There’s probably a lot of people out there who would ride their bike to work, but... there’s nowhere to park it outside, they’re not allowed to bring it inside, their workplace doesn’t have a shower, and/or there’s nowhere to leave their riding clothes during the day. Any of that sound familiar? Penny Farthing, an Australian company that specializes in bicycle parking solutions, is attempting to address all of those problems with something it calls the Green Pod.
The Green Pod is a little structure that contains wall-mounted parking for ten bikes, along with ten lockers, a shower and a change room. There’s also a larger version that has 28 parking spaces and lockers, with two showers and two change rooms.
Both versions are designed to operate off a 12V DC electrical system that can be powered by roof-mounted solar panels. They also have a solar hot water system, an electronic locking system, motion sensor-activated LED lighting, timed showers, and a self-cleaning mechanism. An included water treatment unit processes the used water, which can then be discharged into green areas.
The Green Pod is an excellent example of the growing worldwide bike station movement. Bike stations are buildings, or parts of buildings, set up in urban areas to accommodate bicycle commuters. They usually offer secure, attended bicycle parking, along with showers, change rooms, and lockers. Some of the fancier places might also include things like bicycle supplies and repairs, air pumps, and drinking water. Users typically pay a fee, usually through a membership.
Penny Farthing’s Mark Rossiter tells us that there are currently Green Pods installed in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. North American readers might also want to check out the California-based Bikestation network of... well, of bike stations.