethylene terephthalate. This material is what most people would term plastic, but it is a plastic with special properties that make it ideal for use in cycle shelters where there is long-term outdoor exposure to whatever the elements that make up the British weather can throw at the shelter.
PETG cladding is a co-polyester, a clear amorphous thermoplastic. It is extremely durable with considerable stiffness qualities. It is also very had and very tough, being able to endure a lot of knocks over its lifetime. It can withstand surprisingly high impact forces, which means that maintenance can be kept to a minimum. The material also has a high resistance to acids and salts, as well as oils, making it very suitable for public outdoor use. However, PETG does not incorporate a UV inhibitor, which means that the full force of the sun’s rays get through. This should not be a problem, however, for cycle parking.
A safe and secure cycle storage facility can be a welcomed addition to any place of work, school or public building etc. We are all aware of the impact our carbon footprint is having on the atmosphere and swapping our cars or public transport for cycling, is one way in which we can help to do our bit for the environment. Parking your bike in a cycle shelter is usually free and not forgetting of course that cycling is a great way of keeping fit.
If your place of work, school, college or local library for example doesn’t already have a cycle shelter, it could be something worthwhile looking into which will benefit the whole community.