There are any number of ways to measure the popularity of bicycle commuting, most of which involve surveys, like the Census. But Jim Sheehan has another way: the rate of use for Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op’s secure bike parking service, which is offered at major events in town. Volunteers from OCBC and Cleveland Bikes staff a kind of bike corral, where you can check your bike in and know that it will be there, safe and sound, after the event. You don’t have to pay to park, or drive around the block looking for an available spot.
At this year’s parade the Circle, he says, 250 bikes were checked into the valet bike corral — a 20-percent increase over the previous year. He says they’ve had increases each year the service has been offered.
OCBC and Cleveland Bikes are offering free, “valet” bike parking at this year’s Ingenuity festival, too, which — if the weather cooperates — could be the busiest bike-parking event yet for Sheehan. In addition to a parking space, they offer service: a free safety check, tire pressure check, and chain lube. Hours are all day Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. The entrance is off Prospect Avenue on Brownell Court.
Sheehan cautions that while biking to Ingenuity saves parking cost and hassle, there are still safety concerns — especially if you plan to stay all day and tip a few beers. “You’re required by law to have lights if you’re going to ride home after dark.” In case you don’t, the bike parking corral will offer inexpensive lights for sale.
And of course, biking while intoxicated is dangerous and not recommended. “You can get a DUI on your bike,” Sheehan observes. — Michael Gill