I mentioned a couple of Cool Hunting links in my last post, so I will go ahead and throw out one more. Recently, they posted “Five better bike racks”. Some of the racks in that post are interesting, but out of the five, I like the Horseshoe Rack from Creative Pipe the best. Why? Because it is a variation on the tried and true inverted-U design, which is, in my opinion, the most functional design around. I like some of the artistic, sculptural bike racks that I have seen and I think they have their place, but really many of them function more a public art than as efficient bicycle parking solutions. To efficiently park the most bikes in a limited amount of outdoor space, nothing on the market beats the simple Inverted-U design.
Of course, saying that the classic design is the best so far doesn’t necessarily mean that it is impossible to create something better. Any of you who think you can do so should enter the NYC CityRacks Design Competition. What is in it for you? Well, the City of New York will use the winning design as the model for the next generation of City bicycle racks. Also, Google may install the rack in its New York City headquarters. The cash prizes might entice you as well; $10,000 for the outdoor winner and $5,000 for the best indoor solution. Registration for the contest is already open and ends on April 30th, so register at the site and get to work. Before you start, make sure to check out the design guidelines for the competition here.
If any of you are thinking of entering a concept, I should warn you that PCM at the Astoria Bike blog thinks he already has this contest in the bag with his submission, the standard NYC parking meter. Though I must admit that the parking meter photo on his post did get my attention, I still believe that there may be a better way to park bikes. I do, however, agree with his point that racks designed to hold fewer bikes tend to work better than those designed to hold many. I guess that is why I dislike those ribbon racks so much. Have I ever mentioned that before?