Sustainable cycle parking at the Sustainability Centre?

One of favourite stops, the Sustainability Centre, is planning to transform their 'tired, old, inefficient MoD building' into an eco-friendly, state-of-the-art New Learning Centre.

Update: They've already raised £21,500 towards the £25,000 they need to apply for planning, so they just trying to raise the last £3,500. We can earn them commission at no cost to us when we buy online at popular stores like Amazon, John Lewis and many more! It all works through Give as You Live.

More details at, or go directly,, where you'll see them under their official charity name, Earthworks Trust. But of course they'd love any other donations as well.

I hadn't realised just how much they do, from education for schools, universities, teacher training, to camping, bee-keeping, recycling, ecology, forestry, nature, and lots more. Our cafe visits barely scratch the surface. And if the hill-climb to get there is too much for any of us one day, they can even do us a green burial 🙂

It's a big, high-profile, multi-million pound projectSustainability New Learning Centre that will need big funding from the lottery and other sources. And that could help unlock funding for better cycling routes to get there.

They've asked informally for our input on cycle parking. And unusually, in advance! They know we don't like wheel-manglers, but what would we like? We've said cyclists like to be able to keep an eye on their bikes, but it would be a shame to despoil such a beautiful site with ugly steel sheffield stands.

On our coast-to-coast at Whitehaven, we could have locked to leaping stainless steel salmon. Elsewhere, we've locked to beautiful sculptures.

So my challenge to Portsmouth CTC is to come up with something more imaginative, maybe more artistic? Something we'd be proud to use in future. Over to you!

About Wilf Forrow

I'm a retired IT consultant, and a touring and utility cyclist. I'm particularly interested in campaigning for better cycle infrastructure, and a member of Sustrans and Cycle Hayling, amongst others. I am fascinated by cycle technology, and especially folders.

11 thoughts on “Sustainable cycle parking at the Sustainability Centre?

  1. I've seen wooden pillars with holes drilled through them at several levels to take bike locks. Not sure how good they'd be with D locks, but for cable locks they work well. I'm guessing the Sustainability centre might have the expertise and raw materials to make their own. I think they are available commercially too but a quick Google couldn't find any (I've seen them at West Wittering and somewhere else recently but can't remember where).

    1. I think I just remembered where I saw them: in the car park at the entrance to Northney nature reserve on Northney Road: here

        1. Except that the wheels could still be bent by passersby and also need a long lock - not much room for lock as well as wheel.

        2. Thanks Peter. There are some great options there. The wheel mangler version looks pretty, and might be ok there, but I think it could legitimise their use in less appropriate places. And if you put the wheel in, how would you lock the bike to it? But plenty of other styles there.

          I love Andy's suggestion that the Sustainability Centre could make their own - how sustainable would that be - grown, cut and finished on site! Could make a great woodworking class out of that - I'd even go myself.

  2. Dave Pilbeam is involved in supplying cycle parking solutions. It might be worth talking to him.

  3. Due to the many cycling groups in Mallorca most cafes have cycling stands in front (pavement/verge). They are made of steel scaffold type tubing. each end is A shaped ( about 5ft high) connected by a 10ft long pipe. Cyclists either hang their bikes by looping the front of their saddle over the pipe, or by the brake hoods and let the bike dangle. Can be locked to the pipe from the head frame.
    Simple/cheap to make.

    1. Thanks Derek. I think I saw something like that outside a bike shop in Canada, but I didn't think it was very easy to lock securely - eg with a D lock. Although the Sustainability Centre is a pretty safe place to leave bikes, I wouldn't want us to encourage a precedent for less secure parking elsewhere.
      Does anyone have any pictures of one, or any views on locking to?

    1. Thanks Peter. I like that you could push bikes closer together to take less space than Sheffield racks, where space is tight.

      Looks good for bikes with conventional top tubes. I can see how you could loop a cable and most D locks around the rail and top tube.

      But what about bikes without a top tube, like ladies, folders, some MTB, etc? And might be an issue for a heavy electric bike?

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