Bike storage/parking in HK

Hi all,

Short introduction;
I'm a graduating student in the Netherlands (cycling paradise compared to Hongkong), who's been offered the task of designing a recumbent bicycle for the people of Hongkong.
Now, as these bikes are normally quite large, and probably allways are an additional bicycle (next to a standard or racing bike), I was wondering how you manage bike storage right now?

I've read (also here on Batgung) that parking bicycles outside (in public places) is illegal and parking in stairways/halls of buildings or parking at car parks is also often illegal. I've heard some people store their bikes in the trunks of their cars. If so; what cars do you have? How do you stuff an ordinary bike in there?

So, if you (would) own several bicycles, how do you store them? Where in house are they put? Do you have any additional tricks for storing them as compact as possible? If you could illustrate this via a photo, I'd really appreciate this!

Please do not refrain from giving (any!) suggestions, or telling me what's most frustrating about your current situation or bikes. Your wish is my command ;)

Your replies may help me design a very practical bicycle; easy and compact to store! The bike would eventually be offered via (Science Park, N.T.)

Thank you very much!
a Dutch student

Bike storage

This is an excellent and timely question.

Just this week the Family Tall received the happy news that we have been allocated a bicycle parking spot in our housing development. It's in a musty, hot storage room in the estate's basement, but it's indoors, and it's ours for six blessed months (at which point we must entrust our parking place to the vagaries of fate, because they do a lottery every six monts to allot the places!).

Bike parking is actually a huge problem here. There are some designated public areas, often near public housing estates, but these are very basic. The include just some simple fences or railings that bikes can be locked onto, and nothing else. They are typically open to the elements, which means that bikes parked at them deteriorate quickly, since the climate here is not exactly friendly to metallic objects. These public parking areas are often clogged up with abandoned bikes that have rusted down into complete wrecks. Some people do attempt to cover their parked bikes with tarps, but this isn't common.

Most people (including my family) have to come up with more creative solutions. Many of us buy foldable bicycles, i.e. bikes with a joint in the frame that allows them to collapse into a much more compact form. Daughter Tall has just such a model, and we've been storing it, folded up, on a bay window in one of our bedrooms. Other people hang bikes from hooks on their ceilings; tie them up to the entrance gates of their flats (this is impossible for many of us, however, as it violates the terms of our leases/property management contracts); or, indeed, keep them in the trunks of their cars.

A very few people in HK have their own garages, which solves the problem, but even those who have parking spaces for cars often are not allowed to store a bike in that space as well.

So you've hit on an important issue, since if you design a bike that will require a car-sized parking spot, it will incur a lot of expense for many potential buyers.

Readers, what about your bikes? Where do you keep them?

Bike storage, with photos

Batgung swings into action!

I went hiking today, and walking out from Tung Chung I passed this official bicycle park. It's outside one of the groups of apartment blocks.

As Mr Tall points out, it's a graveyard for bikes. Lots of flat tires, rusty chains, and other indicators of deceased bikes.

The first attempt at using a railing obviously wasn't a great success:

But, safety in numbers! The railings of this pedestrian / cyclist flyover are festooned with bicycles way into the distance. It's got a roof too, as an added bonus.

If you're looking at mass-market adult bikes, they are almost all found in new towns (like Tung Chung), where there are cycle paths that make a bicycle a realistic means of transport. In Kowloon or Hong Kong island, adult bicycles are few and far between - either indestructible delivery bicycles, or enthusiast racing / mountain biking bikes.

We live on Hong Kong island. Our problem is our daughter's bike. We keep it in the apartment, but want to make sure it :

  • doesn't scratch things, or get oil on them
  • won't fall over, or bump the children as they play

I ended up cutting slots in a couple of wooden boxes we had, so the bike slides inside them. (The bike still has trainer wheels, which stops it from falling over.)

I'll be interested to see what solution you come up with.

Regards, MrB


Thank you very much guys; this is great!

Your replies mean a lot to me and will be used as input for my design criteria. I hope I can use these images for my report and presentation?

As to your interest in what I might come up with; I can't tell you right now (of course; it still needs to be designed ;) but it's also still confidential).
At the end of this year, I'll probably be able to tell you more about it :)


Thanks again!

re: Bike storage

No problem to use these images, as long as you note as the source, ... and promise to let us know the result of the project once it's no longer confidential!!

regards, MrB