What does a cyclist look for when they’re searching for a new house?
I moved house recently and it got me to thinking. It got me to mainly thinking about how useless solicitors are. But anyway. It also got me to thinking about what sort of requirements us cyclists look for when looking for a new house. My wife is a cyclist too, which helps when drawing up a list of cycling-specific demands.
It also made me think about all the hardships and hassles that cyclists have to put up with when living in bike-unfriendly places.
Location, location, location
Boring. Cliche. But 100% true. A great house in the wrong location is a bad idea. We already lived in the area where we were looking for a new house. It’s hilly. There’s lots of quiet roads. There’s lots of off-road trails. It’s a great location for cycling.
I’ve lived in city centres in the past and while that’s all well and good for non-cycling stuff for a while, there’s nothing like being able to hop on your bike and go for a ride from your doorstep.
We’ve never lived anywhere with proper bike storage. Pokey cellars with death-defting stairs. Small yards with microscopic sheds. Narrow kitchen pantries. Having to bring bikes through the whole house. Using un-read parts of the Sunday newspaper as oily driptrays underneath sopping bikes. We’d had enough of that sort of thing.
Somewhere with a garage was perhaps our number one priority. Our house has a garage AND a big shed so we’ve really lucked out there. We’ve got so much bike storage that I guess we’ll just have to buy some more bikes.
Inspired by this house move I wrote a blog with some bike storage ideas.
An outside tap. With a hosepipe attached. Sheer luxury!
No more attaching a hose to a kitchen sink tap and having it explode and spray everywhere. No more neglecting to bother to clean our bikes because it’s just too much hassle.
Somewhere to hang and dry all the huge piles of clothes that we get through as regular cyclists. A lengthy clothesline in the garden for most of the year. An internal clothesline in the garage for winter. Somewhere for a tumble dryer to go.
We’ve had enough of using every radiator, every chair, every banister for hanging perma-damp clothing from.
For watching live-streaming of bike racing. And for instant uploading of rides to Strava.
No downstairs carpets
Even with the best will – and best training – in the world, the fact is that if you’re a cyclist you’re going to trample a bit of dirt into the house. Sometimes you just have to nip in to kitchen or hallway for something whilst wearing your cycling shoes.
Bike-friendly removal firm
Some cyclists would probably prefer to deal with the transportation of their bikes themselves. Particularly if the bikes are delicate or shiny shiny new. My bikes are a bunch of battered old tanks so I wasn’t too precious about them. That said, I did make specific inquiries as to how the removal firm would be transporting them.
What about you? Are you looking for a house? Do you have any tales of woe to add about previous moves? Leave a comment below.