300 members at $100 per year each gives $30,000 annual revenue. $4.5m to build at say 6.5% costs $300,000 annually.
Great for the cyclists but who’s going to put up the capital? Yeah I know someone will argue for all sorts of soft benefits and savings like less greenhouse gas, less congestion, and less obesity treatment. However, you still have to find someone with a heap of cash lying around that they don’t require a return on. Most of the councils I know would rather invest in more parking meters, speed cameras and spin doctors (to justify rate increases.)
Kudos to those who’ve managed to pull it off though.
Sometimes an MBA is a curse.
Re: Who pays?
Thanks Paul, you’re entirely right, temples for cycling do not add up financially if you look at them as you are. But what if we look at them the way we view war memorials, the Sydney Opera House, or statues of famous people? If my city, Newcastle Australia, were to have something iconic built to attract people to live here, I would love that iconic work to be a bike station.
I’ll go along with the icon idea for now*. Here in Wanganui we have the river and coastline (which cost nothing) to attract people.
On the topic of cost I was flabbergasted that they managed to blow $4.5m on a 140-bike bike shed. I guess they thought they were building an icon. I reckon I could knock one out for less than $200k. Get the cyclists to turn up and raise it in a day Amish style. Then it would pay for itself.
*Although there’s a debate to be had that viewing cycling as pragmatic might be more useful than viewing it as iconic.
Oh Dr. Squire, you are reacting as I am right now, to inner city Sydney residents, and Brooklyn yuppies, decorating their streets with toy cycle paths to remind them of their time in Copenhagen, protesting outside the climate change summit. They are being climate snobs. Worse still they glare daggers at those of us who REALLY go places in lycra.
Are you seeing me as a city snob thinking $4.5m on a near useless structure puts a small city above a regional center?
Cycling has power these days, so everyone wants to control it, I guess to raise their own property prices. Fascinating stuff!
Thanks for the doctorate (LOL), I wish it was that easy. Although for the time & money I invested in Lifecycles* (which was ruinous) I guess I could have got one.
As an undergraduate I was impressed for a while by an argument that all the art galleries & concert halls could be closed if we could only shape everyone’s everyday work environment such that it encouraged the fullest artistic expression. However, looking at the huge range of human talent I suspect we probably do need special places for the likes of Mozart & Gauguin. I’ll need quite a bit of convincing before accepting that the bicycle needs such a place though.
So do I think you’re a snob? I’ve read much of your blog as I shake off this flu. On balance, I suspect that your approval, if approval it was, of the Longbeach icon ows more to the architect’s id than its reason, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. Anyway, for a wealthy city perhaps it does fit and I am being too precious. I’ll give you aesthetic but I’m not yet prepared to say snob. Post a photo of yourself retaining your best sartorial look while cycling up a steep hill in the pouring rain amongst diesel fumes hurled about by a gale and I’ll never say snob.
*www.lifecycles.co.nz (must take the website down sometime)
Sir Squire sir, if I may buy from you one of your wondrous contraptions at or near to cost price, I would be forever indebted. They are truly marvewous, absowootely marvewous. (Funny voices aside, a fully enclosed recumbent—no e-assist for me please, would be awesome!!!)
It looks like a can’t be a snob in your eyes. Though I don’t have photographic evidence (it’s a little hard to arrange) I relish hills, rain and gale. An in Winter I do it plain clothed — though with the MC Hammer pants and climbing jacket over the top. I am considering an Oxford rain cape from Brooks
to retain more aplomb, though fear gale force winds might blow me over.
I wish you a slow recovery, and thus plenty of time to finish this book 🙂
Velomobiles are very much in the “early adopter” phase of their product lifecycle. They are all built one at a time in sheds by penniless enthusiasts so the difference between cost and retail is tiny. That was part of my problem – Aerorider had plans to scale up for low-cost high-volume production in eastern Europe that never eventuated. I have none left but you have a couple of good choices in Australia:
What I do have is a rowingbike that I am servicing and cleaning right now in preparation for sale. If your lycra-clad weekend excursions are not exceptionally hilly you will be instantly 40% faster and it will bring your core and upper body to the party that only your legs currently celebrate. Something near NZ$4k plus $400 to cover my air fairs coming over to show you how to use it should cover it. Actually there’s be no GST so it could be a bit less. I’ll be taking photos etc shortly and will find a way of getting you first refusal if you like.
Just when I thought I was obsession free, I find this:
Sorry, I can’t think about rowing machines now I’ve seen this 🙂 The video on this page makes them look like the wiggles out for a bunch ride. Point taken about cost of manufacture. Contraption captaineering is plainly a labour of love.
