project: Bike Gutter

After spending three weeks studying bike planning in Amsterdam, Brian came home with a bunch of great ideas for making our biking lives easier and more fun. One of the ideas he was most excited for was building a “bike gutter” on our stoop so we don’t have to carry our bikes up and down every day. Bike gutters are super popular in cities where multimodal travel including bikes is more popular, but are pretty rare in the U.S.

World's busiest wheel gutter.. Thanks to ProPhotoSupply.com for sponsoring this trip!
World’s busiest wheel gutter in Copenhagen

We picked up some long scrap wood with a groove at Rebuilding Exchange, and some finishing nails at Home Depot this weekend. The planks weren’t quite long enough to span all the steps, so we decided to leave one step open at the bottom and one at the top.

We used two chunks of thicker scrap wood to hold the gutter in place at the top and bottom stairs so it wouldn’t slide up or down when we used it.

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The finished product turned out really well! I could tell Brian was really disappointed in it, but I think it was a great way to figure out what elements of the design were important to us before we dropped a ton of money on supplies that didn’t work. We learned that we need a deeper groove to hold our wheels in place, longer wood to reach the very top and very bottom stair, and a wider base in case our wheels jump out. For only spending $6 on scrap wood, I think this was a great weekend project, especially considering that Brian’s been itching to build this since August!

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