With winters in this part of Germany relatively mild, it seems that everyone has and uses a bicycle – which means there are parking issues.
Many people ride their bike from home to the train station, where they lock it up for the day as they commute into Freiburg. Some people take their bike with them on the train, but then they still have to find a parking place when they get to their destination.
No matter where you park, there are issues. Most train stations have ample parking spots for bikes, but they aren’t very secure. I have heard several stories of bikes not being there when the person came back for them.
That may not be a big deal if your bike is something you picked up at at flea market for a few Euros, but, given the hills here, many people own e-bikes. Those motor-assisted bicycles can set you back thousands. That’s a lot to entrust to a $20 lock and chain.
A couple of weeks back in Schlingen I noticed that some smart person has come up with an alternative. This past weekend I noticed the same thing in Mullheim.
For a fee, which I resume is exorbitant since it isn’t listed on the website, you can stash your bike in a secure metal box, for a day, a week or however long you would like. It stays safe from the elements and is much less likely to get stolen. (I’m sure the box people would say impossible to get stolen, but you never know what a determined thief and some dynamite could accomplish…)
Most people still use the bike racks provided by DeutschBahn. After all, those are free. Still, it is always nice to see that someone comes along to fill a need, even when you didn’t know there was one.
I wonder if they have these boxes in Canada? Probably not – I can just see them freezing shut on the first day of winter.
Not that many of us cycle at minus 30 in a metre of snow. I don’t think Germans believe me when I talk about Canadian winters – the reality is beyond them as they cycle on snow-free roads year-round.