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Gear Prudence: My wife and I have been looking to buy a place for the last four months. It sucked. But last week we finally won a bidding war! The place is great in all ways but one: I’m going to need to keep my bike in the hallway. I hate this—it’s clutter and a trip-hazard—but we can’t back out now. Am I going to resent this as long as we live there or will I eventually make peace with hallway bike storage? —Homeowner Absolutely Lacks Location
Dear HALL: That’s up to you. By not making bike storage the primary criterion in your house search and valuing unimportant things like neighborhood, size, and price, you’re stuck with a hallway bike and will just have to deal. Doubtless with some time, you’ll find the most unobtrusive place and you’ll grow accustomed, but since it’ll never really be out of the way, be smart. A well placed night light will keep you from smashing into it on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Some temporary wallpaper can prevent scuffs on the wall from tires and handlebars. You’ll probably want to put down some kind of mat too, unless you plan to stop riding in the rain. If worse comes to worst, buy a junky minivan, park it out front, and keep your bike in the back. After all, a D.C. residential parking permit only costs $35 a year. —Gear Prudence
Gear Prudence: Halloween is coming up. Costume suggestions seem to be a yearly tradition. Lay them on me. —Ongoing Whimsical Endeavor Embarrases Newspaper
Dear OWEEN: The Gear Prudence Halloween column is like the 50 States Ride. It happens every year, but doing it more than once seems completely unnecessary and more painful than you remember. And yet here we are!
As always, these foolproof costume suggestions are guaranteed to impress/baffle your bikey and non-bikey friends alike:
- Wear a T-shirt in any gauche color scheme with literally any 4-letter word on it. You’re D.C.’s newest scooter company!
- Move backward the entire night. When you’re inevitably asked why, tell them you’re D.C.’s progress on Vision Zero.
- Celebrity costumes are always fun. Rock a long black wig, something with sequins and a bare midriff, and block a narrow sidewalk. Babe, it’s dockless bike Cher.
- A mummy, but with white bar tape. (This one could get expensive. And sticky.)
- Have a cow costume from a previous year? Don it again and explain to everyone that you’re a future Brooks leather saddle.
Whatever you wear this Halloween, remember that it’ll be dark with tons of little people in the streets. Avoid a real fright by leaving the car at home—costumed kids distracted by candy could really benefit from fewer people driving, especially on this one night.—GP