Lately, I’ve been biking to the Mountain View Caltrain station instead of the San Antonio station. I’m renting a very nice bike locker from Caltrain at San Antonio, which is situated perfectly for my commute; the six-month rent is due this month, and since I no longer bike to the station, I don’t think I’m going to renew. I’ve been parking my bike at Mountain View at some of the outdoor bike racks at Centennial Plaza (“Class III Decorative”, according to the city’s bike parking map), but that’s sometimes full, and I don’t really like parking my bike outdoors anyway; my seat’s already been stolen twice. Caltrain rents bike lockers at Mountain View as well, but they’re completely at the wrong end of the station for me, and it’s a very long station to walk the length of.
The other day, I discovered something new: “rent-free bicycle shelter spaces in the new station building are also available.” What’s ironic is that I would never have known about this, except that someone (not me) illegally locked their bike to a nearby tree, and the police attached a note threatening to tow it, along with helpful hints about where to legally park, including this bit of information. Well, it sounded good to me.
This morning, I woke up early, went down to City Hall—you would think, by the way, that the City of Mountain View‘s Web site would tell you the location of City Hall, but it doesn’t—and paid my $25 deposit (what happened to “free”?) to get a bike shelter space. Then, of course, I went down to the depot and discovered that the PIN I was given didn’t unlock the door. It took another ten minutes on the phone (and my not knowing how to operate the lock) with the Department of Public Works, and almost missing my shuttle, before we found a different PIN that would work.
But now my bike is safely locked away in the depot, and I don’t have to worry about bicycle-seat thieves, crowded bike racks, or long walks down the platform.