Being an avid cyclist means that when renting or buying a home, there are certain factors you should take into consideration.
The type of neighbourhood and the type of property you choose have become important considerations for cyclists, as the sport grows in popularity, both as a recreational activity and as a means of transport.
Here are some of the main aspects cyclists should consider when starting their search for a new home.
Secure storage for your bike
With high-end bicycles costing many thousands of rands, having a place to store them safely is of the utmost importance especially since this is a major consideration for insurance companies when determining whether to cover you or not. In addition to that, bicycles require protection from the elements, like the harsh African sun and rain, which can cause them to degrade quickly.
The storage solutions that tick the boxes for protection and safety are:
Lock up garages. These are ideal to store bikes. If space is at a premium in the garage you can consider using storage systems that make sure the bike is out of the way. For example: a hoist system to store bikes on the roof.
Outdoor sheds or Wendy houses are another great place to store bikes so consider whether the property has space to erect one. These will require very good padlocks or other locking systems.
If you don’t have access to a garage or Wendy house, or space is at a premium in them, bike storage may be trickier and will require a nook of some sort to store the bikes out of the way.
Weigh up the pros and cons about living in an apartment, versus a house, versus a townhouse, to figure out which is more convenient for your cycling habits. It’s a good idea to make this decision first, before you even begin your property search.
If you’re looking at an apartment, find out whether it has a lift that you can use to transport your bike in. The last thing you’d want to do after a long ride is carry your bike up a few flights of stairs.
If you’re considering a townhouse, find out if there is a communal area where you can store your bike safely.
For homes, driveways are something to think about - certain driveways should be avoided, such as very steep driveways, or stony driveways that make cycling difficult.
Cyclists are particularly vulnerable when out riding, and are being increasingly targeted by criminals, so it’s worth investigating how safe an area is beforehand.
Ways of doing this would be to visit the local police station and ask about the area, research the area’s crime rates online, visit the local cycling community’s forums and keep tabs on the goings on of the neighbourhood.
Routes and trails
When choosing a home, a neighbourhood with good cycling routes or trails is a great benefit to a cyclist. Take a drive around the area to scout out some scenic cycling paths or roads, depending on which type of cycling you’d prefer. For a cyclist that rides purely for enjoyment, quiet roads or paths are preferable to ones that have high traffic levels. For a more serious cyclist, bike lanes are ideal, or nearby mountain biking trails, depending on the cyclist’s needs.
An active cycling community
Cycling is a social activity so moving to an area with an active cycling community that you can get involved in is very desirable.
Pay attention to the area where your home is situated and research to find out whether there are cycling clubs in the area. Some areas have bigger cycling communities and finding such an area would be a great benefit to your cycling, as these communities can provide information on the best routes, latest races etc.
Many cities now cater to cyclists, and coffee shops are making themselves more bike-friendly by adding bike parking facilities.
Neighbourhoods with places for cyclists to unwind and have a bite to eat after, or even during a ride, are a big drawcard for an avid cyclist.
As South African cities become more geared to accommodate cyclists, finding a home or apartment ideal for someone who cycles
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