I understand the obsession! I did think you might have gone this way though: http://trisled.com.au/aquila.asp and not just for reasons of style, 26kg is very impressive for a velomobile. The gold standard model (http://en.velomobiel.nl) is 34kg+.
I look forward to the sartorial velomobilist appearing on your blog.
I totally understand the obsession! Although I wondered if you might not have ended up at his Avatar (trisled.com.au/avatar.asp.)
It’s a toss up. Though it would be faster, and as kooky as hell, it costs considerably more, and I would worry about claustrophobia. The nicest of all is this little baby:
where from and how much? Oh, and could I have it in the actual size and proportion of a real car, so I can hold a lane without drivers thinking I don’t have a right to?
Your architect’s eye has seen what I saw, a glimpse into an Eden of the future. The Aerorider is a true masterpiece, an archetype that most will only recognise as such with hindsight in 25 years time when velomobiles are more commonplace. It is Adam and Eve making love. It proclaims its right to be on the road not by its size (although it is larger than most velomobiles) but because it is a sacrament that instantly penetrates and captivates the subconscious of all other road users.
But it is not divine, it is a human construction. As an architect you may begin to imagine the engineering challenges it contains. The lifting canopy is especially problematic. The manufacturer (Bart) is now focused on a simplified version called Sunrider, but without the canopy Adam & Eve are no longer making love, they are having their first row.
The Sunrider is of course much easier to manufacture, and it is profitable. Nonetheless, I believe I could convince Bart to dust off the molds and make you an Aerorider. I sold one into Canberra that would be the nearest one to you. I can’t give the contact details in this forum so contact me offline.
I tried a cape some time back and concluded a raincoat was better, with MC Hammer pants if it was absolutely pouring. But if you really want a cape, why not this:
I guess one reason could be the £450.00
I surrender. My future lay in aeroglides and dashing tweed capes. What say ye for the headgear, truly, all jokes about yakkay and pith helmets aside?
It’s a problem.
Two possibilities if wearing a suit:
1. Bowler hat
To go with a tweed outfit: Sherlock Holmes http://www.bobbinbicycles.co.uk/epages/rzjy48f9ghvy.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/rzjy48f9ghvy/Products/HELM18/SubProducts/HELM18-001
A full on equestrian look (very special occasions only I imagine and you’ll need a red jacket.)
Problem is no one wears hats anymore so anything is going to look at least a little OTT
Two possibilities if wearing a suit:
Western look is, maybe, more every day.
For tweed perhaps the Sherlock Holmes.
My money’s on a derby when suited and a western for the weekends, with jeans & T shirt. I suspect this may be the best today’s world offers us.
silly me, not thinking of riding hats. Snow skiing helmets are another cool place to look. “Australian Standards Approved” helmets are compulsory here, but the testing procedure has come under fire. So we’re bracing for a new test, and having to throw out our helmets are buy even more expensive ones. This BS stops lots of people getting bikes who would like them just for short trips.
Are your cops smart enough to notice that it is an equestrian standard sticker? I doubt ours are.
ps. feels like the flu is all but over now. I’ll keep lurking though.
Hopefully I’ll have something worth reading and commenting upon next time you’re sick. Hand washing is highly overrated I hear.
Bike parking at Waikanae Railway Station, Wellington. A lot cheaper than $4.5m.
By all means, build facilities that look like feeding troughs for people to park German cars in. But a prestigious mode of transport, such as cycling, deserves much much better than that I’m afraid.
Thank you for sharing this worst-practice example.
We are all looking to you Dr Behooving to come up with the truly ELEGANT alternative as the conclusion to your extensive research. And we urge you to extrapolate your own advice re individual cyclist’s capex when doing so, which would appear to mean about $500 per bicycle stored. If you end up spending $32k per bike the resultant icon to Dr Behooving will merely further the limitation of cycling to a small niche of snobs. You will of course convince whoever pays for it that it is an icon to cycling, but we will know better. And we believe you will do better.
$500 per bike, usable and elegant. Go for it! We are standing by to be moved behoovingly.
On 0.5K per bike? Council car parks cost 20K per parking space, AND take up huge swathes of land, and add to congestion, ill health, global warming, oil prices etc etc etc. You will think this is an ambit claim, but I’m going for 100K per bike 🙂
I merely extrapolate your own budgetary recommendations Dr Behooving.
Oh gee, I am so bad with numbers! If I may put it this way though: cars were once the exclusive purview of the rich, until increasing affluence gave the common man the chance to look rich, with a car of their own. It helps cycling, long term, if cycling is seen as out of everyone’s reach. Make cycling, and everything associated with cycling, as expensive as possible, and it will appeal to a consumer society. By all means let the poor ride Huffys from K-Mart and chain them to trees or whatever, but it is that person looking at the cyclist from the window of their rusting German car, who we want to make jealous
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